Book Review for “the dead & the gone” by Susan Beth Pfeffer



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.


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I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to watch everything you know change in one night. To have everything you have worked so hard to achieve mean nothing in this new world. 

That’s what it’s like for Alex. He has worked so hard to deserve his private school scholarship. He has worked so hard to make sure that the financial burdens of his books and uniforms don’t fall on his already strapped for cash family. He has done all this just for some asteroid to hit the moon and completely change the way the world works. Now, he is left with no parents and two younger sisters who look to him to make everything okay. The things this young man has to endure are beyond my comprehension. Especially in a city like New York! He embodies the very essence of a survivor. He does the best he can for those he has left and experiences unimaginable loss at the same time.

He really is an amazing young man.

Apocalyptic novels are something I find myself more and more fascinated with. How would we all survive if the system completely collapsed? Would we rise above as a society and forge a path to recovery? Would we trample over each other with the ideology of only the strong survive?   How much would we compromise our morals? How far would we go to live?

How far would we go to save the one’s we love? And..most importantly…how would we deal with losing those same one’s we did everything for?

I love this author and this book.  It gets the full 5 stars from me.

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5 stars

The Technical Data:

Title: The Dead & The Gone | Series: Last Survivors  |  Author(s): Susan Beth Pfeffer  |Publisher: Graphia Books / Publication Date: 1-18-2010 |Pages: 336 (Print) | ISBN: 978-0547258553   |Genre(s): Dystopian |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2015 |Source: Copy from personal collection.

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