Monday, September 6, 2010

The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This book is a follow-up to Life As We Knew It (see previous review), but instead of being a prequel or a sequel, it takes place at the same time. This story focuses on 17 year old Alex Morales who lives in New York City with his family. Busy with work and school, Alex is unaware that an asteroid is going to hit the moon until it happens. Alex's parents are missing and presumed dead so he is left with the care of his two teenage sisters. Parenting siblings would be difficult enough in normal times, but when every day is a fight for survival, one mistake could be fatal.

This book is even darker than the first one and really highlights the differences between the classes. The rich and powerful are being evacuated to "safe towns" while everyone else is being left to fend for themselves. Alex is also a more compelling character since he had already had a harder life than Miranda of Life As We Knew It before the disaster occurred. This author has opened a door which allows her to explore this devastating event through the eyes of numerous different characters. She has at least one guaranteed reader if she does.

BEST FEATURE: The choice to tell another version of the same story. It's an exciting concept and I want more.

WORST FEATURE: Alex's oldest sister, Brianna. This character seemed too unrealistic for this story... the one piece that really didn't seem to fit.

PARENTAL WARNING: no real sex or violence to speak of, but death is a constant theme; appropriate for teens

RATING:  4 - This is an absorbing series.

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