Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Dead and Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Must read, must read, MUST READ!

About the Book:

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.

About the Author:

Susan Beth Pfeffer was born in New York City in 1948. She grew up in the city and its nearby suburbs and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains. When she was six her father wrote and published a book on constitutional law, and Pfeffer decided that she, too, wanted to be a writer. That year she wrote her first story, about the love between an Oreo cookie and a pair of scissors. However, it wasn't until 1970 that her first book, Just Morgan, was published. She wrote it during her last semester at New York University; since then, she has been a full-time writer for young people.

She has won numerous awards and citations for her work, which range from picture books to middle-grade and young-adult novels, and include both contemporary and historical fiction. She is also the author of the popular Portraits of Little Women series for grades 3-6, and has written a book for adults on writing for children.

To date, she has written more than 60 books. About David was awarded the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award. The Year Without Michael is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and winner of the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award; it was also named by the American Library Association as one of the hundred best books for teenagers written between 1968-1993.

When she is not working, she enjoys watching movies, both new and old, and collecting movie memorabilia, reading biographies and histories, and eating foods that are bad for her. She lives in Middletown, New York, with her two cats, Alexander and Emily.

Named the American Library Associations Young Adult Library Services Association Best Book for Young Adults 2007 and Teens’ Top Ten Booklist in 2007. Finalist for the Andre Norton Award, Quill Awards, Hal Clement Awards.

My Thoughts:

I knew it, I just knew that this book would be just as good as the first in the series.  I love it when a trilogy gets better because so often they just tend to get worse as you read.

This book, like the first, was full of suspense, mystery, adventure, and real-life scenarios that we should all probably consider.  What takes these books to the next level is the real life lessons that the author includes that are applicable to everyone, not just those facing a crisis or disaster.

The ideas of self-reliance, decision-making, and young people rising to the occasion permeate through these novels and the author brilliantly writes about their circumstance. 

One major theme that rises to the top is that of family, friendship, and compassion for others.  No matter the tough decisions these characters face (and some of them end up making a choice that we would balk at), there is never a moment when they are callous about it.  They do what they have to do to survive, which is all we can expect from them.

This author really does write with a vengeance.  I am so into these novels, they are certainly on my list of favorites and I have to conclude this review so I can delve into #3!

Book Rating: 5/5

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