Tag Archives: Malinda Lo

A Line in the Dark — Malinda Lo

11 Jan


Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Released: October 17th, 2017
Genre: YA, psychological thriller
Source: ARC from publisher


Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

From Goodreads

Okay, so I’ve been struggling for MONTHS with how to review this book. Not because I’m not sure how I feel about it (I really enjoyed it) but because I really don’t want to give anything away. So this will be a short review.

I LOVE Lo’s writing. She really gets to the heart of her characters and their motivation without dumping a lot of info on the reader. And she weaves such wonderful stories that her books are really hard to put down. I mean, as I write this review I’ve added A Line in the Dark to the top of my to reread pile.

YA contemp is one of my favourite genres, and I love when it leans towards psychological thriller. The plot was tight and really kept me wanting to turn the page. And the ending wasn’t cliche or typical.

I think anyone who likes books with a bit of edge and twists should give this a try. And fans of YA contemp are going to love it.


Ash by Malinda Lo

10 May

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Group)
Released: Sept 1st 2009
Genre: YA, fairytale, GLBTQ
Purchased for Coco by Kobo.

Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

From Little, Brown Books for Young Readers website.

What a beautiful, beautiful story. Lyrical, heartbreaking and warming, Ash was the first fairy tale retelling I’ve read and I fell instantly in love with it.

I was never a huge fan of fairy tales when I was a child. I only ever remember reading Disney-fied versions, so that may be why. Once I finished Ash I wanted to go on a fairy tale binge, especially if the original tales were written in a similar style to Ash.  I just really liked the feel and the tone of the book.

Lo’s writing style is both lyrical and plain-talking at the same time. I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s the best way for me to describe it. Her words were beautifully woven together but I never once felt like I was lost in a description or didn’t know what she was trying to say.

I loved the relationship between Ash and Kaisa. Reading about their new friendship blossoming was one of the sweetest and truest things I’ve read in a long time. I know I’ve already used the word umpteen times, but it was simply beautiful.

Ash is far from the usual books that I read, and I think that is part of the reason that I loved it so much. It was fresh, exciting and yes, beautiful.  I can’t see anyone not loving this book.