Ashes, Ashes

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3.3 (2)
 
4.7 (3)
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Ashes, Ashes
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 01, 2011
ISBN
978-0545255639
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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.

Jo Treggiari was born in London, England, and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. Her first attempts at writing were when she started revising classic fairy tales at age eight. Jo spent several years in San Francisco, where she trained as a boxer, wrote for punk magazines, and owned her own record label.

She now lives in Nova Scotia, Canada , with her husband and their children, and still enjoys shadowboxing when she isn't working at her local bookstore.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Interesting dystopian
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
I was really excited to read this book. Not only is it a dystopian (which I am loving right now), but it's centered around a small pox epidemic that wipes out 99% of the Earth. So, I was completely intrigued and dove right in.

While reading the first chapter, I found that I could not put the book down. The story of Lucy and how she has survived for the past year is incredible. Her bravery, loss and determination was admirable. However, after chapter 1, things slowed down quite a bit and I honestly found the story a tad bit lagging. It was still intriguing and unique, but nothing compared to that first POW of the first chapter.

I almost felt like the story was missing something. There are so many characters and maybe it's because the author didn't have enough time to really go in depth with all of them, or even just a select few, but I wanted more (which is a good thing).

I would've liked to have more depth to the story, but overall it's a good thriller and a pretty quick read!
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It's the End of the World…Now What?
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
3.0
Sixteen-year-old Lucy is one of the few survivors of a number of deadly smallpox epidemics that have wiped out middle-aged people from the ages of 30-60. To top that the killer floods and droughts have destroyed the world as we know it. Lucy lives alone and is barely surviving. Then a pack of dogs tracks her down and she runs into a mysterious boy, Aidan who helps her escape. He tells her of a band of others and asks her to join them. At first she refuses until a tsunami destroys her home.

Lucy decides to check out where Aidan lives. What she finds is a group of children and elderly people who welcome her in. The dreaded Sweepers, people who sweep down and take survivors, come into their camp and take some people. Lucy knows she needs to confront the ones behind the Sweepers in order to save those they've taken. Seems Lucy is very special and the Sweepers will continue to terrorize the camp until they get what they want. Will Lucy be able to outsmart them without being taken herself?

This is a very intriguing tale of a scary, frightening future. Not only are there epidemics that continue to mutate and kill just about everyone but there are the dreaded Sweepers who come afterwards, searching for plague survivors. Problem is no one hears back from those who are taken.

Lucy is a likeable heroine. She is a survivor who has seen her whole world end. Before this happened she sounded like a loner in her high school, a girl that stood outside of the rest of her peers. But what's amazing in this story is how she draws from a hidden strength and uses her wits to live on her own. What did kind of bug me at the beginning of the story is the reference to how she might have survived because she didn't get her vaccinations. But later the author shows that this wasn't the case at all but rather she was the rare anomaly.

The other characters were equally interesting. Sammy, Aidan's brother, is disfigured from surviving the epidemic. Others like him are called S'an. They wear hooded cloaks and Venetian type masks to cover their faces. I really liked how the author showed how the fear of 'catching' the dreaded plague still causes the tiny group of survivors to hold the S'an at arms length.

Del, the other girl who claims Aidan is hers, is one tough cookie. She has her own secret too.

One of my favorite characters had to be Grammalie Rose. She's 80 years old and helps the tiny group with folk medicine and down to Earth ways that pulls the group together.


Mostly though I liked the images of how New York and the surrounding areas fall into collapse after all the horrors of the epidemics and global warning. The cover alone is frightening. Even though this future seems bleak there's still an underlining note of hope.

I did have some questions after reading this story. It's alluded that Del has suffered much. What exactly? Does it have to do with the epidemic? Also I was curious exactly how much past history did Aidan and Del have. Were there other Sweepers in different areas?

Overall, this is an engaging tale of a girl who's inner strength helps her not only be a survivor but help others too.
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User reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.7(3)
Characters
 
4.7(3)
Writing Style
 
4.7(3)
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"Lucky" at the end of the world.
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Imagine if you will a city that is completely torn apart. Buildings are crumbled, highways decimated, and the population that is left is holding onto the hope that they'll be okay long enough to rebuild and just live. That is the picture that Jo Treggiari builds for the reader from the instant you open Ashes, Ashes. I was so blown away by the drive that all these characters had, just to survive from day to day. I tell you, books like this remind me why I should be so glad to have everything I do.

As the story begins, we meet "Lucky" Lucy and find out her back story. She has chosen to live alone, and rely on her own survival skills to get buy. I have to say that I fell in love with her instantly. Lucy isn't a character who is tough, strong, and somehow impenetrable despite the odds. She's also very human. The fact that I got to see her falter, see her second guess her choices, was amazing to me. It reminded me that she was just a person who, thrown into a very desperate situation, was doing the best that she could. Add in the fact that she's rather young, and you have a character that I can get behind 100%.

However it wasn't just Lucy who had me smitten with this book. All the characters who come onto the scene are different, interesting and have a depth that I couldn't get enough of. I don't want to ruin a minute of this amazing book for you, but Ashes, Ashes is populated with some of the most believable characters I've met in a long time. Following them in their daily work, watching them band together to protect one another and survive. It was kind of tough, I'll admit, but also amazingly rewarding. Jo Treggiari shows us the deepest depths of the human spirit, and I can't say enough how much I appreciated that.

Lest I gush about characters for days, and I could, I'll move on to the plot. The story line in this book moves quickly, but never too fast that I was left behind. There are portions that might seem a little description heavy, but I understood quickly that these were there to show me the daily monotony that these survivors faced. Jo Treggiari writes so descriptively, in fact, that if I closed my eyes I could almost see myself working right beside them, amongst the rubble and desolate landscape. Even imaging it now sends shivers up my spine. Well-written is a bit of an understatement, but not even I am sure how to aptly describe what you'll find between these pages. There is a deeper plot hidden in here as well, but I won't divulge what it is.You'll have to see for yourself. Suffice it say that Lucy is very important in this book, and it was fascinating watching it all unfold.

It boils down to this. I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction. To me, the two most important things in books like Ashes, Ashes are the setting and the characters. Treggiari not only successfully showed me both of these, but essentially hit them out of the park. I was in love with every minute of this book while I read it, and I'm holding on to my copy so I can read it again. Ashes, Ashes will be a book that is now added to my pile of dog-eared, constantly read, and well-loved books. I cannot recommend this title enough.
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AMAZING!!!
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Once I read the first chapter I could not stop reading! Ashes, Ashes was a book full of non-stop action and also some very deep romances. One of the many reasons why I loved this book was because the author managed to leave me with so many questions running through my mind at the end of each chapter. I also loved each and every character in this book like for example one of my favorite character's was Lucy and I loved how she could manage to live on her own for so long and how she was so hard working and she never gave up no matter how beat up she was. Another character I absolutely loved was Del and even thought she had a fierce attitude and made a couple of mistakes through out the book you could always count on her to make the right decision in the end and she was very loyal to the people she loved. Some books I have read are very predictable but Ashes, Ashes was certainly the opposite. In some parts I would make predictions that I was very confident about but once I kept reading I would be left with my mouth hanging wide open cause I would be so surprised in the events happening in the book! And before I start going on and on about more stuff that I loved about this book I would just like to say that Ashes, Ashes is definitely a book worth reading!!!
Good Points
Great characters, Not predictable, and Lot's and lot's of incredible action through out the book
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It's the end of the world, what comes next?
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
This story about survival in a world that has ended is a must read. It tells the story of Lucy, a girl who managed to survive all that was thrown at her. She lives in her own solitary home, she hasn't talked to anyone for months but then the dogs came. They hunted her, sniffing her out. They corned her but then a miracle came along, a boy up a tree. He saves her life but that launches Lucy into a even more dangerous world, one which hasn't ended, yet.
Good Points
I loved the idea of this book, the epidemics the floods and all things that can destroy us.
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