HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Living by Matt de la Pena
Loading...

The Living

by Matt de la Pena

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
85None144,173 (3.06)None
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 5 of 5
This book first caught my attention because I noticed a blurb likening it to a Young Adult version of LOST - which was actually a show I really liked before it turned all WTFery bizarre . The result however, was not quite what I expected. I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, though; The Living wasn't a bad book, just different.

I'm also not surprised to see that opinions are all over the place for this one. It is a book made up of several different sections that feel completely dissimilar from each other in terms atmosphere, setting, pacing. It is part disaster story and survivor narrative with some hints of apocalyptic fiction and mystery. Try and imagine the movie 2012 meets Castaway, then maybe throw in a bit of 28 Days Later.

We start the story on a luxury cruise ship, which I thought was a rather unique and exciting setting. The international crew and passengers make for a very diverse cast, with characters hailing from all over the world. The protagonist himself, Shy, is a Mexican-American teenager whose home town is near the border, an area ravaged by a new illness termed Romero disease. Ever since the disease claimed his grandmother, Shy has been working for the cruise line in order to earn money to support his family.

Shy is on board a ship and near Hawaii when "The Big One" hits, a megathrust earthquake that completely destroys the west coast of North America. The resulting tsunami sinks the ship, and while most perish, Shy manages to survive.

One more movie reference and I promise I'm done, but The Living ruined cruises for me by traumatizing me the same way Final Destination did with flying on planes. The scenes leading up to, during, and after the sinking were gripping and terrifying. Which was why it felt so incongruous when they are followed up with days of drifting on the open water as Shy is marooned on a lifeboat. This section had its moments too, but it had nowhere near the heart-pounding force or intensity.

I was also slightly disappointed when I got to the end and found a wide-open ending and what was a very obvious lead-in to a series. I'd hoped that this would be a stand alone, though I'd had my doubts even before I started when I saw the slimness of the volume. As I got closer and closer to the last page I already suspected the author wasn't going to be able to wrap everything up.

In fact, as a first book The Living actually has the feel of very long introduction, but for all that, I still can't deny it has me hooked -- Matt de la Pena did a good job setting up an intriguing story and a lot of interesting relationships between the characters. I'll most likely pick up the sequel when it releases. ( )
  stefferoo | Mar 16, 2014 |
If you like books about disasters this one's for you. Suicides, earthquakes, tsunamis, cruise ship sinking, shark attacks, mass murders, epidemic spread of a deadly disease, can all be found in this "upbeat" book. Yes, I am being sarcastic. Add to this the darn book leaves you hanging for the sequel, and it all adds up to a pretty frustrating read. ( )
  LaneLiterati | Mar 15, 2014 |
After an earthquake destroys California and a tsunami wrecks the luxury cruise ship where he is a summer employee, high schooler Shy confronts another deadly surprise. ( )
  ShellyPYA | Feb 14, 2014 |
This was a really weird book. I had a hard time getting into it and was about to give up on it completely when it finally hooked me. The beginning is a little like the beginning of the movie Titanic... It gets kind of long and you just want the ship to sink already. Once the action starts, though, wow! It never did let up. I told my husband that this book seemed like it was written by someone with ADHD. It had SO much going on. How many disasters can one novel hold?? I was disappointed to find that this wasn't a stand-alone book and you'd have to wait for the sequel to find out more, but it wasn't such a cliff-hanger that it made me mad either. It wrapped up pretty nicely and I feel pretty good about leaving it as it is. It wasn't good enough to pick up a sequel someday, but it was worth the read. I think a lot of my teens will enjoy it if I can just get them past the first 75 pages. ( )
  4sarad | Jan 12, 2014 |
The Living by Matt de la Pena, was surprisingly one of the best adventure novels I’ve ever read. Most adventure novels are just adrenaline and action but The Living was more than that. The story deals with social barriers, unreturned love and corruption while still providing suspense and excitement.

Shy is a character that starts out looking normal and kind of bland but as the story goes on, and his life is destroyed, Shy shows that he’s a survivor at heart.

The plotline of The Living starts off a little slow but as the story progresses it gets deeper and reveals the darker sides of people. Once I got into The Living I just couldn’t put it down! The witness of a suicide pulls you in and I loved how de la Pena unfolds each disaster in a totally new way. He makes you think the worst is over when there’s more to come. One of my favorite parts of the book dealt with Shy’s crush, Carmen. He really likes her but she doesn’t know it. She’s engaged to be married but it’s clear that she and Shy share a deep connection. What I like most though, is the fact that their relationship isn’t the focus of the story. The Living is mostly about Shy’s story with Carmen as a side character. However, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t like to see more of Carmen in the next book! It’ll be cool to see how their world and relationship unfolds in the sequel!

If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games and other mysterious thrillers, The Living is the book for you!

Ryan W., SC Teen Book Crew
  scbookcrew | Nov 14, 2013 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

After an earthquake destroys California and a tsunami wrecks the luxury cruise ship where he is a summer employee, high schooler Shy confronts another deadly surprise.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.06)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2
2.5
3 5
3.5 1
4 2
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,494,000 books! | Top bar: Always visible