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Ash

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3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  23,689 Ratings  ·  2,736 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 bel
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Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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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

(showing 1-30)
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karen
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
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Lola  Reviewer
Lesbian retelling of the beloved CINDERELLA fairy tale.

What a lovely book. It’s beautifully-written, beautifully-told and so interesting.

Although the beginning begs the question, ‘‘Is this really a retelling?’’ meaning that it’s far too similar to the original story, the rest, however, is full of originality.

I’m going to warn you right away that Ash is a one-dimensional character. When you think about it, so is Cinderella in the original fairy tale. Actually, the majority of fairy tale heroes
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Tatiana
Nov 07, 2011 Tatiana rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: read "Keturah and Lord Death" instead
Shelves: ya, fairy-tales, 2011
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
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Riley
This is the fairytale I always wanted
Heather
Sep 12, 2009 Heather 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
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branewurms
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
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Kristy
Nov 02, 2010 Kristy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No, No, No, No, No!!!!
Cinderella is not a lesbian!!! Ack, she is suppsed to fall in love with Prince charming and be doted on by silly little mice. This is a crock!

I had a hard time getting into this in the beginning, then the middle hooked me for a hot minute, but the end is such a hot mess I can't even go there!! I expected more Fairies, more darkness, more love (in male form). I got nothing of the sort!! Blek, I do NOT reccomend this!!

Acceptable forms of Cinderella: The Mouse Lover
or The Dr
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Shannon (formerly The Holy Terror)
Aug 21, 2009 Shannon (formerly The Holy Terror) 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
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Kristi
Apr 24, 2009 Kristi rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
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
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Janina
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
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Becky
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
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Shawnta
Jan 22, 2010 Shawnta 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
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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 Paige (Enchantology) rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Kelly
Oct 07, 2009 Kelly 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
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Caroline
Apr 03, 2010 Caroline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april2010
Nothing redeeming about this book at all.

SPOILER ALERT

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
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Steph
Oct 10, 2011 Steph rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, reviewed
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
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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 controversial retelling.  In the
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Cyna
May 03, 2014 Cyna rated it really liked it
Well that was a breath of fresh air. I think…I think I actually enjoyed reading this book.



BRING FORTH THE LIST, in which SPOILERS are present. Mostly in the part about the ending.

Ash
What is this, a main character I don’t want to punch? OH MY GOD, FETCH THE PHOTOGRAPHERS, THIS MOMENT MUST BE COMMEMORATED.

Seriously though, I actually really liked Ash. She was real. Multifaceted. Capable of being more than one thing at any given time. Also she had an arc, you guys. A real-live arc, where she chan
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Julie
2.5 stars. I really struggled with the first 25 pages or so, then eventually got into a groove so it went faster, but my enjoyment unfortunately never went much higher than that. I wanted to like this one so much more than I did!

The problem: As my friend Emily has so astutely pointed out, Lo very very accurately mimics the sound & voice of fairytales. This can be a good thing! It reads as genuinely matter-of-factly ethereal, without delving into the occasionally purple prose of Catherynne Va
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Rian
Jun 05, 2010 Rian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Ugh. I don't know if I'm just approaching this book wrong or what, but I've picked it up and started it three separate times, and each time I put it down before 50 pages. I really wanted to give it a chance, and after reading some rave reviews and finding out it was an LGBTQ version of Cinderella, my interest was piqued. Maybe Lo's writing gets better as the book goes on, but the first chapters drag interminably on, her characters are two dimensional and uninteresting, and the plot is horribly c ...more
Sharon
Apr 17, 2010 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cait (Paper Fury)
This is a BEAUTIFUL book and I liked it a lot! I just felt it wasn't so much a retelling as the plain-normal-story of Cinderella. Which is a little disappointing. I adore retellings, but I like it when they're spunky and unique and take the old tales and absolutely twist it. At least 2/3 of this book was what you'd read in the original fairy tale.

The ending though? OH WOW THE ENDING IS BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT. I loved it! I loved the faerie vibe and the magic and the dangerous lure o
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Ceilidh
This is actually a reread for me. I received my own shiny cover of “Ash” as a gift from a lovely friend and was heartily looking forward to seeing how well it stood up the second time round.

Most commonly referred to as the ‘lesbian Cinderella’, the book does retain the basic structure of arguably the most famous fairytale of all time whilst weaving in its own world, one where magic has been forgotten and viewed as a simple child’s tale by many. Stories and the telling of them make up a huge par
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Cath
Aug 30, 2015 Cath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 stars.
I ended up enjoying this! I recently read Huntress by Malinda Lo, which is set a few hundred years before Ash. But you don't need to read Huntress to read this and vice versa.

It took me about seventy pages to actually start enjoying this, I knew something was going to happen but I didn't know what.
I was really surprised with how much I ended up liking this, I felt like putting the book down at one point but I kept on reading and really enjoyed it.

I liked that Ash went through a bit o
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Maye
Mar 03, 2017 Maye 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 no
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Elena
Jan 06, 2011 Elena rated it it was ok
I noticed a lot of buzz surrounding this book among authors and readers I respect, so I had high expectations going in. I was disappointed. I found the book very bland, from beginning to end. All of the characters seemed very wooden and/or one-dimensional, and I pretty much just kept reading because it was inoffensive and short.

Part of the reason I think I didn't take to this book is that it's a very meandering, quiet sort of story about death and love. There's not really any action to speak of,
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Steph Su
ASH is one of those books that I read slowly, savoring each beautifully crafted line, running the words and imagery through my head until they became poetry in action. Malinda’s sensuous writing brings Ash’s world and the characters within to blazing, ethereal life: you can fully tell that you are immersed in a fairy tale world, one that doesn’t just satisfy, but leaves you wanting more.

I've often heard ASH described as a lesbian retelling of Cinderella; in fact, I think that I have used that co
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Nikki
Apr 25, 2010 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairytales
This is a lovely retelling of the Cinderella fairytale. It keeps a very fairytale-like tone, so at times it doesn't go as deeply into what happens or people's feelings as I would like, but there are beautiful descriptions and it's very easy to read. It's exciting to read a version of the story in which part of the love story is between two women.

I liked the changes to the story as I knew it -- Sidhean as the fairy godmother, and the element of actually having to pay for what you get from the fa
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Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 1 May 17, 2017 04:35AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Ash by Malinda Lo 1 3 Apr 05, 2017 02:05PM  
Around the Year i...: Ash, by Malinda Lo 3 40 Jan 26, 2017 05:01AM  
Crazy for Young A...: Ash by Malinda Lo → Start Date: July 7, 2016 11 18 Jul 13, 2016 08:52PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 6 Mar 30, 2015 09:16AM  
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Hi Goodreads! I've only created this profile to claim my name here, and I don't check messages here or add friends. I invite you to follow me on Twitter or Tumblr if you want to chat, or visit my website at malindalo.com.

BIO: Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels including the sci-fi thriller Adaptation; the sequel, Inheritance, will be published Sept. 24, 2013. Her first novel, A
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More about Malinda Lo...

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“You shall not discover the truth being being blinded to faith.” 23 likes
“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.” 19 likes
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