Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another Powerful Installment

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
(Dystopian Fiction--teens and up)

This second installment in The Last Survivors isn't exactly a sequel to the first book.  There are new characters but they too are dealing with the end of their world and society.

Alex lives in New York City with his large Puerto Rican family in a small apartment.  He isn't a typical teen but is fiercely competitive and focused and getting ready for college and life.  He has his entire future all mapped out when the event occurs.  Now, he finds himself responsible for his two younger sisters (people he barely knows or likes) when the world goes mad.  All his plans evaporate almost overnight and his main task becomes survival, something his New York City upbringing and advanced high school classes didn't prepare him for.

I didn't like this one quite as good as the first one.  I didn't feel a real connection to Alex like I did to the main character in the first book of this series.  His speech and thoughts were short and clipped, I suppose the result of the language issues or just the fact that he was a 17-year old boy.  I found it slowed me down a little as I was reading, kind of like walking through mud.

And yet, I still really liked the book.  The horrors the author portrays are so unimaginable and yet ring absolutely true.  These scenarios are most certainly what would happen in such a catastrophe.  When I pictured myself as the main character, it was a chilling perspective.  I already have the third and final book sitting on my shelf and can hardly wait to finish the story--it will be interesting to see how the author ties these two completely different stories together.

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