The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost is her first YA novel. I have been putting off reviewing this book for a few months because Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorite authors and this book was a huge disappointment to me.
What is it about?
The Beautiful Ashes is about a young teen (adopted) who has the power to see otherworldly things (i.e. ghosts, different places not seen by other normal humans). When her sister is kidnapped and her foster parents die of a car accident, Ivy is left alone and vows to find out what happened. Because of her investigations, she stumbles upon another world full of demons and angels and this hot guy that she fell for.
There is also a war between angels and demons brewing and Ivy and Adrian play a very important role in it. [spoiler]Oh, and Adrian is destined to betray Ivy.[/spoiler]
My initial thoughts.
I wanted to love this book so bad. So bad that my heart is aching. I really loved The Night Huntress novels (Halfway To the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, there are more books in the series, but these are the only 2 that I reviewed) and The Night Prince series so I had high hopes for this. I didn’t know that this was going to be about angels and demons so I was mildly surprised when it was.
Honestly, I had problems with The Beautiful Ashes from the start. One of the issues I had with it is the cover. Originally, the cover is just that of a girl, which is a typical YA cover. I didn’t really like it, though. I think the author realized this and now, there is a new cover.
What do you think of The Beautiful Ashes‘ new cover?
I think the new one catches the overall feel of the book.
That being said, the new cover doesn’t scream YA to me and goes in the feel of The Night Huntress series which is an adult/New Adult genre.
This brings me to the genre. I don’t know what Miss Frost was thinking, but the themes that she used doesn’t feel like a YA novel but more like NA or adult. It would have been better if she wrote is an NA so she could add more steamy scenes (yes, I like Cat and Bones’ scenes) to add to the romance. What we got instead is an attempt to temper the scenes and made it more YA, which I didn’t really understand. There was definitely a steamier sexual undertone to the romance, but it just wasn’t explored because it’s a YA novel.
If I take out the romance and focus on the overall plot, it didn’t wow me at all. I am not going to fall hot rebel, Adrian, because there wasn’t enough of his character to love at all.
Then there’s Ivy. She was such a TSTL heroine that I was really annoyed with her. The decisions that she made were just not practical at all. I didn’t like that. If that was supposed to show that she was an independent woman, it really failed. I also didn’t care for her inner monolog at all. Plus, she was always thinking about how hot Adrian was.
Let’s talk about the narrator.
Tavia Gilbert is an amazing narrator. She read all the books by Jeaniene Frost and she is amazing. Picking her as the narrator for this book was the best decision. If not for her, I wouldn’t have finished reading this book. Her awesome use of voices (even the male voices) is just superb that you just can’t help but be transfixed by the plot (it was because of her narration that made me finish the book).
I have realized that angels/demons are just not my thing. If it is your I recommend reading this or listening to this via audiobook because it is tons better as an audio.
I may or may not read the second book in the series.
Do you like your heroines to have TSTL tendencies?