Author: Jo Treggiari
Published: June 1, 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian
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 from 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.
Lucy has seen in all in her sixteen years. After the climate changes and the natural disasters, the plagues wiped out nearly the rest of the population, and she's part of a small portion of the world that managed to survive. That, however, is what her life has become - survival. The last living member of her family, she happens upon a boy named Aidan who offers her the chance to be a part of a group again, and she has to make the choice to find new ways to survive. But in a world as chaotic as hers, Lucy finds that nature isn't the only thing she has to fear...the Sweepers want to get her, and they're as merciless as the weather.
I've read quite a broad spectrum of dystopian fiction in the last year, and I have to say that they've ranged from incredible to downright awful. That, unfortunately, means that I hold dystopian to a very high standard and it's often a straight yes or no for me. Ashes, Ashes, I'm pleased to say, didn't disappoint at all. Jo Treggiari has created a world in Ashes, Ashes that is terrifying and foreign, but somehow tangible and familiar, making one think that this might just be what's in store for us. Weaving a great plot, strong characters and a perfectly balanced writing voice, Ashes, Ashes spins a story that is the perfect blend of terror, romance, and reality for the reader.
Lucy, thought just sixteen, is a survivor. She's lived through enough and seen enough to know what has to be done to make it through. Aiden is the same way, and though he's her masculine counterpart in every sense of the word, the author managed to show his weaknesses and vulnerabilities, too, without hitting us over the head with them. The Sweepers were a character in and of themselves, sort of creeping along in the sidelines and waiting for the right time to pounce and set the action in Ashes, Ashes off on a fever pitch. And, while I royally detest cliffhangers, Ashes, Ashes features a simple ending that leaves room for more and certainly left me wanting more, though I still felt the story was well-rounded and complete, if that makes sense.
All in all, Ashes, Ashes was a fabulous read, and I'm so glad to see another great dystopian ready to take on the market. I give it a 5 out of 5, and I'm hoping against hope for a sequel (pretty please?!) I'd highly recommend this book to all fans of YA, both boys and girls, especially those who enjoy dystopian fiction.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.