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JennBooksandSwoons

Books and Swoons

Sharing my love for reading and swoony boys

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The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade
Ann Fessler
3:59
Gretchen McNeil

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

"An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP."

Now, I'm not a zombie girl. Yes, I like my supernatural stories, like the Unearthly series, the Fever series, Wicked Lovely series, and the Hex Hall series. But zombies? No thank you. But there was something about Alex and Ellie that just drew me in. Ms.Bick knew how to capture my attention.
My first glimpse into the novel was when I was browsing through my Kindle Mobile App and I read the sample. I downloaded it and a few paragraphs in I was nodding and hmm-ing....I was hooked. I was trying to change the page and clicking and clicking when lo and behold, the sample was done. I was outraged. How can it be done?! It was just getting good! After my little outburst and a well duh moment to myself, I rationalized that of course I had to finish the story. I could not just leave Alex behind on her quest to find out what the hell had happened.
Unfortunately, I was on a no-buying-books punishments because all those others novels I had that I hadn't even opened since I brought them. (Sorry, mom!) So like any book aficionado would do, I went online to my local library and reserved my copy.
I dived right back in and it did not disappoint. I was creep out and I couldn't read certain parts without being grossed out. But I was intrigued by what was happening.

When we are first introduced to Alex, we know she on her own camping out, deep in the mountains, but we don't know why. She is startled by Mina, a dog that capture my heart by it loyalty to its original owner, who is followed by Jack and his eight-year-old granddaughter, Ellie. Now, Ellie, she's something special. Her bratty attitude totally irked me, even after the Zap (as Alex calls it) went down. However, as time went on, I warmed up to her and understood her reasons for not blindly following Alex and leaving behind her only family connection that she had. She was just trying to hold on to the little bit of her old life that had already slipped through the cracks.
As the reader, we are kept out of the loop just like Alex. Alex has no idea what went down and what she does know, kids her age that she encountered in the woods running after and killing and eating on their fellow human being, makes her wary of anyone she comes crosses path with. She come across Tom, a soldier who is on leave and has his own reasons for being out in the woods. After playing hero to Alex and Ellie, Tom joins their little family (which they somehow become) all three, long with Mina, continue on their trek for survival. As the story goes on, my heart broke when Ellie is taken away and I was panicking when Tom goes missing.
There are different parts to the novel, which I have to say, kind of bothered me but it wasn't a make-or-break deal. I was just confused with the shift in the novel and being introduced to a whole new set of characters on the latter half of the book. Now, as the story goes along, we learn bit and pieces about Rule and it band of survivors. We don't know much, but I do know, right along with Alex, that I don't trust any of them. Even Chris. Who I may have swooned over. (I'm sorry, Tom!) But I digress. I don't trust the people of Rule and with that cliffhanger of an ending, it just reinforced that distrust.
Speaking of the cliffhanger, eep! Definitely will read next book just to find out what the hell happens next. And hopefully, all the questions get answered. Where is Ellie and Tom? Are they together? What is going on in Rule? Are they feeding the Changed?