Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Dead and Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

January 15th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books


Source: Borrowed from the library

Availability: In stores now

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Description from 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.

It’s been awhile since I first read Life As We Knew It which was an awesome book but it took me awhile to recover and when I heard a third book was coming out I wanted to wait on The Dead and Gone until closer to the release date.    This book was just as good as the first one and I gobbled it up in a day.   This book was a little more disturbing than Life As We Knew It as it takes place in the middle of one of the largest US cities and seeing how the people react in this type of environment was scary as people are driven to rob dead or even not so dead bodies for any useful items.

I was actually not a big fan of Alex Morales.  His sexist attitude towards his sisters even in this disaster situation was a turn off and a few of his other actions towards his sisters also turned me off.  I had to remind myself that despite how well he was handling the disaster he is still just a teenager.  His younger sister Julie probably impressed me the most with how she grew and matured through out the story.  Yet again Pfeffer had me wanting to go out and stock up on canned goods, water and other survival gear.  Especially in light of the recent earthquakes in my area.

I was glad I waited until I had access to book 3 in the series before reading this as I had to dive in immediately to find out what happens to both Alex and Miranda from the first book.  This is a must read!

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

14 Responses

  1. Sheri

    I want to read this series. Time to hit it on my Kindle.

  2. Carrie K.

    I had a problem with the sexist thing, too – though I think a lot of that could be explained by his being Hispanic and Catholic – they have more old-fashioned ideas of gender roles. I just finished book three – it was very good, too, but dark, like book 2.

  3. dsuzuki

    Sheri-yes, this is definitely a good series to read!
    Carrie K.-yes, I thought that might have something to do with it. I heard this was the last book in the series but I hope she will do a book 4. I felt like we were left hanging again.

  4. Mardel S.

    I just bought the first book, Life as we Knew it. I remembered reading a review about it a while ago – probably from you?

    I’m going to read it soon. Almost bought both books, but I decided to wait on the second.

  5. dsuzuki

    Mardel-I hope you enjoy Life As We Knew It! I waited on book 2 because I heard mixed reviews but I enjoyed it and will probably go buy my own copy once it’s out in paperback.

  6. Michelle

    I’m with you on this book. It was my least favorite of the trilogy. Alex was far too domineering, I understand the reasons behind why he behaved the way he did but I wasn’t a fan of how he handled his family life.

    I finished book three last week and I know you’re reading it now. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it.

  7. Jamye

    Sounds interesting, maybe I’ll check out the first one!

  8. dsuzuki

    Michelle-I finished book 3 and was kind of bummed it leaves you wanting to know more again especially if this is the last book in the series. My review isn’t going to post until closer to the publication date.

  9. J. Kaye

    I can’t wait for book three! I agree. Loved the first book better.


    Thank you so much for visiting my blog this week. I have something for you here.

  10. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I guess I just don’t notice these things…although if I did notice, which I might have, it didn’t bother me enough to remember.

  11. The1stdaughter

    I’m so intrigued! I’ve been seeing this one around quite a bit and even visited the author’s site, so I’d really like to jump into them. I’m glad to know that this is a series of books though, because I think I want to be able to read them all in one sitting. I’ll let you know what I think about the sexism thing when I finish. Thanks for the great review!

  12. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    LOL! I don’t remember thinking he was particularly sexist, but I tend not to notice these things. I actually really really liked Alex.

  13. dsuzuki

    Thanks J. Kaye!
    Amy-LOL. The way he ordered his sisters to cook and clean and then complain about how his shirts weren’t white enough really got to me.

  14. dsuzuki

    Danielle-She definitely leaves you hanging for more at the end of books 1 & 2 so it was nice to have book 3 handy. I read books 2 one day and book 3 the next.

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