For a kinder and gentler young adult reading experience, I recommend Malinda Lo’s Ash, which has an interesting spin on the Cinderella fairy tale. Malinda combines fantasy and magic with a subtle love story. The twist with this tale is who the heroine Aisling has her happily ever after with.
Years go by and Ash dreams of a way to escape her life and her evil stepmother. Ash is able to go off into the woods that surround the city when her stepmother and sisters go away to other towns for fun and to find Ana a husband. Ash does a very dangerous thing because she meets Sidhean, a male fairy who wants to kill her but can’t for some reason. There is something about Ash that makes him merciful. They form a tentative friendship and whenever Ash asks for a wish, he gives it to her, but for a price. Ash also meets the King’s Huntress, Kaisa. Ash and Kaisa also become friends but the way Ash feels for Kaisa is very different from the way she feels for Sidhean. Sidhean is very seductive and manipulative; Kaisa treats Ash with respect. Ash has a hard decision to make because every time she asks Sidhean for more, she is pulled further into his world, where he will claim her as his. Nothing is really holding Ash to the human world, except for Kaisa. Ash has a tough choice to make that could change her life forever.
Ash is perfect for those who adore fairy tales. This fairy tale has a wonderful twist that was written in such a lovely way. Instead of Ash having a fairy godmother, she has Sidhean who expects a great deal from her. He wants her soul because she is a special human girl that can break through his defenses. But the main reason I really enjoyed this story was because of Ash’s relationship with Kaisa. It was beautiful, tender and so right. These two clicked in such a wonderful way.
Malinda Lo’s Ash is a fast read and one that is very poignant. I also loved the sense of entitlement the female characters are given as well as the way they are portrayed, especially with Kaisa. This is one fairy tale with a happily ever after that has been way overdue and I applaud Little Brown and Company for publishing this book. (Little Brown and Company)
Because the majority of young adult books I’ve been reading are mainly paranormal or fantasy, it was a nice change to read a contemporary young adult with Jennifer Echols’ Going Too Far. This coming of age novel really hits on a great deal of issues and after you finish reading Meg’s journey and why she acts the way she does, you will have a big smile on your face. Meg may act like a rebel, but she is still very much a little girl scared and alone, not sure where she’s going or what her plans are. She has dreams and thinks she knows what they are, but all it takes is one person to show her that sometimes a person’s future can be found right in their backyard and with those they call their friends.
We are given quite an introduction to Meg who is the only teenager in Shelby County, Alabama with blue hair. Meg hates her backwater hometown. She just can’t wait for June to arrive to she can move to
Both have deep seated issues and when John and Meg talk about what they’re hiding and what they’re afraid of, it’s explosive and will open their eyes to things they didn’t see before, where they will come to depend on one another and from that love will form between them.
I adored John. He is a wonderfully written young man who deals with life in a very mature way. I loved how he took Meg in hand and together they became a great unit. These two may seem so wrong for one another but Jennifer Echols’s skill as a writer makes the reader believe in these two.
This was the first book I ever read by Jennifer Echols and it certainly won’t be my last, Going Too Far is a much recommended read. And if Jennifer decides to write a sequel showing us how John and Meg are doing together, I wouldn’t mind that at all. (Pocket Books)