by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer
Author: Malinda Lo
Pages: 272 pages
Grade Reading level: 8th Grade and up
Summary: Life for Ash is not very pleasant. First her mother dies, then her father remarries, then her father dies, and now her stepmother has forced her into servitude to pay off his debts. To escape her overwhelming misery Ash struggles to find ways through the Wood to find the fairy kingdom. The fairy kingdom is set up as sort of an afterlife for humans. Humans have been warned about fairies. They are malicious and forever enslaving the humans foolish enough to come to them. It is Sidhean who protects Ash and constantly returns her back to the real world in an effort to save her. Can she be saved and does she want to be?
Why I Started This Book:
I first heard about Ash on a fellow review site. A regular Cinderella story with a twist! The review made it sound fantastic; another Ella Enchanted or so I presumed. I was very excited to begin reading. Now though I would only recommend starting this novel if you are interested in finding and reading a GLBTQ fairy tale or like dark stories.
Why I Quit This Book:
Twofold. The first is that I was surprised about the same sex romance. I had no idea Ash would end up with a girl. The first half of the novel is entirely about Ash and her desire to enter the fairy world, find her mom (in the afterlife perhaps) and be with Sidhean who comes across like a prince among the fairies. I guess I just didn’t carefully read the back of the book or the review that grabbed my attention to read it in the first place. I’m not interested in lesbian romance. My preference is guy/girl and that is what I read exclusively.
The second reason I quit the book was because no matter how compelling the start of the novel and the world-building the writing was tedious, almost a chore. Not that the story is hard to read if you’re well above the reading level and the directed age group, but dreary. The novel is decidedly dark and focuses a lot on Ash’s grief over her parents, her detachment to life, and her oppressive enslavement within her stepmother’s home.
I kept reading to find out more about Sidhean but eventually I just had to put the book down and decide I wasn’t going to learn why he kept sending her back or what he planned for Ash’s future if she kept trying to be with him.
Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)
Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.
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