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The Living by Matt de la Peña
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The Living

by Matt de la Peña

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Whoa! This book took some twists and turns. Shy is working on a cruise ship for the summer to help out his family who is still reeling from the death of his grandmother from a new disease, Romero's disease. On his first voyage, a drunk and tormented man commits suicide and Shy tries to save him.
On his second voyage, someone is on board investigating and asking lots of questions to find out what the man said to Shy before killing himself. That seemed at the heart of the story, until the storms came. Then the story morphs into survival mode with Shy trying to survive all manners of obstacles. And another twists alters the course of the narrative further.
The characters are compelling and the action of story kept me interested.
Who is the mysterious Shoeshine? What happened to Addy? Is there anything left of the US? Ah, just found out there is a sequel, so I'm sure some of these questions will be revealed. ( )
  ewyatt | Jul 7, 2015 |
RGG: The plot seems a bit thin, but the premise is scarily plausible. However, the main character, Sly, is infinitely likeable, and you read along routing for him. The short chapters enhance the page-turner quality. The age and romantic feelings make this book YA although nothing explicit happens or is alluded to. Apparently this is the start of a series.
  rgruberhighschool | Mar 28, 2015 |
I consider this book as a sort of summertime blockbuster movie hit. Once the actions started, it kept going until the very end. Almost to the point that the plot suffers. Just like a summertime blockbuster.

The beginning starts out with a dramatic scene that would probably traumatize anyone else involve except apparently this main character. While he doesn't sometimes think back on what happened and occasionally has nightmares, he doesn't seem nearly as shaken about it as one would expect. On top of this, the action slows way down for a while that is probably longer than it should be, then all of sudden WHAM! California gets hit with The Big One. You know, the big earthquake tsunami couple that the West Coast it dreading. Except this Big One is much bigger than the one we are actually waiting for. It seems so overdone that sounds more like the end of the world.

Naturally, the main character gets stranded at sea with a rich passenger he doesn't like. Obviously. Then it gets slow for a while, than it picks up again and by the end we are left rather confused and questioning the intelligence of scientists.

Despite the fact that I believe there are way too many plots going on in this book as well as gaping plot holes that annoy me I still didn't hate the book. I thought what Matt de la Peña was doing with the book, especially toward the end, was interesting, and I hope that he fleshes it out more in his second book. Yes, this is a series. There were a few things that he touched on that I felt he should have expanded one, like the differences between classes and how people in these classes view each other. I felt this was a theme that could have been more present, however there were some great scenes that touched on the issues of not just class but of ethnicity as well, and the assumptions that are often made based on these. It was also great to read a book with a Mexican-American protagonists. There isn't enough diversity in YA lit, so it's good see it when it happens.

Overall, I think that this could make an interesting movie, and while I didn't much care for it, (mostly cause it's just not my style) I still think that it is an important YA book that deserves the attention it gets since it touches on such important social issues that teens really do care about even though we tend to think they don't. Peña has managed to start a very important conversation with this book. One that shouldn't be ignored but is sometimes difficult to start, and for that I applaud him. *claps* ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
RGG: The plot seems a bit thin, but the premise is scarily plausible. However, the main character, Sly, is infinitely likeable, and you read along routing for him. The short chapters enhance the page-turner quality. The age and romantic feelings make this book YA although nothing explicit happens or is alluded to. Apparently this is the start of a series.
  rgruberexcel | Jan 9, 2015 |
There none of the two female characters pass the sexy lamp test. Some of the things that happen are also a tad too convenient and the book Finisheds as though it really wants to be an action movie. Still, I Finished it while wandering around in Munich, and it works. I am looking forward to the sequel, hoping that the female characters in the book will also get their chance to shine.

It's really refreshing to see a main character who is not white and whose background informs his character and many of his decisions without the entire story being about his race. He's also not the only PoC in the novel, there are a diverse cast. ( )
  Mothwing | Jan 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matt de la Peñaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leyva, HenryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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