Where I got it: The Library
Rating: 4 stars (This was a very interesting and quick read.)
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I like how they incorporate the front and back covers)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: March 1, 2003
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Fifteen-year-old Green stayed at home one fateful day while her parents and younger sister went into town to sell their produce. Her anger and angst of being left behind means that she doesn't tell them 'good-bye' but instead goes to sulk. As Green hangs around on her own she notices the city in flames and ash floating through the air making it hard to see or breathe. After awhile she begins to realize that maybe her family isn't coming home. Other young miscreants come and go and the whole world seems to be ripped at the seams. Green changes her name to Ash as the ashes fill her eyes and make it hard to see. Ash tattoos her skin with black ink covering it with vines and bats. This story tells of how Green/Ash picks up the pieces of her life and learns to carry on.
I really enjoyed this book, though short, it was very beautifully written. Alice Hoffman explores a whole world that many of the readers may not be familiar with. She paints a landscape of tragedy and loss. I really enjoyed reading about Green and how she copes with her world falling apart and how she deals with her own guilt about being so sullen when her family left. I recommend that if you are in your library and see this pick it up and read it. This was an excellent read.