Review: Ashes, Ashes

Title: Ashes, Ashes
Author: Jo Terggiari
Rating: 6
Date of Release: 6/1/11
Summary: A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares. Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued by a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her. The Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

I expected a lot from this book. Cool cover, interesting synopsis, nice setup...it had all the necessary components to make it insta-book love. Unfortunately it fell short.

First of all, I didn't really care about the main character, a girl named Lucy who lives survives by herself in what was once New York. I didn't dislike her, but I had no feelings to really care about her. So, sure, her life kind of sucks and she meets a hot boy who saves her from a pack of feral dogs. I didn't really care at all.

The other characters were slightly better. Aidan, the boy who saved her, is cute, but we never really know about him. Why does he like Lucy, aside from the fact that she's the female main character and that kind of thing is written in the literary stars? Where did he come from? Why does another character, Del, like him for? I feel the author was setting up for another story to answer some of these, but I'd have liked a lot less secrets and a few more answers. 

In the same way, we never know how this plague that killed much of the earth's population 'mutated'. The characters use the phrase 'it mutated', but we never know how, are what that entails. The plot had holes, and more than I touched on here for the sake of spoilers. There were too many scenes of Lucy doing work, flirting with two different guys or just thinking about superfluous details--like how to get meat off a turtle--that when you get to the end of the story you realize how little real plot went on between the 342 pages that wasn't some long, detailed treatise on how Lucy's house looked before she moved out.

But, for all its shortcomings, I cannot say I derived no enjoyment in reading Ashes, Ashes. I did. Maybe because, as I stated before, I really love this genre, or the fact that everything was directing me to read this first out of all the new library books I picked up. So while there were many things I didn't like about this novel, they didn't stop me from reading it. If you don't look too hard at the plot holes or annoying main character, some could enjoy this book.

Final Rating: 6

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