Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Enchanting Review: ASH

Young Adult
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN# 0316040096
264 pages
eBook/Print – Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

ASH was a beautifully told story and one that will live on in the memories of its readers for quite a while. Our heroine, Aisling, or Ash for short, is our Cinderella in this twist on the classic story of struggles overcome to find true love. Ash is an easily relatable character, which is part of what makes this story so attractive. She is a shy girl, but not overly so. She has her opinions and will let them out when needed. I think that many girls will be able to connect with ASH and her realistic personality.

Of course, we can’t have a romance without another party to join Ash. In this retelling of Cinderella, Ash’s Prince Charming actually comes in the form of the King’s Huntress, Kaisa. Wealthy and regal in her position by the King’s Side, Kaisa is a beautiful woman and full of life. She befriends Ash, despite the difference in their stations and shows our timid heroine how to truly live.

When Ash’s father dies and leaves her alone with her stepmother and stepsisters, life seems to be pretty much over for the young girl. Much like the classic Cinderella story, Ash’s stepfamily treats her poorly and it isn’t too long until she becomes a servant to her family. The similarities between the age-old princess story and MALINDA LO’S wonderful work of art pretty much end here though. To escape from the darkness of her days, Ash travels into the Wood near her house, despite the age old warnings that the Wood holds strange magic.

It wouldn’t be a complete romance if there weren’t some form of suspense thrown into the mix. Sidhean, a beautiful man who is anything but human, is an integral part of the story that really helped to make ASH a true tale rather than just another bedtime story. When Ash catches his eye, everything changes. Sidhean hides a secret from Ash and as time goes on it becomes more and more unclear whether Ash is safe with Sidhean or not.

In all, I would have to say that I absolutely loved ASH. There have been very few books that have made me say, “Wow,” and turn back to the first page to start the story all over again. I can honestly say that this was a book I could not put down and one that really had my mind turning. It’s as much of a romantic story as it is a suspenseful one. The imagery within the pages was spectacular and the book was filled with such color that I’m amazed a little sparkle didn’t fall from the pages as I was reading. MALINDA LO has created an immediate fan in me and I wait anxiously for her next work.

MALINDA LO and ASH have received multiple nominations, including a nomination for the Andre Norton Award for excellence in Sci-Fi and Fantasy for young adults. She can be found online at

Cinnamon Brown
February 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Enchanting Review: Chasing Brooklyn

YA contemporary
Simon Pulse
ISBN# 9781416991687
412 pages
Hardback—Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Brooklyn’s life comes crashing to a halt after her boyfriend Lucca’s death. It’s been a year now. Lucca’s friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. His ghost haunts her dreams. She doesn’t know what Gabe wants and why he’s bothering her. She can’t sleep.

Nico is Lucca’s brother. His way of dealing with Lucca’s death is by running. Then one day he finds a note telling him to help Brooklyn. He feels that Lucca is haunting him. Even worse, he doesn’t know how to help Brooklyn considering he hasn’t seen her in the year since Lucca’s death.

Brooklyn’s nightmares escalate. So do the notes to Nico. Nico decides to reach out, not knowing what to say to his brother’s girlfriend. Both are being haunted but struggle with telling each other. But until they can trust again, neither Gabe nor Lucca can rest in peace.

I loved this novel! Yes, this story deals with spirits but it doesn’t read like any other paranormal novel out there. Schroeder nailed it right on the dot on what a loved one feels after the tragic death of a loved one. I loved how she was able to weave back and forth two points of view effortlessly. Both voices are unique in showing how Lucca’s death has affected them and how at first they avoid coming to grips with their feelings. Powerful and strong, this novel sweeps the reader into not only the tragic sense of loss but how two individuals are able to reach out to each other.

The free verse in this novel has its own special beauty too. Each beat resonates with the reader on how painful it is to lose someone you love. Schroeder digs deep and shows a range of emotions that come from loss. But it doesn’t stop there. The book also shows how faith and trust can be a healing balm.

A must read for Schroeder fans.

Lisa Schroeder is the author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and FAR FROM YOU. Lisa lives in Oregon with her husband and two sons. Read more on her at her website

Kim Baccellia
January 2010

Enchanting Review: Lost In The Snow

Children’s ages 3-6
ISBB# 978-1-84895-015-3
24 Pages
Paperback- Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

LOST IN THE SNOW is a book about a puppy that gets lost while playing on a snowy winters day. Ollie is out frolicking with his brother and sister when a strange dog scares them. He takes off running and loses track of where he is at. It is up to Ollie to find his way home or face staying in the cold snowy woods all by himself.

This was a cute story about a dog that must brave the unknown and meet new creatures, nice and mean, for the first time. Ollie soon realizes that there really is nothing like being at home with those you love. This book can teach children that no matter what things are better at home and the world is a scary place to be when you are alone. This book has beautiful water color drawings by Miss Alison Edgson. I would recommend this book for children ages 3-6.

Linda Jennings is a children author. She has many books released. To find out more about her books please visit

January 2010