I had forgotten how much I love YA. This book started off with an unfortunate event, and things worsened in an increasingly realistic line of disaster. That realism was definitely my favorite part. It was so incredibly POSSIBLE, that it was all the more terrifying. I found myself trying to feel everything they felt along with them. Mike just about did that for me with his intricate (but most importantly, readable) descriptions.
On that note: I've always loved survival books--I think because I hope I'd be that strong if I were plopped in, say, the Red Zone of a super-volcano eruption. It had been a while since I'd actually read a really good survival book like this, though. And now that I'm (slightly) more mature, it was far more emotionally exhausting than if I'd read Ashfall in junior high or high school.
I can relate to Darla and Alex in ways I couldn't have before. It's easier to imagine my own heartaches intensified than it is to try to imagine that feeling initially. There's another argument for adults to read YA!
Also... DARLA! I love her. Now ...that's a heroine I can get behind. She is tough, tough, tough, but she has an impressive capacity for love and compassion. And Alex? I haven't read a more likable hero since Harry Potter. He changes so dramatically over the course of the book, but the change is subtle. His transition into adulthood caught me by surprise.
I love, loved it. I cannot wait to stick my nose in Ashen Winter (OVER THANKSGIVING BREAK!) I can't believe it took me this long to pick up! I'd convinced myself I didn't have time. But if you really love a book, and you fall in love with those characters, and they're in constant danger!... then you make the time. Thank you, Mike Mullin for reminding me of that.
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