Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Seventeen-year-old Alex has had a rough time lately in Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. First her parents tragically pass away in a helicopter accident, and then she is diagnosed with a brain tumor, which she dubs “the monster.” Fed up with managing the monster and all of its side effects like losing her sense of smell, she escapes to a campsite for a few days to think about her options. And then the whole world is turned upside down by an electromagnetic pulse that leaves much of the population dead or changed into flesh-eating zombies.
Alex finds herself part of a very small minority of teenagers still alive. She also becomes the caretaker of a scared and belligerent 8 year-old, Ellie, and befriends a shellshocked young veteran fresh from the war on Afghanistan, Tom. Together they try to survive the relentless hunger, search for shelter, and and attacks from the frighteningly fast zombies. But even more terrifying are the other human adults who will do anything to secure their own survival.
Ashes is the first in a trilogy. It is fast-paced and an entertaining read for fans of such zombie novels as Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.