Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ashes To Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Ashes To Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Release Date - September 16, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  400 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New Year's Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.
After Rennie's death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn't left with Reeve... If Kat had only stayed with Rennie... Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.
Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?
Anger can devour you if you let it. It can be more harmful to you than the person you're angry with. It's said that if you start down the path of revenge be sure to dig a grave for yourself as well. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian's series shows just how heartbreakingly accurate this age old proverb is.

After finding out that Mary was dead at the end of Fire With Fire, I was immediately dying for Ashes To Ashes. All those questions I had were addressed in this final installment of the series. We learn why Lillia and Kat could see Mary and interact with her. We also get the hows and whys of Mary's power, and get to see exactly what she's capable of. Mary is a force to be reckoned with after Fire With Fire, and she's not about to sit quietly by after everything that has happened. Her presence is so all consuming in this book that the tension feels earned and natural. It was natural, gradual progression from the first novel to the Mary we have leading into book three.

The most stunning character development, however, is Reeve. We get so much more back story to his relationship with Mary and what his life was like right after her suicide. Things I thought were true turned out to have more than one side to them. Jenny and Siobhan have crafted a complex character that at first seems one dimensional and flat. It's his journey more than any other, combined with Mary's story, that shows the entire point of this series. Having a character surprise readers, and defy our initial perception of them goes right to the heart of bullying itself. Take a closer look and you might not see what you think you do, and people are often so much more than they first appear to be.

The ending wasn't as satisfying as I wanted it to be. It felt rushed, and the emotional resolution I wanted just didn't happen. The characters were not given a chance to react to the events that unfolded, and after three novels I wanted that. I care about these characters, and was invested in what happened to them. Getting to experience the emotions they felt about the events at the end should have been a priority with this novel. It's something that prevented it from being a full five star book for me. Everything was quickly dealt with, and brushed away that it didn't quite mesh with the thoughtful beginning that came before it.

In many ways the notion of a happy ending was never in the cards for this series. Sacrifices of many different kinds are made before the end of the novel. Sometimes your happy ending doesn't look like what you thought it would, and that feels very true to reality. We grow and change, and that shifts what our happy ending is. Our story is never done, and that's the most realistic element Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian wove into the story. The notion that something we didn't expect might turn out to be exactly what we needed is a powerful message and one that I found beautiful.

For a series that deals with anger, a lot of it's message is ultimately forgiveness. The overall message of revenge, and what it takes from all parties involved was beautifully threaded throughout the three books. As Kat, Lillia and Mary's story comes to close the only word that comes to mind is realistic. It might not be the exact ending you want, but it feels an awful lot like real life.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...