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The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors,…
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The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors, Book 2) (edition 2008)

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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1,5361424,781 (3.81)1 / 110
Member:MyBookishWays
Title:The Dead and the Gone (The Last Survivors, Book 2)
Authors:Susan Beth Pfeffer
Info:Harcourt Children's Books (2008), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Hardcover, 336 pages
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The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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I inhaled the first book in this series, in spite of the scientific flaws (which I addressed in my review of the first book). Miranda’s journal ends so abruptly that I was eager to get to the next book right away. I was surprised, then, when the second book starts back before the moon is struck with an entirely different family in a different area of the country. This book shows Pfeffer’s abilities as a writer by showing the same apocalyptic event seen in the first book from the perspective of an entirely different family.

Miranda’s family is suburban-rural, agnostic/atheist humanist, blended (divorced parents with one remarried), and white. Alex’s family is urban (NYC), Latino, and devotedly Catholic. Both families are given room to have strengths and flaws, most of which have nothing to do with where they live, their ethnicities, or their religions (or lack of one). I honestly was startled to see Alex and his and his sisters’ strong faith treated with such respect in this book after Miranda’s lack of faith was treated with equal respect in the first. It’s easy, particularly in a book written as a journal, to mistake a character’s beliefs for an author’s, and Miranda, a teenage girl, has very strong beliefs. This book reminded me that those beliefs were just Miranda’s, just as Alex’s beliefs are just his, and it shows how well Pfeffer is able to write characters.

Some readers may find it odd and frustrating to go back in time to relive the apocalypse over again with different characters. I personally enjoyed it, because the world falling apart is one of the best parts of post-apocalyptic fiction for me. I also liked having the opportunity to see differences in how the apocalypse plays out based both on the location (suburban/rural versus urban) and the characters’ personalities and reactions. However, that said, I can see how this set-up of two vastly different sets of characters in books one and two could be off-putting to certain readers. Some religious readers may be turned off by the first book and Miranda’s staunch atheism. Those who read the first book and enjoy it for precisely that reason may similarly be turned off by the second book’s heavy Catholicism and faith. The diversity is a good thing but it also makes it hard to pinpoint an audience for the series. Those who are open to and accepting of other belief systems would ultimately be the best match but that’s a demographic that can sometimes be difficult to find or market to. However, if a reader is particularly looking for a diverse set of viewpoints of the apocalypse that is more than just characters’ appearances, this series will be a great match for them.

It should also be mentioned that this book is not a journal. It is told in third person, from Alex’s viewpoint, although the dates are still mentioned. It makes sense to do it this way, since Alex definitely does not come across as a character with the time or the inclination to keep a journal. It would have been interesting to view the apocalypse from the viewpoint of a boy who did keep a journal, however.

The plot makes sense and brings in enough danger without being overly ridiculous. It would have been nice to have maybe started the book just a bit earlier in the week to see more of Alex’s day-to-day life before the disaster. Instead, we learn about it through flashbacks, which makes it a bit harder to get to know him than it was to get to know Miranda.

Overall, this is a surprising and enjoyable second book in this post-apocalyptic series that lets readers relive the apocalypse from the first book over again with a different set of characters. This approach lends diversity to the series, as well as bringing in a greater variety of scenarios for those who enjoy the apocalypse process. Recommended to those looking for a diverse presentation of beliefs and how those impact how characters deal with an apocalypse.

Check out my full review. ( )
  gaialover | Dec 4, 2014 |
Fan... tastic. I picked this up as a departure from what I've lately been reading-- I was in the mood for something a little dystopian, and that's exactly what this book promised.

This book is heart-rending. It makes you hungry, it makes you tired, it makes you cold and frightened and tense. This post-apocalyptic journey is so incredibly evocative-- the kind of book that makes you feel suddenly grateful for your home, your family, your school, your life.

I recommend this to everyone, *especially* if this is not usually your cup of tea. ( )
  redrabbit | Nov 25, 2014 |
A great companion piece in the series. Not necessary to have read the first to enjoy this books, but from what I can tell both books are important for the third in the series. Pfeffer does a great job of describing the terrible situation her characters are in, and in a very limited number of page. Readers should steady themselves for the shock they'll feel about the lack of preparation (economic, body, and mind) they have for a world changing event. ( )
  rdwhitenack | Oct 14, 2014 |
I accidentally read book 3 prior to reading book 2, and I'm glad that I did. If I had read this one prior to jumping into [b:This World We Live In|6393972|This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)|Susan Beth Pfeffer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1406787381s/6393972.jpg|6582550], I might not have continued on. While we see the world through Miranda's eyes in books 1 and 3, we see it through Alex's in this one. It was a bit on the nose. Yes, we get it. They are Puerto Rican. They are Catholic. No subtlety here. I didn't find any of the characters likable. Bri was dumb. Alex was an aspiring saint / asshat. Julie was the only one who was remotely bearable. Too much is happening, and not enough is resolved.

This installment shows what happens in New York after a meteor knocks the moon closer to the Earth. We follow Alex and his sisters as they try to survive there and it follows the same timeline as book 1. This book could be read as a stand-alone novel, but I wouldn't recommend it.

The Alex you meet in this book is different from the one viewed through Miranda's eyes in book 3, and that's a good thing. I guess it helps you to understand a little about his decisions in book 3, but not entirely. I recommend reading them out of order or you might not continue with the series. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
When the moon is struck by an asteroid, just like Miranda in "Life as we knew it, " 17 year old Alex Morales' life is turned upside down. Both of his parents are gone, and he is responsible for his younger sisters Brianna and Julie. Their struggles, fears, and sacrifices as they try to survive in a world gone mad will make readers wonder anew how they would respond if our moon suddenly created chaos in the world. A tear or two may be shed reading Alex's struggles to provide for his sisters. ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Pfeffer subverts all our expectations of how redemption works in teenage fiction, as Alex learns to live, and have faith, in a world where radical unfairness is the norm.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Beth Pfefferprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Janet Carlson, Best Buzz Buddy and Cherished Friend
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At the moment when life as he had known it changed forever, Alex Morales was behind the counter at Joey's Pizza, slicing a spinach pesto pie into eight roughly equal pieces.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547258550, Paperback)

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 novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After a meteor hits the moon and sets off a series of horrific climate changes, seventeen-year-old Alex Morales must take care of his sisters alone in the chaos of New York City.

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