The Dead and the Gone
Life As We Knew It Series
Susan Beth Pfeffer
In Life As We Knew It, Miranda heard reports that New York was devastated, but she didn't know many of the details. In The Dead and the Gone, we hear what happened from the perspective of Alex, a hard-working Puerto Rican student at a prestigious Catholic school. Alex was never concerned about the moon being hit by a meteor. In fact, he nearly forgot it was going to happen. But when he is walking home the night of the incident and the moon grows huge, followed by a killer storm, he starts to get nervous. Once he gets to his apartment with his two sisters Bri and Julie waiting for him, Alex learns that tsunamis have started crashing against the New York coast. As a few days go by, Alex is concerned, having not heard from his parents since before the incident. His uncle Jimmy gives him lots of food from his grocery store, but Alex is still concerned. Though he manages to stay calm and keep his sisters under control at first, when people begin dying all around him, Alex begins to get scared...
As much as I enjoyed Life As We Knew It, this one just didn't do it for me. I'm not really sure why, since it should have been more intense than its companion, but something about the story couldn't keep my attention. My guess is that since I live in a setting more like Miranda's, I couldn't relate to Alex as well. The circumstances were even more dire since Alex's parents were gone, possibly dead, and there were many more plot twists throughout the book that in its companion. Really, there isn't too much else for this one that I have to share. I guess I felt that parts were unrealistic, such as Alex not being able to get food from apartments in his building. To me, once people left, knock on the door to make sure nobody's home, then find a hammer or something and break off the doorknob or something to find the food. In a twelve-story apartment (at least), Alex should have been able to find plenty of food or goods to trade.
Questions for Thought:
1. Would you be able to go back to school after such a scary event when your parents are gone?
2. Would yo have sent Bri away with the hope that she would be better off, or would you have kept her to protect her yourself?
3. Would you let yourself believe that your parents were dead, or that they were just stranded?
4. Would you have sent Julie away with your uncle with hopes that she would have more food?
5. Is body shopping moral? Either way, would you be able to do it?
6. Would you have tried to tough it out in New York, or would you have left immediately?
Please leave your comments and answers!
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