Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review: Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas


Genres: YA; Fairy-tale retelling

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Pages: 464

Description:

"No one has ever broken free of the Godmother’s terrible stone prison until a girl named Pin attempts a breathless, daring escape. But she discovers that what seems to be freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles her in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between a prince and another—the one who helped her before and who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny. "

Despite the amazing premise (An evil Godmother? Fairy Tale characters can't control their fate? Um, yes!) Ash & Bramble ultimately fell flat for me.

Part of that had to do with the main characters, Pin and Shoe. No, those are not their real names. Yes, that is what they go by for the majority of the novel. Pin, the Seamstress, and Shoe, the Shoemaker (Clever, right?) are imprisoned in the Godmother's fortress with no memories of their prior lives. At first I thought I would LOVE these characters. But it didn't take long for me to realize something was off. The story is told by both Pin and Shoe, but their points of view didn't feel like they could be reconciled with each other. Pin was portrayed differently when Shoe narrated and vice versa, and it wasn't just because they had differing views of themselves. To add to that, their roles were completely reversed about a quarter into the book. Pin went from daring to boring and Shoe went from being a coward to Mr. Important-Person-Who-Saves-The-Day.


The transition made no sense, and there was almost zero character development in between.

But I digress.

What really bothered me were the insane levels of INSTA-LOVE. Now, this is a Cinderella retelling after all...

Ick. (source)

NEVERTHELESS. I was disappointed.

Basically, even though the characters are fighting against what's been predestined for them, I never felt that Pin was deciding her own fate. She felt an inexplicable draw toward the prince she was fated to be with. That's what this story is about--fighting that destiny--but then she also felt this weird draw towards Shoe, whom she didn't even know. But of course, he wasn't who she was destined to be with, so he must be the one she should be with. I don't even know if I'm making sense anymore, but the point is this: their relationship didn't make sense.

The story was slow to get started and did lag in places but, despite my tendency to DNF books, Ash & Bramble did keep me reading. It wasn't a bad novel; it was such a unique attempt. I loved the writing by itself, and the idea that drove the story, but in the end I just wasn't captivated.

Content: I don't remember any swearing. There is kissing. Violence is minimal, as I recall, but the story is a tad dark.


Have you read Ash & Bramble? What did you think? What's your opinion on Insta-love?




12 comments:

  1. No instalove, why do you ruin so many fairy tale retellings?! I think I might be more hesitant to read this now because I can't deal with romance like that unless the other aspects of the story are amazing enough to keep me reasing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the same way! It's too bad; I love fairy tale retellings, but this one just wasn't up to par.

      Delete
  2. This one has been on my TBR list for ever, but after reading your review and finding out about the instalove, I think I'm going to give this a miss! It's such a shame because I love fairytale retellings, darn you instalove! Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love them too, but the insta-love was a bit too much to handle! Thanks, Anissa!

      Delete
  3. Pin and Shoe? What is this. And instalove? Definitely not for me, I would have gotten so frustrated! Ah, well, hope your next read is better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. I had the same reaction. Thanks, Alise!

      Delete
  4. Aw, pity this one was a disappointment. I read the summary for this a while ago and put it on my TBR because it sounded super interesting. However, I can't stand instalove (mostly because it doesn't actually exist) or relationships that don't make sense to me. :p
    I might still try this out, though, because it is a fantastic idea. But I'm glad I've been warned. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Insta-love is so unrealistic! If you do end up reading it, I hope you like it more than I did. :)

      Delete
  5. In a way I loved this review . . . so brutally honest! Haha! I loved the front cover and I'm like oh this is going to be great . . . and then I'm like not so much. I don't like different POVs in my books generally . . . I find myself getting confused really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks! I tried not to be too brutal. It wasn't a terrible book, after all. I usually don't mind multiple points of view, but that wasn't executed too well in this novel, unfortunately.

      Delete
  6. I AGREE WITH THIS ALL. Like, the whole plot was "fighting against fate", and I just didn't understand the motivation of any of the characters, especially the Godmother. To be honest, I mostly skimmed through this because it just was not...good.

    Awesome review Ally!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, and it definitely could have been explained more thoroughly. Thanks, Valerie!

      Delete