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Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Sunday, July 24, 2011
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.

Good Reads Summary

This book is a very intriguing read.  The main character, Lucy, has survived a virus that killed off 99% of the Earth's population-including her family.  Lucy is a very industrious girl; she lives on her own and survives by herself.  The action begins right away in this novel; the reader will not be bored.  Lucy meets Aidan after he helps her evade a pack of wild dogs.  She joins him and the other survivors; the reader will enjoy meeting the various different personalities. 
Of course, there is always the danger aspect.  Lucy is not entirely safe; there are "sweepers" on the loose.  Sweepers work for the government to round up survivors like Lucy to study them and attempt to discover why they survived the virus.  It is not long before Lucy catches on that she is an integral part in discovering a cure. 
The book is not written entirely in the present tense, there are flashbacks to the past.  The reader will experience, alongside Lucy, how life was before the virus.  Lucy and her family were happy and "normal." 
There are a few different qualities to this story: action, romance, mystery, drama, etc...  Lucy is a strong female character; readers will appreciate this since strong females leads are not common in survivalist novels.  Lucy and Aidan have a bit of a budding romance; however, this is not the forefront of the story. 
The author allows the reader into this post-apocalyptic world; the environment is tangible to the reader.  There is a lack of dialogue in the beginning of the novel as Lucy is alone for the first portion, but there is dialogue throughout the rest of the novel.  The story is very fast-paced and new developments occur to hold the reader's interest.  This novel is highly recommended for young adult/teen readers, specifically those who enjoy science fiction and action-filled novels. 

5 Stars