Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

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Ash Discussions > Feminist Book?

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Is Ash the heroine we long for in a feminist YA novel? Would you call this feminist YA lit? Why or why not? Would you recommend this to males?


Theo | 116 comments I have mixed feelings about this as a "feminist" novel. Ash, to me, is a very weak character. Her identity is completely wrapped up in her family and home life. She does ultimately escape the pressures of her stepmother and Sidhean, but only because of her relationship with Kaisa. I would have liked to see more self-actualization and not have her so reliant on others to form her identity. So, as far as feminist themes go, she does reject more traditional female roles, but only because of her feelings for a much stronger and independent character.


message 3: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Maybe I don't know what feminist really means... but I think it is a feminist book. What I mean is that I think it might inspire teens to come out, and I would think that would make Ash a feminist character. I will agree though that she doesn't seem that strong of a character.

Also I thought it was strange that after the ball she didn't seem to see Kaisa for like 8 months or a year. It was time for the Yule ball again by the time they see each other. I think I might have been confused by the timeline in the book.


Tatiana (tatiana_g) It's a tough question.

On one hand, I think this novel embraces a woman's choices, to be with any person, be that a man or a woman. I like how normal lesbian relationships are in Ash, they are no different than man-woman ones.

On the other hand, because in Ash's world there is no disapproval surrounding same-sex relationships, her choice to be with Kaisa doesn't feel groundbreaking, rebellious, or inspiring. And, like Theo noted, Ash is not a particularly proactive person, who makes choices that bear difficult consequence, who fights for what she desires or thinks right.


Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments I think the society portrayed in the book values strong women - the huntresses are in positions of power and reverence. We don't really know enough about other aspects of the society so it's hard to tell how other women are treated. The main thing is that the huntress has power AND she's accessible; few people try to stop Ash from finding the huntress when Ash looks for her.

I would also argue that Ash is not weak. She's in a position of weakness - true - but she overcomes it and she does it without outside intervention. Her relationship with Kaisa gives her strength but what she does, she does alone.


message 6: by Grace (last edited Nov 16, 2011 03:33PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments Theo wrote: "Her identity is completely wrapped up in her family and home life."
I disagree - her identity is wrapped up in her mother and the love her mother had for her. When that love was lost, she floated not really knowing who she was. Her friendship with Kaisa finally brought her back to herself.

She does ultimately escape the pressures of her stepmother and Sidhean, but only because of her relationship with Kaisa. I would have liked to see more self-actualization and not have her so reliant on others to form her identity.

She wasn't reliant on Kaisa for her identity - it was Kaisa's love that brought her back to herself. If she had let Kaisa plan and act to extricate her from her predicament with Sidhean - then I would agree that she was weak. Instead, she returned to herself - when she realized that she loved and was loved - and solved found a solution to her problems on her own. In my opinion, she is anything BUT weak.

Even though she endured deprivation at here stepmother's hand, she still overcame that and freed herself. I would also argue that she didn't stay with her stepmother for so long because she was weak but because she was lost in herself and didn't see that there was anything else to do.


message 7: by Theo (last edited Nov 16, 2011 03:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Theo | 116 comments I guess for me, I just wonder about what would have happened to Ash if she had not met Kaisa. Would she have gone with Sidhean? Would she have stayed in a servile position? I don't know if she would have ever stood up for herself without Kaisa's influence.


message 8: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Theo wrote: "I guess for me, I just wonder about what would have happened to Ash if she had not met Kaisa. Would she have gone with Sidhean? Would she have stayed in a servile position? I don't know if she woul..."

Oohhh good question. I didn't think of that. What WOULD Ash have done if she hadn't met Kaisa. I suppose though we all need someone to push us along sometime. I would've never went to college when I did (probably in the future) if my mom hadn't pushed me to go. I do think when I was older though I would've wanted to go. So maybe when Ash had matured a little bit she would've been more independent and known more what she wanted in life.


Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments Theo wrote: "I guess for me, I just wonder about what would have happened to Ash if she had not met Kaisa. Would she have gone with Sidhean? Would she have stayed in a servile position? I don't know if she woul..."

My guess is that she would have fallen farther and farther into the fairy world until, one morning, her stepmother wakes to no breakfast in a cold house just as a woodsman knocks on her door to report that he's found Ash's lifeless body deep in the wood.


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