February 4, 2013

Review of Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari



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.

add to goodreadsAshes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Publication Date:  June 1, 2011
Publisher:  Scholastic

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find an official trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewEverything that I feared about the end of the world was coming to life right before my eyes as I was reading Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari.  Disastrous floods, erupting volcanos, devastating earth quakes.  Add on top of that a plague that wipes out almost all of earth’s population, and you have Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari.

Imagine that the end of the world is upon you.  Imagine your home gone, friends gone, your favorite places gone…all the comforts of home including showers, changes of clothing, food, shelter…all gone.  Now imagine that you’re all alone… This is exactly what happened to main character, Lucy Holloway.  Having already survived on her own in the wild for a year, food is now getting even more scarce than it already is.  Not only does Lucy need to worry about scavengers (people who have survived who are scavenging everything they can to survive), S’ans (people who were affected by the plague, but didn’t die.  Instead they are rumored to be vicious, violent creatures), or Sweepers (people dressed in white HazMat type suits who seem to be rounding up any survivors and shipping them off to some location doing God knows what), but now there seems to be a slew of Sweeper’s tracking dogs hot on her trail, for reasons unknown to her.

On a regular day of checking animal snares for food and getting more water, Lucy runs right into the path of these dogs which ultimately leads her to Aidan.  Aidan is also a survivor who is living with a group of scavengers, and when the only home that Lucy has known for the past year is gone, she finds herself amongst these people.  But life with Aidan and the scavengers is one of constant worry.  Sweepers keep coming back to their little commune, and taking any survivor they get their hands on, regardless of age.

And it seems that where the Sweepers take these innocent people, nothing good ever happens…  It also looks as though these Sweepers are looking for one particular person and general, and Lucy seems to be the intended target.

When a group of kids and friends of Lucy and Aiden’s are kidnapped, they venture to the very place that they have been wanting to avoid in order to rescue these people.  But things are not always as they seem, and Lucy must face a whole new challenge, or die trying.

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari was a book that sent chills up and down my spine.  The description of what happens when the world ends seems so real that it could actually happen at any moment.  Every natural disaster that could happen, pretty much does, and the city’s as we know it are drowning in flood waters, or the buildings are nothing more than rubble on the road.  The images easily jumped off the pages for me, and the need for survival is such a strong element in this story, that my heart raced with all the characters.

The characters created by Jo Treggiari are ones that many readers will find themselves able to relate to.  Each with their own personalities, it isn’t hard to get swept up in their lives and with the various different situations that happen.  There were times where I feared for this clan of survivors.  I could hear the little noises that they would hear, wondering if its Sweepers coming to collect.  I could picture the devastation that they can see, I can feel the waning hope of safety and of surviving.

I did find Lucy somewhat annoying at times.  I understand that she’s clumsy, but there were times where she was so clumsy it was stupid.  And really, if you need to vacate ASAP because the people who are hunting survivors is in your camp, do it.  Don’t go back for anything.  Come back later for it, gawd!  And why is she constantly pressing her nails into her palm…?  Okay, okay … enough about that…

The different twists and turns found in Ashes, Ashes easily kept me glued to the pages, and on the edge of my seats.  I was angry when I needed to be angry, apprehensive when I had to be, and sad when the moment called for it.   Although the main plot line was pretty predictable to me, the way in which the story unfolded still captured my attention.  And of course, don’t forget those plot twists I mentioned.

Fans of apocalyptical reads will devour Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari.  If you’re curious about how the world may end due to natural disasters, don’t hesitate in grabbing a copy and witness the devastation for yourself.

About the Author:

photo by Kate Inglis, 2010.


I was born in London, England but grew up in Canada, Roccasinibalda, Italy and California.Somehow I found myself on the beautiful south shore of Nova Scotia, where I now live.

I used to work in the music industry and eventually owned my own indie record label. The first CD we ever put out was by a gangsta rap group. We also did alt rock and punk.

I have trained as a boxer. I could have been a contender. (Not really).

I started writing stories for my little sister when I was about 8. Often I would rework fairytales so that the princesses had a little more grit. Then I would write them out on white paper, roll them up and tie with a red ribbon.
Later on in high school I penned personalized naughty limericks by request.

I love dogs and octopi.I blog. And I enjoy baking desserts. I am a tattooed person.

My first book, a middle-grade fantasy THE CURIOUS MISADVENTURES OF FELTUS OVALTON, came out in 2006. I am thrilled to be working now with Scholastic, Inc. My post-apocalyptic adventure YA, ASHES,ASHES will be published summer 2011.

I’ve just finished a punk rock YA- FIERCE and am working on an urban fantasy, BRINY DEEP.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Great review. It makes you wonder what just might happen if we had all that did ever happen, scary…

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. Maryam

    I still haven’t read this even though it’s been on my wishlist for so long – I really need to get my hands on it pronto! Sounds like a great read

  3. james trowbridge

    i thought the book was great. it explained the surrounding vividly. and the action in it was good. their could of been more of it but i would still recomend this book to my friends and family

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