Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Amazon Description: "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."

My Review: In my book, Ashes, Ashes is simply mediocre. There is nothing too spectacular about it. Lucy is a survivor---she survived six months alone in the Wilds---but she's not a particularly likable character, because there's nothing to her. Treggiari could have had an awesome book with this plot; the book had SO much potential. The back of the book says, "The world has ended...what comes next?" Before I read the book, that just gave me the shivers. I thought that this was going to be some epic dystopian tale, made all the more creepy because the world WE live in was destroyed...but no. There is BARELY any world building. Lucy briefly talks about what the world used to be like, but she doesn't go in depth. You have no idea what really happened to the whole world, or what's left of it. There isn't much action, either; the action that there IS is kind of...well, lame. I felt like Aidan was only there as her love interest---he may as well have had "Love Interest" tattooed on his head. The only interesting characters were Del and Sammy, and even Del was kind of predictable. The S'ans (the people who had gone through the plague and survived the virus, but now looked like creepy zombies) were really interesting to read about, too. Most of the characters were flat and emotionless. I would much rather have read more about the WORLD they lived in now---but Lucy just stayed in a stupid camp practically the whole time, and so it was pretty boring. The only time it got interesting was when Dr. Lessing came into the picture. I wanted to know more about what Dr. Lessing was up to, and why Lucy was central to her plot, and what was happening next. The book ends kind of awkwardly, but Treggiari writes it so that we're led to believe there will be a sequel. Here's hoping that the sequel will be way better than this one.

Cover: Okay, the cover is AWESOME. It's just cool and creepy and eerie, seeing New York City destroyed like that. The words are nice and bold, and the name is catchy. Points off for the fact that Lucy and Aidan never even go NEAR New York City, so the cover is pretty much fake and just used to attract attention...which it does well, I'll admit THAT.

Overall Grade: C+

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