by Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Reading level: YA
It could happen tomorrow...
A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."
Can one teen really survive on her own?
An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...
Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.
This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive. (synopsis from Goodreads)
I really enjoyed the author's first book, Draw the Dark, and I was hoping for another good read with Ashes. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish this one... and I'm hesitant to try anything else from this author now.
This was the most incredibly gory, disturbing, and potentially traumatizing thing I've ever read... and I only got about a third of the way through. I had nightmares after reading the book and I felt physically sick after some parts. Ultimately, this is not a young adult title. If anything, it more appropriately belongs in the "new adult" category. I would never give this book to a 12- or 13-year-old kid. Not unless I also gave them a gift certificate for therapy as well.
That said, the book itself was well written and engaging; it wouldn't have been so horrifying if it wasn't. I've heard that things sort of fall apart after the midway point of the story, but I can't speak to that as I never got there. If you're really into zombie novels or post-apocalyptic fiction, this might be your thing. I'm afraid it was just too much for my sensitive self... and I wish I could forget what I read of it.
So, in the final analysis, the reasons why I didn't finish Ashes are as follows:
- overly graphic and traumatizing scenes of the end of the world
- subsequent nightmares
- my NetGalley copy expired (though even if it hadn't, I still wouldn't have finished)