Friday, September 11, 2015

Feature Friday ARC Review : Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

*Feature Friday is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to feature YA books that have not yet been released by reviewing them.*

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: HarperTeen 
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Pages: 464
Source: ARC

The Story:
The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story. Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy-tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.
Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.
Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy-tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.
When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit . . .
via Amazon

Rating: THREE Gold Stars!!!

My Review: 

I was interested in reading Ash & Bramble strictly because it was a fairy tale retelling. If you know anything about me it is my favor towards fairy tale and greek mythology (especially Hades and Persephone) retellings. And as the blurb states, Ash & Bramble was without a doubt an utterly original YA retelling of age-old tale of Cinderella.

Tag Line:

When the glass slipper doesn't fit . . . 

Opening Line:

I know this part of my story, the beginning, maybe.


As aforementioned, the premise of Ash & Bramble was as I had hoped, a twist on the classic Cinderella tale. A twist I never saw coming. Not to spoil it for readers, I will keep mum except to say the plot is creative, original and keep you reading.

The writing was decent -- probably good, even --, a little thin with imagery at the beginning but a bit meatier as the story continued. The pacing of the story was perfect. While it did not feel rushed it did not feel as if it dragged along reluctantly. The only issue I had was with Shoe's character. While I did not hate his character, he did annoy me to the point I kept pulling away from the story during the last 100 or so pages. Luckily, I was able to get past my annoyance with Shoe to finish the story because I am glad I did. Also, I really appreciated the feminist theme in the story. Instead of the usual, helpless, dainty princess waiting around for the charming prince to come and save her, readers got to see a clever, strong girl save herself as well as others.

Overall, I enjoyed Ash & Bramble and would recommend it to any reader who enjoys fairy tale retellings --especially one which centers around the damsel in distress saving herself. Sarah Prineas is a writer with much potential for Young Adult fiction. Prineas' Ash & Bramble is not a bad start for her YA debut -- definitely a story worth a try.

Character Breakdown:

Pin/Pen - Pin/Pen was a decently written character. But she was not particularly unique or stood out to me. Still, I did not dislike her so her character did not distract me from the story. Pin/Pen was strong-willed, independent and witty.

"She goes to her wardrobe and pulls out a corset. 'I won't wear that,' I tell her.
'You'll have to,' Precious replies briefly, 'to fit into this dress.'
Unfortunately, she is right. The dress fits only with the corset squeezing me into the right shape. I get it on and Precious laces it tightly.
I looked down at my plumped-up breasts. 'They look like fruit laid out on a tray" [page 174].

Shoe - At first Shoe charmed me with his shy, innocence . . . but then he started to annoy the hell out of me when he was trying to escape with Pin the second time. He was diligent on escaping yet he swore they would not escape the Godmother at every turn. He drove me crazy which drew me away from the story. 

Pre-order Links:

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Powells 

Meet the Author:

Hi there! I'm Sarah Prineas, author of the Magic Thief series published in the US by HarperCollins and in 17 other languages around the world, and the Winterling trilogy. I live in rural Iowa with my mad scientist husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats, chickens and a bunch of goats.

My main thing is writing--I love to write, and talk about writing, and write emails to other writers. And reading. I read a lot. Mostly fantasy, but also romance and regular fiction.

I live on 40 acres out in the countryside, and I'm working to restore the woods and prairie. So basically I'm either writing or I'm outside working on the land, canoeing around our lake, hiking, or gardening. Or wrangling goats.  

My next book is called Ash & Bramble, and it's a YA.

Here's my website:

and here's my book website (with games, wallpaper, and extras!):

***Check out Sarah Prineas' website for more information about her and
 Ash & BrambleHERE

*My review on Goodreads 

Happy Reading!


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