Ashfall - Mike Mullin This is quite an adventure for the YA and adult crowd alike. In this story a volcano erupts in Yellowstone and covers much of the west in ash. Surviving the explosions and ash which doesn't seem to stop falling isn't enough, you have to also learn to quickly discern who is friend or foe. Knowing the difference could be life or death. We follow Alex, a brat child who learns quickly what is important in life while journeying to his uncle's house to learn the fate of his family. They were separated but needing to know what happened to them trumps any danger he will find along the way. It's not just marauders he has to avoid, he has to also find food, water and shelter within this newly formed dystopian world. He meets Darla along the way and they form a bond. One that saves both of their lives in more ways than one.

I have to say that this quite an adventure. You wondered how he could survive and make it to his destination even when just going a few miles is tiring and almost impossible. I had a minor problem with him dealing with as much ash as described. I think he would have had much greater breathing problems than he did but for the sake of the adventure, it wouldn't do if he simply couldn't pass while the ash was still falling. Still, despite that criticism, I think the author does an apt job of dealing with how harrowing Alex had while learning how to adapt.

There is also a romance budding within the story. It becomes a romance that reads more true to me than a lot of YA novels out there. It is one based on thinking of the other than just about the self. True consideration is given and I was glad to see this kind of relationship. I really enjoyed those two together.

I do have a word of waring for people like me who love animals. There are several scenes where they butcher farm animals to eat. Those actually make total sense to have in the book. There was one scene that made me almost throw my ereader across the room however that really upset me and curse the author ;)... so consider yourself warned. *sigh*

I give this book 4 stars. It's an engaging adventure for YA and adult readers. It will keep you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how our couple survives.