The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series: Last Survivors #2
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 1, 2008
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.
The Dead and the Gone centres around Alex Morales. A Puerto Rican boy who goes to a Catholic school. This is the second book in The Last Survivors series, where an asteroid bumps the moon a little closer to the earth causing severe changes to tides, volcanic eruptions, etc.
I found a lot of what happened in this book was repetitive of the first book and Alex's voice was very interchangeable to the main character in the first novel, but I did enjoy Miranda's character in the first novel more. She just seemed stronger where Alex's character came across as flat and boring. And when he wasn't boring his reactions were completely unrealistic. After someone tries to pimp out your sister you DON'T shake his hand and say "no hard feelings!"
One of the stronger characters in the novel was his youngest sister, Julie. At the start she is nothing more than a whiny brat who fusses if she didn't get her own way. As the novel continues, even though she is only 12, she must push her childhood aside and help her brother survive.
The author does try to show that Alex must suffer and scavenge, but they seem to have a lack of resourcefulness, and I'm not sure they would have actually survived in a real disaster.