The novel I tortured myself with for this assignment was “Ash” by Melinda Lo. This is her site that tells a little about the book. When i say tortured, i mean legitimately spent 30 minutes trying to read some of the names in this book. Whoever thought of this has definitely eaten bags of mushrooms, but im glad to see they found a way to make money off of it. It was like super fantasy overload. There were fairies and greenwitches (what in the even heck???). My natural negativity aside, i did learn to enjoy the book at some parts. With the help of some herbal enhancements i was able to read for long enough to get into the plot of the story.
That will be my first criticism about the book. The it was sort of slow. In the beginning the author teases you. So many things happen and it seems like the book will get continuously intriguing. But then it stops. Like right when it gets good, the author takes a particular part in the story and drags things on. I felt like there was a lot of stuff that could have been left out. That is to say, the author included a lot of detail.
That can be my second comment on the book. If you’re someone who enjoys an author who paints out every detail for you, then this chick did a pretty good job. Some books give you little detail to go by, and leave a lot of room for your imagination to fill in. This author did just the opposite. She knew how she wanted to convey the story to the audience and she made sure to add intimate detail while telling this story.
Something that might be interesting that i observed through the book were the presence of a lot of gay or lesbian characters. Not that there’s anything weird about the idea of it, but i found it interesting while reading the book because with most authors when they say ” the couple was walking down the road.” it’s usually safe to assume that the couple is a heterosexual couple. I don’t think authors necessarily do this on purpose, its probably just something you don’t even think about. When i read the authors note, she listed a woman who she says gave her the last word on the page, which is life. In doing more research i found out that Malinda Lo is actually a lesbian herself. I don’t know maybe i just added this information in because i feel like a Catfish detective, but it was one of the most interesting things during my reading journey.
Now i guess i need to write something that shows i actually did read the book. [SPOILER]:
Sadly, this is the book that took my college reading virginity. I actually read this cover to cover. So in the beginning Ash’s mother has died. She’s really sad about this but isn’t quite old enough to grasp the concept of death. This is her first real brush with it. Her father is a merchant, and they live in a world where the existence of fairies and magic is a lowkey thing. It’s kind of like drugs in the suburbs. Everyone knows it exists, but you kind of keep it on the low and mind your own business about it. Well the little girl, Ash, is a firm believer and seeker of these enchanted creatures. Her mom would always get her hype on these mystical stories so when she died, the girl clung to the fantasy world almost.
Eventually her dad remarries and brings home this woman and her two daughters. At first it is obvious that the stepmother isn’t really about being a mom to Ash, but she bites her tongue for the father. When he dies, ash is really screwed. They move to the city where the stepmother is from. Ash’s father has left his widow with debt, so she forces Ash to “work it off.” Basically her life sucks and she misses being home with her parents. Shes got a crappy homelife and no parents. Then she ventures into the forest.
See, all the fairy tales in this story, suggest that the fairys are freaking snakes. Like DO NOT trust these creatures is basically the principle of each one of them. But of course, this chick. So she ventures into the forest, first with the hope of bargaining her mothers soul back from the fairy queen. Then she meets a fairy boy (ooooooooooo) and she builds a trust with him. She begins to long for nights to sneak out and see more of this magical dude.
Along with her fairy friend, she also befriends the huntress. In this world, the rich people have huntresses, who hunt food for them. These huntresses are high members of the community. (remember Ash is a freaking servant). Anyway, the huntress is super chill and she teaches Ash to ride. They do a bunch of bonding stuff in the woods (this as half of the unnecessary jargon in the book). The huntress invites her to a super exclusive hunt with the kings son. This is cool to them because shell get to ride with all the royal people in the town and her stepsisters are all hyped up about the AFTERPARTY. like haaaaa she went to the hunt. Anyway, her fairy boyfriend helps her sneak to this thing. But she has to promise to be his. So she makes a bargain with him.
Then it gets really messy when she gets caught partying. Not to mention her feelings for her fairy guy and the freaking huntress cause some crap in her head. This book is nuts. I’ve written too much. I hope you realize i read this thing for real and im very grumpy about having to do so.