August 8, 2010

Review: The Dead & The Gone

The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
About: An asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, and every conceivable natural disaster occurs. Seventeen-year-old Alex Morales's parents are missing and presumed drowned by tsunamis. Left alone, he struggles to care for his sisters Bri, 14, and Julie, 12. Things look up as Central Park is turned into farmland and food begins to grow. Then worldwide volcanic eruptions coat the sky with ash and the land freezes permanently. People starve, freeze, or die of the flu. Only the poor are left in New York—a doomed island—while the rich light out for safe towns inland and south. (from

Review: When I first started reading this book I though it was a sequel to Life As We Knew It, but it wasn't. I have to honestly say I was a bit disappointed. I loved Pfeffer's characters in her first book. The Dead & The Gone is actually about a Puerto Rican boy named Alex Morales and his family in New York and how the asteroid hitting the moon effected them. In the beginning the events were similar to that in the first book, so I had a hard time really getting into it because I couldn't love this new character as much as Miranda and her family. Finally, only a couple chapters in, I started to love Alex and his sisters Bri and Julie and I felt so much for them. I don't know how Pfeffer does it but she pulls me in and I feel like I need to take care of this family and want nothing more than them to survive. The Morales are a very faithful family, devote Catholice, they always went to mass, and even attend Catholic schools, I like the way it was in the book, not too prominent. You could tell their family really depended on their prayers and faith. It made me sad sometime how Alex got so mad at his littlest sister Julie. She wasn't ever a pain or a brat to me, but I guess to Alex she was. He obviously loved his sister Bri a bit more and you could tell through what he thought and how he handled things differently with his different sisters. It was interesting seeing them survive in New York City compared to just observing Miranda (from the first book) mainly just in her house. Alex and his friend Kevin ended up having to go all over the city to 'body shopping', taking things from dead bodies such as shoes, watches, wallets, anything they could trade and barter for food. They went to school almost everyday, stood in food lines for their weekly food, traveled to downtown NYC and even to Yankee Stadium. It was interesting to see another family endure and survive in Pfeffer's world where the moon has ruined almost everything. I read about the third book in the series This World We Live In where Miranda and Ales actually end up meeting. I'm very excited to read this next book as soon as possible.

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