Book: Ash by Malinda Lo
Genre(s): Fantasy, Fairy tale, Retelling, GLBTQ
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 2009
Hardcover: 272 pages
Other: Finalist for the 2010 William C. Morris YA Debut Award
Summary: Aisling (Ash) lives on the edge of the forest with her much loved mother and father. But her life changes when her magical mother dies, and her father is kept away for months at a time on the King’s business. When her father remarries, she somehow adjusts to a new stepmother and sisters. However, when even her father dies, she starts to wish that the fairies would steal her away, as they did in her mother’s stories. Her wish seems to be on the verge of being fulfilled when she starts to fall in love with the dark, brooding, and possessive Sidhean, a fairy from the forest. But just when it seems that she may indeed succumb to him, another possibility dawns in the shape of Kaisa, the King’s Huntress. Whom will Ash choose?
To whom will this appeal?: Those who love gorgeous, lush, bewitching prose will be drawn into the dark and magical mood created by this book. The pace is unhurried and the story slowly unfolds, as the retelling diverges from the original tale. Older teens and adults alike will enjoy this book if they are drawn to retellings; also they must be comfortable with unconventional endings as well as GLBTQ love.