By Jo Treggiarai
Scholastic Press, $17.99, 344 pages
Ashes, Ashes is an action-packed post-apocalyptic novel. It is Jo Treggiari’s first young adult piece, though she is currently working on a punk rock book and an urban fantasy.
Earthquakes, flash floods, and plagues have ravished the earth. After three months of disaster, only 1% of the population has survived, most of them children and teens. Sixteen-year-old Lucy Holloway has been living off the land for months, steering clear of other humans who might carry the plague. When a pack of wild dogs and a roaring tsunami force Lucy out of the wilds and into the city, she must learn to live among the other survivors.
Lucy meets some who are good, like Aiden, a calm, handsome boy struggling to be a leader. She also meets some more sinister characters, like Del, a beautiful, irascible girl with a close connection to Aiden, and a sociopathic scientist who is determined to capture Lucy for reasons unknown.
While Ashes, Ashes would be a stronger novel had Treggiari provided first-person narration, it is a suspenseful action novel that is suitable for both young and old teens. Readers of this novel are left hoping for a series, as Treggiari leaves many questions unanswered.