Tessa's Reviews > Ash

Ash by Malinda Lo
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Dec 04, 09

bookshelves: yyay, paranormal-or-magic
Read in December, 2009

Another case where my expectations went ahead of me... and I think a little ADHD surfaced. I couldn't concentrate on the words--I think my brain wanted adventure and this is more of a placidly-plotted literary reinvention.

Things I really enjoyed:
- The loves in this book start in friendship
- The stepmother has some motivation for being "evil", even though it seems she is, at root, an unpleasant person, she is also motivated by the social rules of the world and by the desperation of not wanting to be poor (those 2 things overlap).
- However, being "poor" or being a servant is not uniformly portrayed as being the worst thing to happen to someone, it's just not the most exciting life.

I think if Kaisa and Ash hadn't spoken so stiltedly to one another, or been so reserved, I would've bought into the tension that the ending was maybe trying for? But maybe it wasn't. Lo hinted that the world she created was one where same-sex coupling wasn't unheard of or totally unaccepted so it was hard to understand why Ash was scared of her feelings for Kaisa. Maybe just because she was afraid of feeling loved again? What I'm saying is I wanted this to be hotter, but I should just be accepting of it as a gradual love story.
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