I love volcanoes, I was fascinated by them during HS, and did quite a few projects while taking course electives on geography. Geography was one of my fav subjects, just learning about the land, the different types of rocks and formations not to mention the different stages of volcanic eruption where amazing to me. So, when I picked up Ashfall I was weary of finding terrible mistakes and very little research, but I was pleasantly surprise at the amount of research that went down towards writing this book. I particularly enjoyed the bit where the ash falls and then the roof of buildings begin to topple under the solidify, cement like rock that the ash turns into. The part where Alex coughs blood was also very well done, ash really is pulverized rock, minerals and pulverized glass, so breathing that stuff in is freaking dangerous. The consequences for animals and the topography of the land was also well done, rivers and streams would get contaminated and animals drinking from it would die.Character wise, I liked Alex well enough but, to me, the one that stole the show really was his girlfriend Darla. I don't know what good this boy did to deserve such an awesome girlfriend, she save his hide so many time and is all around amazeballs. I did like the fact that this book was narrated from a male POV, I've gotten tire of reading female POV so that was definitely a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed reading the romantic relationship developing from the guy's POV it was really fun and different to read. I liked the old married couple routine that Darla and Alex quickly fall into, gave me tons of laughs. There are some parts where the story slows down a little, especially after Alex sets out on his journey to find his parents and there is an in between before he meets Darla but things quickly picked up with her added to the mixed, she never really ever gives you a dull moment.