16 February 2011

Review: A M/M YA has wow-ed me again! Andrew Ashling - A Dish Served Cold

Author Website - Facebook - Twitter - Purchase - First nine chapters free read

Format: ebook
Published October 31st 2010 (first published February 21st 2009)
primary language English.

Cover Summary:
There is one upside to almost getting raped. It proves that you're at least desirable to someone. Maybe Andrew Ashton is just a little bit too rational for his own good. Not however where it concerns his best friend Sean Denham, scion of a political dynasty, and like him from a privileged background. There's only one problem: Sean is straight. Of course he is.

Being born into money was up until now one of the smartest moves Andrew Nathaniel Ashton VII ever made. It keeps him free from worries about his future, earning a living and more of those trivialities, so he can dedicate himself to the really important things in life. Like getting laid.

In his society indentured servitude, commonly known as slavery, has been reintroduced for several, but mainly economical reasons. It doesn't bother him all that much. Slaves are kept on large farming corporations, in factories, in the backside of stores and such. Out of sight.

Andrew knows slavery exists, and he doesn't approve, but on the other hand, it is not as if he made the system what it is, is it? Yes, there was this one time when it touched him personally, but what could he do about it? It is not as if slavery is ever going to become a personal issue, is it?

Andrew thinks the future, all in all, looks bright and carefree. He thinks he is about to find true love. He thinks he is safe.

He is wrong.

A note: I know I haven't been reviewing all that much the last few months but I have been reading and today I started and finished a book that compelled me to write a review. It is a story that instantly put the author on my "to watch" list!

My Review: A DISH SERVED COLD is one of those stories that can push buttons with the readers. For me it pushed all the right buttons. At the foundation of this world there's a slavery system that is born from trying to do good but gradually disintegrated into a full-fledged game of corrupt power play. It challenged my morals, it engaged a spectrum of emotions and from start to finish the author held me riveted to the pages what was to befall the main protag; Andrew.

Andrew was a normal teenager of fifteen years old; hormones raging, spending all his time with a few good friends and living a privileged life of the rich. Even though it all started a bit as an easy-to-read coming of age story where crushes and struggles were the main events, it slowly turned more serious and edgier. Andrew was confronted with problems that challenged his own outlook on life and I was fascinated by the internal dilemma's it presented. As the story progressed he grew in to a character of depth because what was right and what was wrong? I love complex characters or situations and Andrew Ashling definitely searched for the boundaries.

Personally, I don't think I will forget chapter ten anytime soon. In it a conversation took place that conveyed such details that it shocked my emotions in an uproar of anger and fear. I was preparing for a lot but the author managed to deliver a surprising plot point which kept me on the edge of my seat. The authors writing and characters kept me immersed in all that was going on and felt. Because, whether friend or foe, each character added a distinct voice to the overall story.

I thought the budding romance intense and in the end well rounded but I could have used more one on one time between Andrew and his love interest. The erotic moments were saturated with hormone raging need and it fitted the characters. There might be scenes that can get graphic and might be too much for a reader but for me it all enhanced the vibe of the world Andrew and those dear to him lived in.

When I finished the story I was wow-ed and for me there were some unique theme's, intriguing plot angle's, mixed with teenage tropes and a great sense of world building. Andrew Ashling is an author who has a way of blending it all in to a story that lingers, and in my avid reading world those are the kind of stories I always love to discover!

4.5 stars

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  1. Hmm. That opening statement about there being one upside to almost getting raped kind of really threw me, especially considering this is a YA novel, but it does sound like an interesting read.

  2. I do like a book that wows you. It had to be something special

  3. You've reminded me that I have this on my ereader and need to read it!

  4. I absolutely loved this story. Great review, Leontine! :)

  5. @Sally Saphire - The near rape incident was more of an assault IMO but it's also a topic that's experienced by each reader differently :)

    @Blodeuedd - It was, the reading pleasure skyrockets for me if an author can adequately explore boundaries :D

    @Chris - I hope you find the time soon so we can talk a bit about it!

    @Lily - You read it too!! YAY Have you read more stories from this author? I just bought Bonds Of Hate...sounded wonderfully complex as well :D

  6. I don't normally read YA but you've definitely piqued my interest. I'll have to look this one up. Thanks!

  7. I do have Bonds of Hate although I haven't read it yet. I may just wait until the rest of the series is out and read them all at once.

  8. *quickly adds to TBR pile* M'kay I'm soooooo reading this one.

  9. Hmm, I'm interested. I'm headed over to GoodReads for a few more opinions on this one. Great review Leontine.

  10. This must be something really special for it to have you picked up your reviewer's pen again. :)
    You convinced me to check this one out, hon, and not only because that's a cute cover. ;)

  11. Congrats! You've been awarded the Seven Facts Award by BeefcakeandBabes: http://beefcakeandbabes.blogspot.com/2011/02/seven-facts-award.html

  12. @Tracy - I normally don't read YA either but in the M/M genre it seems to work for me somehow. It's probably one of those quirks LOL

    @Lily - I was again intriguid by the blurb so I've got it on my e-reader now ;)

    @Smokinhotbooks - I hope its going to satisfy your cravings ;D

    @Fiction Vixen - GR has quickly become my overview for reviews as well. I hope you find some more...now you got me curious as well *grin*

    @Janna - I've got such a review lag, it ain't funny anymore but just can't seem to find the energy to put all thoughts to paper, edit myself a few times, add quotes...you get the picture. I do hope it will come back someday soon...there's a part of me missing it!

    @Evolet Yvaine - Thank you so much for the award!! :D

  13. Great review Leontine. I'm definitely going to read this book! Sounds really interesting.

  14. I'm so glad you liked Dish, Leontine.
    Bonds of Hate is something else, though I'm sure you'll recognize some of the themes.
    Thanks for a great and thoughtful review. And also for cross posting it to other sites. It really helps to get the word out.


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