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(Ash #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  32,764 ratings  ·  3,555 reviews
Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she b
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Clara Zeilman There is nothing inappropriate about it; no swearing or sex or anything like that. It’s still a romance and can be a little dark, so I would say 12 to…moreThere is nothing inappropriate about it; no swearing or sex or anything like that. It’s still a romance and can be a little dark, so I would say 12 to 16 or so.(less)
Lucy wright you totally do not need to read huntress to understand ash, i read ash years ago (its one of my favorite books, i love it so SO much) and i didnt even…moreyou totally do not need to read huntress to understand ash, i read ash years ago (its one of my favorite books, i love it so SO much) and i didnt even know that there was another book (im not sure but i actually think that huntress was released after ash) so i dont really think it matters what order you read them in ^^(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  32,764 ratings  ·  3,555 reviews

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goddamn it, this was my bright shiny hope for gay YA week! this was the one i was banking on to be my best "assigned-but-loved-the-whole-time-i-was-reading-it-and-this-is-why-i-am-paying-for-grad-school-discovery." a lesbian retelling of cinderella?? sign me up! i've already read what robert coover and angela carter have done to improve fairy tales, let's see where this one goes!

and it starts out great - the writing is wonderful; it is very literary and lush and haunting. boy meets boy and keepi
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: read "Keturah and Lord Death" instead
I will pick Disney's version of Cinderella over Ash any day and without the slightest hesitation. For a book with such a provocative, potentially controversial premise, Ash is dreadfully, painfully dull and lacking in strong emotion and vibrant characters.

This retelling is both familiar and slightly new (albeit in an uninteresting and directionless way). In this version, orphaned Ash is forced to be a serving maid to her (not so evil) stepmother and stepsisters. But instead of sneaking into the
Miranda Reads
Cinderella is a tired tale. It's been done. It's been redone. It's been re-redone.

So, if I'm going to pick up (yet another) retelling, it really has to blow me away. I need to be wowed. My socks must be knocked off.

Those socks remained firm. (Not even a twitch.)

In this version, Ash (our Cinder) is raised by her (unsurprisingly) evil stepmother and her only joy is rereading fairytales next to the fireplace ashes (hence the name Ash (how clever)).
She would rather be alone in her room than alon
This is the fairytale I always wanted
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The GoodReads five-star rating system isn't perfect because some books (like, say, pretty much all Fitzgerald and Salinger) get five stars because I think they're just freaking brilliant writing; while other books (like, say, Bridget Jones's Diary and the Traveling Pants books) get five stars because I love the characters so much.

Then, of course, there are the Harry Potters and Tales of Despereaux that receive five stars because it's like they retell my whole world: Remember how lost you were w
eta: You know, I figured when I wrote this "review" that I had made it sufficiently ridiculous and over-the-top that no one on Earth could possibly take it seriously. I mean, I claim that DISNEY INVENTED CINDERELLA, people. And then there's the link at the end labeled "real review here", which should maybe be a hint? But okay, whatever, for those of you who are apparently utterly impervious to sarcasm, here is your blinking neon sign:

THIS REVIEW IS INTENDED AS SATIRE. Also, just fyi, I am prett
Gail Carriger
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, queer, ya
I took Ash by Malinda Lo with me on a trip to Germany in October. Turned out to be a good choice. The atmosphere, setting, and style of this book all felt very German to me.

It's a retelling of the Cinderella story except that Ash's love interests are a male fairy of the dark and tortured variety (you know a real underhill fairy) and a female huntress of pagan rights old world inclination ~ the prince is mere side character.

I enjoyed Ash very much and it suited not only travel through Germany b
Aug 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tales retold
What starts out as a simple retelling of Cinderella turns into so much more, and the Prince is all but forgotten ...

If you know the story of Cinderella then you know most of the beginning of the book, but somewhere near the middle it starts to veer off on its own path. Ash has a fairy(godfather?) who watches over her named Sidhean (pronounced Sheen - I looked it up because it was driving me nuts!) In order to feel some sort of freedom from her stepmother and stepsisters, Ash takes every opportun
monica kim
May 03, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 ⭐️ whimsical, atmospheric, and magical
Whitney Atkinson
This book was incredibly difficult to read because it was incredibly dry and slow-paced. It felt like nothing really happened until page 250, and the book is only 264 pages. This book can hardly be pitched as a sapphic romance because there is very little development of that before page 200, and they don't even kiss until 10 pages before the end. I was just so bored reading this and the romance element was drowned beneath a really confusing fairy plotline. There was little to no angst to keep me ...more
samantha  Bookworm-on-rainydays
Lesbian Cinderella!!!!! This was a great and simple and a lovely twist on a classic fairy tale! Sidhean is a creeper and the hundreds are a great twist. I really really enjoyed this book it does an excellent job melding the feeling of a classic fairytale with a more modern style. And i would love too read more by Malinda Lo.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
What a outstanding debut novel! Malinda Lo absolutely blew me away. The writing was elegant, beautifully lyrical. Malinda has this unbelievable talent for detail and atmospheric setting. She captures the very essence of the world she created. I just felt like I was there.

Characterization was fantastic as well. With such vivid imagery you might think the characterization would suffer, but I think they stood out so intensely because of it.

Ash is a retelling, so some of the story shouldn’t come as
Ash by Malinda Lo is definitely a beautiful retelling of the classic Cinderella story - writing-wise. Lo creates an eerie yet fascinating atmosphere with her lyrical prose and the setting is described in rich details. She interweaves fairy tales and traditions of her own into the story and creates a world the reader can immerse himself in.
Additionally, Ash is clearly more than a simple retelling; it adds aspects to the original tale and has quite some twists readers probably won't suspect in the
Jul 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh I feel like I deserve a medal for getting through this mindnumbing snoozefest of a book.
I have had this one on my To-Read radar for a while because I was intrigued by a lesbian Cinderella retelling. So, now I've re-read it, and I have to say I'm a bit - no, more than a bit - disappointed with it. This whole book just felt confused.

There are likely spoilers below. Read at your own risk.

First of all, the lesbian aspect of this story was extremely disappointing to me. I so wanted this to be a PROUD self-identification coming-out story, like Annie on my Mind was. Instead, the lesbian
Sonja ✧・゚。★・゚☾
4.2 out of 5 stars.

❝It’s smart to be afraid of things that smell of death.❞

Ash is a queer f/f retelling of Cinderella set in a fantasy world where homophobia doesn't exist.

What the Book Is Really About
The author, Malinda Lo, described it best herself:

❝Whenever I’m asked what Ash is about, I say that it’s not about being gay. It’s about grief and love, and these are emotions we all experience, regardless of sexual orientation.❞

The author’s portrayal of grief doesn't feel like fiction,

I stopped listenig 3 hours and 17minutes in of 7 hours. It was taking too long for anything interesting to happen, I had no more patience to keep listening to a story utterly dull.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue (Hollywood News Source)

I devoured Ash in between of my Lord of the Rings movie marathon. It’s a Cinderella retelling, but with a twist. It’s a wlw book! I love, love, the quaint vibes of the novel, and the lyrical writing. I wholly appreciate the in depth characterization of abuse, the difference between hero worshipping, and attraction.

Verdict: I can't get enough, and Lo needs to write more fantasy books. Review to come.
Paige (Enchantology)
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, love, fairytale, ya
Ash was my absolutely favorite read of 2009.

A Cinderella with a twist of darkness and lore, the characterization of a young girl, family, love, and disappointment, left me inside of this world and I think I still haven't found my way out. Since reading Ash, I am desperately seeking that language, that energy, those woods, the doublespeak that Lo so artfully rendered.

As I type this, I am flipping through the pages, and stopping when my fingers have reached their random destination.

Here, a samp
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april2010
Nothing redeeming about this book at all.


Ash's mother (who was some sort of greenwitch) dies. Couple of days later her Father goes into town and returns with the wicked stepmom and 2 step daughters. The old greenwitch Ash's mother apprenticed under warns her father of fairies/elves? but Ash's father refuses to listen to the old ways his deceased wife believes and sends her on her way. Shortly after he becomes 'sick' (some sort of fairy/old magic sickness) and dies. Ash moves into th
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, 2011
I just realized I had posted this review to my blog but not here! Well, here it is...

LESBIANS! BEARS!* HUNTERS! OH MY! Please, someone inform the government. We have a retelling of Cinderella on our hands that includes lesbians. The world must be ending. It must be 2011. This is more terrifying than Y2k.

Other reviews I’ve seen claim the problem with this book is the fact that our Cinderella is Bisexual. This is not the issue with this book and that sort of response makes me horribly depressed. W
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
“Every time you come near me,” he said, “you come closer to the end of everything.”
“It does not feel that way,” she said. “It feels like I am coming closer to the beginning.”
The characters felt so flat and dull. I didn't care whatever happens to them. The plot was also predictable and slow, and there were no twists! The world wasn't developed well, I felt lost for the most part of it, but a part of it was because I skipped a lot of pages. Couldn't help it!

I didn't buy the romance. I have n
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was just gorgeous. I want to bundle it with Annie On My Mind, The Stepsister Scheme, and Beauty, and give that little packet to every teenage girl I know. I couldn't have loved it more if I'd tried. ...more
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars)
Malinda Lo combines several highly creative ideas in her debut novel, Ash. We all know the tale of Cinderella, but it's never been told quite like this. Cinderella (here called Aisling, Ash for short) falls for a young woman instead of the prince. And the fairy who helps Ash break free of her stepmother is no rosy-cheeked godmother, but a coldly beautiful fairy lord right out of the older, darker legends of the fey folk, and he demands a steep price for his aid. On paper, I love every
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book on my TBR since it came out seven years ago @__@ I remember trying to find it in my tiny secondary school library, and searching the system for it every day until the librarian must have seen the searches and caved into buying it. And then I didn't even read it!

Since then, I've loved fairy tale retellings, especially of Cinderella - who's my ultimate favourite - and the fact that this has an F/F romance in it just makes it even more amazing. It just ticks so many boxes! 20 ye
Rida Imran
Jun 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2019
I feel like a deserve a medal for finishing this lacklustre (in my opinion) book!

I read 2 books specifically for Pride Month this year: Ash and What if it's us and sadly I wasn't a fan of either. But this one was especially boring.

I'm down for a lesbian retelling of Cinderella but this book was snooze fest. I don't understand how people actually liked this book. There was a great idea and I would've loved it had it not all felt so flat. Disney's Cinderella has more depth to it's characters than
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex

Actual Rating 2.5

This was a book club read, shout out to the Boston Radical Women of Color Book Club. I recently joined this book club and this was my first read with the group.
I wanted to like and enjoy this book much more then I did. This is a Cinderella retelling where the protagonist falls for a Huntress and not a Prince. But it is in no way too risque or racy. In fact I expected a lot more from this cont
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: retelling

Deep down, you know the truth that you're a mood reader and yet you are completely blown apart when you realise you're REALLY a mood reader.

Ash, helps me in realising that truth. I could've read it in a single sitting. But no. My ass took a long time to read this. Anyway, let's get into the story.

I found my new desire. I NEED TO MEET A FAIRY. I wonder how pretty/handsome one fairy could be that you would let him/her touch you and hold your hand. That too, at a very first meeting. I would litera
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BIO: Malinda Lo is the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of several books, including the historical novel Last Night at the Telegraph Club, which received eight starred reviews and was nam

Other books in the series

Ash (2 books)
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Articles featuring this book

Melissa Bashardoust is no stranger to writing queer feminist retellings of popular fairy tales. Her first novel, 2017’s  Girls Made of Snow and...
62 likes · 9 comments
“Then they took the last step together, and when she kissed her, her mouth as warm as summer, the taste of her sweet and clear, she knew, at last, that she was home.” 30 likes
“You shall not discover the truth being being blinded to faith.” 28 likes
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