Saturday, May 28, 2011

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

This is the second book in the Last Survivors series. It take place at the same time as the first one but this one follows A 17 year old boy, Alex Morales, taking care of his sisters. His parents are gone and his older brother is a marine. The first book takes place in a small town in Pennsylvania and this one takes place in New York. Alex's father was in Puerto Rico when the meteor hits and his mother was on her way to work both go missing at the very start. They get word from their brother who is an active duty Marine but he is thousands of miles away. So Alex must be in charge, just a kid himself he must become responsible for not only his life but the lives of his two younger sisters. Bri is 15 and Julie turns 13 during the course of the book. Alex struggles with decisions and his own faith. The families religion is a huge part of this book and shapes the events that unfold. They attend private Catholic schools and are active in the church. This book follows them as they try to survive in a dying city.
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
My Thoughts:
You really see all three of them grow up in just a few short months. Alex struggles with pride and resentment. Julie struggles with being the youngest who has been babied in a world where babies can not survive so she learns some hard lessons. Early in the book Alex sends Bri to a convent thinking this is what is best for her and in reality no one could have know how it would end up. Bri is a devout catholic, her faith and naivete is what makes her so enduring. You want to believe her when she speaks of a miracle that will bring her mom and dad home. When from the start you can see what the parents fate was. They are three kids and with that they struggle with immaturity, selfishness, pettiness, anger and resentment but through the entire book there is never a question that they do not love each other. Alex through luck or fate has made good friends and they see him through as far as they could. This one is so different from "Life as we knew it" in that Alex and his sisters are still part of the world even when everything is crashing around them they still go to school and church and there are places to go to barter for food, while in "Life as we knew it" they are pretty much cut off from everything.This one as well as the first in the series left you wondering what happens next. Luckily there is a third book.

I did like this book, it brought about a strong emotional response from me. By the end I was in tears. The characters in this book even the minor ones were enduring and interesting. It was simply amazing the details she put into this book. This is labeled ages 12 and up and I would agree that is very suitable for anyone 12 and up. I will say that this one deals much more with death. Facing death and seeing the dead are more prominent in this book. "Life as we knew it" has much less loss in comparison to "The Dead and The Gone." It is very much a fitting title for this story. For some reason I enjoyed this one more then the first.

I gave it a 4 out of 5 Stars while I gave "Life as we knew it" a 3 out of 5. As I stated there is a third in the series and I look forward to see where these characters are headed. The third in the series "The world we live in" actually involves characters from book one and two.

For more information on this series and where you can buy it you can visit


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