The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
If you can believe it, this book is even more intense and scarier than Life As We Knew It. Though it has the same plot – moon knocked out of orbit, tsunamis, famine, death, climate changes – it follows Alex Morales, who lives in New York. Some spoilers ahead.
Publisher’s Description: Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event–an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
Goodness, I thought Miranda had it bad. But Miranda didn’t have to always care for her family on her own. Alex has two younger sisters, both teenagers. His brother Carlos is in the Marines and absent for most of the story. His mother is presumed dead, probably because she drowned in the subways when they flooded. His father, who was on an island when all this was happening, was probably washed out to sea.
Alex has, and maybe I’m wrong, but he seems to have it worse. With missing parents and sisters who don’t always act like they should, he’s totally on his own. He has to rely on food lines and when that doesn’t work, he has to pick things off dead bodies to barter for food. And even then the people he comes to rely on end up dying.
Unlike Miranda, Alex catches the flu and it’s his sisters that have to take care of him. But of course, they’re starving too. As things get grave, Alex has to think about killing his sisters peacefully with sleeping pills to spare them death of starvation. But at the last moment, he’s spared and he and Julie manage to get away, having to leave their fallen sister behind.
Alex isn’t always a saint. He’s angry and often too proud. He’s an ass to his sister quite often, although she’s sometimes a brat. He’s a lot more rash than Miranda is too, focusing on himself and his family over the good of everyone else. And he’s religious, which isn’t usually my type, but I didn’t mind it so much.
This book is scary real and makes you want to eat less because you’ll never know when you won’t have food. It makes you think. It makes you happy for the things you have. And hope that the characters somehow make it through despite the odds. It’s my favorite in the series and I enjoyed the reread.
Our reviews in this series…
- Life As We Knew It
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