Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Title: Ashes, Ashes
Author: Jo Treggiari
Genre: YA, Dystopian, romance, survival
Perfect for: readers who don't mind stories with very little resolution
Star Rating: 1/5 stars

Taken from Goodreads, "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."

Forgive my frankness, but I didn't enjoy 'Ashes, Ashes' at all. And you know what? That disappoints me a bit. This is one instance where I really liked the cover and the title, but not the words or story inside. I didn't get into book blogging to 'bash' books, but I feel that I owe it to my readers to give my honest opinion of this title.

There were many flaws in 'Ashes, Ashes'. The most major flaw I found after reading the book beginning to end was that it didn't seem complete and I don't mean in a cliffhanger/series sort of way. I never felt like I knew enough about anything (characters, society, ethics of new world) to really care about the eventual conflict at the end of the novel. Even the anti-climatic conflict at the end of 'Ashes, Ashes' left me wondering, 'that's it?' and not in a good way. There was an undercurrent that was missing from the storytelling, is the best way I can describe it. It was like turning on a movie somewhere in the middle, watching 20 minutes of it, and then turning it off before the end. No real resolution anywhere.

The concept sounded (and still sounds) amazingly entertaining, but the execution of the novel just didn't work. If you're looking for a dystopian read, there are better choices out there. Try 'Enclave' by Ann Aguirre, 'The Big Empty' by J.B Stephens, or 'Life as We Knew It' by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

By no means do I want you to cast this off your 'to read' list. I don't recommend buying it, but if you see it at your local library and think it sounds interesting, then by all means, go for it. You never know, you may love it. I, however, did not. 'Ashes, Ashes' gets 1 out of 5 stars and can be found at your local library or bookstore.

(One last odd thing about this title-- the cover image posted here is not the final cover.  The final cover has a model completely different looking.  Ironically, the character from the tossed away cover is far more accurate to the book! Both images can be found on goodreads.)

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