Melissa (i swim for oceans)'s Reviews > The Dead and the Gone

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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's review
Aug 26, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: dystopian
Read from August 26 to 28, 2010

The Dead & The Gone is a companion novel to the first novel, Life as We Knew It. While the latter followed life in the aftermath of the meteor disaster that knocked the moon out of orbit in rural Pennsylvania, The Dead & The Gone examines the effects it has on life in the bustling city of New York. Detailing the story of devout Catholic, Alex Morales, and his two sisters, Bri and Julie, the story shows that life in New York was just as devastated as it was in Pennsylvania. The lack of food, the lack of electricity, and most of all, the lack of civility and human compassion are all things that newly-orphaned Alex Morales and his two sisters must contend with.

Ok, I really enjoyed Life as We Knew It. I thought it was an original idea and truly showed Miranda's emotions through her diary-form book. However, The Dead & The Gone missed that essential element. The book is sans diary form, and therefore, I felt like I was being told what was happening in New York, rather than being shown. That, essentially, was my one major problem with The Dead & The Gone. I wanted to feel for Alex Morales and his struggle, but he was often so stoic and so reserved that I never got to know him. He was duty-bound to protect his sisters, but I never actually felt the love he had for them until the very end. Moreover, I think his sisters, Bri and Julie, stole the book from the MC, and Alex almost felt secondary to them.

All in all, The Dead & The Gone is a well-written book. It shows, with harrowing detail, the aftermath of such a catastrophic event, but it fails to show the human element that made me love the first book so much. I will definitely be reading the third installment in the series, This World We Live In, but I've heard a lot of people say you can skip the second book and go straight to the third. I almost feel as though I should have listened.

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