The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series: The Last Survivors #4
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 13, 2013
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The eagerly awaited addition to the series begun with the New York Times best-seller Life As We Knew It, in which a meteor knocks the moon off its orbit and the world changes forever.
It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?
When I heard that there was going to be a fourth book to the Last Survivors series I was excited and worried at the same time. I really liked the first book, not so much the second book, and well the third was a bit of a mess, but I thought well maybe the author will redeem herself. I love the concept of the series, but the execution was lacking.
Jon is Miranda's younger brother. I didn't like Jon in the first or third book. I thought he was lazy and entitled. He never appreciated the sacrifices his family made for him. His mother literally starved herself so Jon could have enough to eat, but he never recognized what his family gave up for him. Jon does not improve in this book. As a matter of fact, he worsens. He was even more entitled, rude, lazy, and weak.
Like in the previous books the world building was significantly lacking. I didn't understand the hierarchy or why the “clavers” hated the “grubs” so much. They acted as if the grubs shouldn't exist and that the grubs should be grateful since they feed them and pay them so much money. Even Carlos, Alex's brother, knows the grubbers are grateful enough for so little (like an 1/8 a bar of soap) they will sleep with them. Rape was common occurrence in this world. Claver boys feel like they are entitled to use the grubbers as they see fit. The clavers seemed angry that the grubbers were allowed to exist or have basic medical care with a clinic. If the grubs didn't exist who would cook and clean for the clavers?
At one point in the book Jon and his friends were going to mutilate a bum grubber just because they could. Did they? No. Because they thought burning down the grubbers high school was a better idea. I just can’t see how are society would crumble so rapidly in such a short time period. It was only four years since the asteroid hit the moon. Only four years and people lose enough of their common sense and humanity to think killing and raping the misfortunate is okay? I just don’t see that happening. And, the one thought that kept going through my head is why don’t the grubbers rebel?
Jon’s relationship with Sarah was odd to me. Jon was mean to Sarah. They would fight and argue and she would tell him that she hated him then they would all a sudden be kissing. Even after Jon told Sarah the story about Julie, yes Sarah was disgusted with him at first, but she didn't hesitate taking him back after she realized it wasn't completely true.
Overall, this book went downhill and fast. Within the first chapter or two I already hated Jon. When Miranda had an opportunity to work as their domestic all Jon could think of was how it would affect him. How it would be awkward having his sister clean and cook for him. (Newsflash she did that for years after the asteroid anyways!) He didn’t think how it would be beneficial for her to be able to live with purified air and feed regularly. No all he could think of was himself and how uncomfortable it would be!