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The Dead and The Gone

The Dead and The Gone

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The Dead and The Gone

évaluations:
4/5 (125 évaluations)
Longueur:
337 pages
4 heures
Sortie:
Jan 18, 2010
ISBN:
9780547422268
Format:
Livre

Description

Written by Scribd Editors

Susan Beth Pfeffer devastated readers with Life as We Knew It, writing of the apocalyptic events unfolding as an asteroid hit the moon. In this companion novel, The Dead and the Gone, she retells the same events taking place in New York City, through the lens of Alex Morales.

Alex is a 17-year-old Puerto Rican kid whose parents have disappeared in the tidal waves and all he can do is hold on to his two sisters as Manhattan drowns. Food is running out, aid isn't coming, and it's time to fend for their lives.

This book takes readers through a haunting emotional journey focusing on family, faith, and courage, showing readers exactly how much one person can accomplish when pushed to their absolute limit.

Sortie:
Jan 18, 2010
ISBN:
9780547422268
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Susan Beth Pfeffer wrote her first novel, Just Morgan, during her last semester at New York University. Since then, she has written over seventy novels for children and young adults, including Kid Power, Fantasy Summer, Starring Peter and Leigh, and The Friendship Pact, as well as the series Sebastian Sisters and Make Me a Star. Pfeffer’s books have won ten statewide young reader awards and the Buxtehude Bulle Award.

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The Dead and The Gone - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Author

Copyright © 2008 by Susan Beth Pfeffer

All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to trade.permissions@hmhco.com or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

www.hmhco.com

First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Marion Lloyd Books, Scholastic Ltd., UK

First U.S. edition 2008

The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows:

Pfeffer, Susan Beth, 1948–

The dead and the gone/Susan Beth Pfeffer.

p. cm.

Summary: 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.

[1. Survival—Fiction. 2. Natural disasters—Fiction. 3. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 4. Puerto Ricans—New York (State)—New York—Fiction. 5. New York (N.Y.)—Fiction. 6. Science fiction.] I. Title. II. Title: Dead and the gone.

PZ7.P44855Dc 2008

[Fic]—dc22 2007029606

ISBN 978-0-15-206311-5 hardcover

ISBN 978-0-547-25855-3 paperback

Author’s note: The churches, schools, businesses, and hospitals mentioned in the dead and the gone are all products of my imagination and not intended to reflect any real institutions. Nor does the town of Milagro del Mar, Puerto Rico, exist. And the last I looked, the moon was right where it belonged.

eISBN 978-0-547-42226-8

v3.0915

For Janet Carlson,

Best Buzz Buddy

and

Cherished Friend

Wednesday, May 18

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.

I ordered an antipasto, also.

It’s right here, sir, Alex said. And your order of garlic knots.

Thanks, the man said. Wait a second. Aren’t you Carlos, Luis’s kid?

Alex grinned. Carlos is my older brother, he said. I’m Alex.

That’s right, the man said. Look, could you tell your dad there’s a problem with the plumbing in twelve B?

My father’s away for a few days, Alex said. He’s in Puerto Rico for my grandmother’s funeral. But he should be back on Saturday. I’ll tell him as soon as he gets home.

Don’t worry about it, the man said. It’s waited this long. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother.

Thank you, Alex said.

So where is your brother these days? the man asked.

He’s in the Marines, Alex said. He’s stationed at Twentynine Palms, in California.

Good for him, the man said. Give him my regards. Greg Dunlap, apartment twelve B.

I’ll do that, Alex said. And I’ll be sure to tell my father about your plumbing.

Mr. Dunlap smiled. You in school? he asked.

Alex nodded. I go to St. Vincent de Paul Academy, he said.

Good school, Mr. Dunlap said. Bob, my partner, went there and he says it’s the best school in the city. You know where you want to go to college?

Alex knew exactly where he wanted to go, and where he’d be happy to go, and where he would be satisfied to go. Georgetown’s my first choice, he said. But it depends on the financial package. And if they accept me, of course.

Mr. Dunlap nodded. I’ll tell Bob Luis’s kid goes to Vincent de Paul, he said. You two can swap stories someday.

Great, Alex said. Your bill comes to $32.77.

Mr. Dunlap handed him two twenties. Keep the change, he said. Put it toward your college fund. And be sure to give Carlos my regards. Luis must be very proud of both his sons.

Thank you, Alex said, passing the pizza, the antipasto, and the bag of garlic knots to Mr. Dunlap. I’ll remember to tell my father about the plumbing as soon as he gets back.

No hurry, Mr. Dunlap said.

Alex knew they always said, No hurry, when they meant Get it done right now. But a seven-dollar tip guaranteed that Alex would tell Papi about the plumbing problems in 12B the minute he returned from Nana’s funeral.

The cable’s out, Joey grumbled from the kitchen. Yankees have the bases loaded in the top of the sixth and the cable dies on me.

It’s May, Alex said. What difference does it make?

I have a bet on that game, Joey said.

Alex knew better than to point out the game was still going on even if the cable was out. Instead he turned his attention to the next customer, filling her order for two slices of pepperoni pizza and a large Coke.

He didn’t get away until ten, later than he usually worked, but the pizza parlor was short staffed, and since Joey was cranky without his ball game to watch, Alex didn’t think it a good idea just to leave. It was a muggy, overcast night, with the feeling of thunderstorms in the air, but as long as it wasn’t raining, Alex enjoyed the walk. He concentrated on Georgetown and his chances of getting in.

Being junior class vice president would help, but he had no chance at senior class president. Chris Flynn was sure to win again. Alex had the presidency of the debate squad locked up. But would he or Chris be named editor of the school paper? Alex was weighing the odds between them when his thoughts were interrupted by a man and woman walking out of the Olde Amsterdam Tavern.

Come on, honey, the man said. You might as well. We could be dead by tomorrow.

Alex grinned. That sounded like something Carlos would say.

But as Alex raced across Broadway, fire engines and ambulances screamed down the avenue with no concern for traffic lights, and he began to wonder what was going on. Turning onto Eighty-eighth Street, he saw clusters of people standing in front of their apartment buildings. There was no laughter, though, no fighting. Some of the people pointed to the sky, but when Alex looked upward, all he saw was cloud cover. One well-dressed woman stood by herself weeping. Then, as Alex walked down the short flight of outdoor steps to his family’s basement apartment, the electricity went out. Shaking his head, he unlocked the outside door. Once in the darkened hallway, he knocked on the apartment door.

Alex, is that you? Briana called.

Yeah. Let me in, he said. What’s going on?

Bri opened the door. The electricity just went out, she said. The cable went out, too.

Alex, where’s the flashlight? Julie asked.

Check on top of the fridge, Alex said. I think there’s one there. Where’s Mami?

The hospital called, Briana said. A little while ago. Mami said it’s a really big emergency and they need everybody.

Julie walked into the living room, waving the flashlight around. She’s only been there two weeks and they can’t manage without her, she said.

She said they couldn’t tell her when she’d get off, Briana said.

Papi called while you were gone, Julie said. He said everyone arrived safely and Nana’s funeral is tomorrow. I wish we could have gone with him.

I don’t know why, Briana said. Whenever the family gets together, you always find some excuse not to go.

You’d better be nice, Julie said. I have the flashlight.

Use it to find the transistor radio, Alex suggested. Maybe the whole city is blacked out. He thought, not for the first time, how much more convenient things would be if the Morales family could afford a computer. Not that it would be any use in a blackout.

I bet it has something to do with the moon, Briana said.

Why the moon? Alex said. Sunspots cause problems, but I’ve never heard of moonspots.

Not moonspots, Briana said. But the moon was supposed to get hit tonight by an asteroid or something. One of my teachers mentioned it. She was going to a meteor party in Central Park to watch.

Yeah, I heard about that at school, too, Alex said. But I still don’t see why an asteroid would knock out the electricity. Or why Mami would be called to the hospital.

The radio isn’t working, Briana said, trying to turn it on. Maybe the batteries are dead.

Great, Alex said. In that case, why don’t you take the flashlight and get ready for bed. Mami’ll tell us what happened when she gets home.

It’s too hot without a fan, Julie whined.

Alex didn’t know how Mami and Bri put up with Julie. She was Carlos’s favorite, too. Papi actually seemed to think she was cute, but that was because she was the baby of the family. A twelve-year-old baby, in Alex’s opinion.

Do you think everything is okay? Briana asked.

I’m sure it is, Alex said. Probably a big fire downtown. I heard a lot of sirens.

But Mami works in Queens, Briana said. Why would the hospital need her there if the fire’s downtown?

A plane crash, then, Alex said, thinking of the people pointing to the sky. Remind me to tell Papi that twelve B has a plumbing problem, okay. And go to bed. Whatever the emergency is, it’ll be gone by morning.

All right, Briana said. Come on, Julie. Let’s pray extra hard for everybody.

That sounds like fun, Julie grumbled, but she followed her big sister to their bedroom.

Mami kept votive candles in the kitchen, Alex remembered. He stumbled around until he found one and matches to light it. It cast only a small amount of light, but enough for him to make his way to the room he had once shared with Carlos.

Originally the two rooms had been the master bedroom, but when they’d moved in, Papi had built a dividing wall, so that the boys and the girls each got a small bedroom. He and Mami slept in their own room. Even without Carlos, the apartment was crowded, but it was home and Alex had no complaints.

He undressed quickly, opened the door slightly so he could hear Mami when she got home, blew out the candle, and climbed into the lower half of the bunk bed. Through the thin wall, he could hear Briana’s Dios te salve, María. Papi thought Bri was too devout, but Mami said it’s just a stage fourteen-year-old girls go through.

Somehow Alex didn’t think Julie would go through that stage when she turned fourteen.

When Alex had been fourteen, three years ago, he’d thought for a couple of days about becoming a priest. But Bri was different. Alex could actually see her becoming a nun someday. Mami would love that, he knew.

Sister Briana, he thought as he turned on his side, his head facing the wall. My sister the sister. He fell asleep grinning at the thought.

Thursday, May 19

Alex! Alex! Let me in!

At first Alex thought he was dreaming. He hadn’t slept well all night, waking up several times to see if the electricity had come back on or if Mami had returned. The hot, muggy weather hadn’t helped. The dreams he’d had all had to do with sirens and crashes and emergencies he was somehow involved in but helpless to prevent.

Alex!

Alex shook his head awake and looked out the window. It was still dark outside and the streetlights were out. But he could make out a man’s face. It was Uncle Jimmy, crouching at the window.

Alex got out of bed. I’ll meet you at the door, he said, tossing on his robe, then making his way through the apartment to the outside door.

The buzzer’s not working, Uncle Jimmy said. Everything’s blacked out.

What time is it? Alex asked. What’s going on?

It’s four-thirty, Uncle Jimmy said. I need you to help at the bodega. Wake up your sisters and get dressed as fast as you can.

What’s happening at the bodega? Alex asked, but he did as Jimmy told him, banging on his sisters’ bedroom door until he was sure they were awake.

I’ll explain it all later, Jimmy said. Get dressed. And hurry.

In a matter of minutes, Alex, Briana, and Julie were fully dressed and standing in the living room. Come on, Jimmy said. I have the van here.

Where are we going? Briana asked. Is everyone all right? Is Mami home yet?

I don’t think so, Alex said. She couldn’t have slept through this. Uncle Jimmy, how long are we going to be gone?

As long as it takes, Jimmy replied.

What about school? Briana asked. Will we be back in time?

Don’t worry about school, Jimmy said. Don’t worry about anything. Just come with me.

What if Mami calls? Briana asked. Or Papi? They’ll be scared if no one answers the phone.

Alex nodded. Julie, come with us, he said. Bri, you stay here in case anyone calls. He would have preferred Bri’s company, but it was safer to leave her alone than Julie.

All right, Jimmy said. Let’s get moving.

Uncle Jimmy had left his van double-parked in front of the building, but Alex supposed at that hour of the morning no one really cared. They piled in and Jimmy began driving crosstown through the park and then the twenty blocks uptown to the bodega. There was a lot more traffic than Alex would have expected so early in the morning, and he could still hear sirens in the distance.

What’s happening? Alex asked. Do they know what caused the blackout?

Yeah, they know, Jimmy said. The moon. Something happened to the moon.

Moonspots, Julie said, and giggled.

Nothing funny about it, Uncle Jimmy said. Lorraine couldn’t sleep all night. She’s convinced the looters will hit the bodegas at first light. Last night it was the liquor stores and the electronics stores, but in the daylight they’ll start going for the food. So we’re unloading the bodega, moving all the food out, back to the apartment. I need you to pack and lift.

What about us? Julie asked. Do we get any of the food?

Yeah, sure, Uncle Jimmy said. Where’s your mother?

At the hospital, Alex said. She worked all night, I guess. Papi’s still in Puerto Rico. Uncle Jimmy, what’s going on?

I’ll tell you the best I know how, Uncle Jimmy said. Some big thing hit the moon last night, a planet or a comet or something. And it knocked the moon out of whack. It’s closer to Earth now. Tidal waves. Flooding, blackouts, panic. Lorraine’s hysterical.

Aunt Lorraine was prone to hysteria, Alex thought. Papi’s nickname for her was La Dramática, and Mami still hadn’t forgiven her for the scene she’d made when Carlos announced he was enlisting in the Marines: "You’ll die! They’ll kill you! We’ll never see you again!"

Can’t they move the moon back where it belongs? Julie asked.

I sure hope so, Jimmy said. But even if they can, it’ll take a while. In the meantime, Lorraine says we might as well have the food and not let strangers steal it from our babies’ mouths. He pressed hard on the horn at the sight of a car cutting across Third Avenue. Idiots, he muttered. Rich people, pulling out at the first sign of trouble.

I don’t see any cops, Alex said.

Jimmy laughed. They’re off protecting the rich people, he said. They don’t care about nobody else.

Uncle Jimmy seemed to have a little dramatica in him as well, Alex decided. Life with Aunt Lorraine probably did that to a person. Their kids sure had tantrums, but they were still little and Alex could only hope they’d outgrow them. Not that Aunt Lorraine ever had.

Good, Jimmy said. Benny’s here. He pulled his van over to the front of the bodega. Get out, he said. Alex, you and I’ll load. Julie, you assemble cartons. How’s it going, Benny?

The large man standing in front of the bodega nodded. It’s been quiet, he said. We should have no problems. He pulled a gun from his belt. Just in case, he said.

Benny gets paid first, Jimmy said. Beer and cigarettes.

The new currency, Benny said with a grin.

Alex began to wonder if he was still asleep. None of this seemed real, except for the reports of Aunt Lorraine’s hysteria. Uncle Jimmy unlocked the steel gate. Alex and Julie followed him into the bodega while Benny stayed on guard by the door.

Jimmy handed Julie a flashlight and told her to sit on the floor behind the counter and assemble boxes. He showed Alex where the cartons of beer and cigarettes were, and as Alex carried them to Benny’s car, Jimmy filled empty boxes with milk and bread and other perishables.

Benny told Alex to load his trunk first, and then the backseat. It was remarkable how many cartons of beer and cigarettes the car could hold.

Finally the only room in the car was the driver’s seat. You know how to drive? Jimmy asked Alex.

Alex shook his head.

Okay, I’ll drive the stuff to Benny’s, he said. Benny, you stay out front. Keep that gun where people can see it. Alex, start packing cartons for my family. Tell Julie to use the plastic bags for your stuff. I’ll be back in half an hour.

Benny stayed outside while Alex joined Julie in the bodega. Uncle Jimmy locked the steel gate, leaving Alex with the uncomfortable sensation of being a prisoner, even though he knew he and Julie were safer if the store was locked shut.

Uncle Jimmy’s crazy, right? Julie asked.

Probably, Alex said. You know Aunt Lorraine. She’s only happy when the world’s coming to an end. He noticed all the cartons Julie had assembled. You’ve really been working, he said.

Julie nodded. I figured I’d better, she said. Otherwise Aunt Lorraine will have a fit if we take any stuff for ourselves. And if we don’t, Mami’ll get mad.

Good thinking, Alex said. Uncle Jimmy says to use the plastic bags for our stuff.

Sure, Julie said. They’ll hold less.

It’s his food, Alex said. He’s doing us the favor. Why don’t you fill as many bags as you can while he’s gone.

Julie nodded and began stuffing bags with jars and canned goods. Alex did the same with the cartons. As he worked, he tried to figure out just what was really going on. The moon was responsible for tides, so it made sense if it was closer to Earth, the tides would be higher. How quickly could NASA solve the problem? The distant rumble of thunder unsettled him more.

He jumped when Julie broke the silence. Do you think Carlos is okay? she asked.

Sure, Alex said, silently laughing at himself. He must be pretty busy. I don’t know when he’ll have a chance to call.

Mami, too, Julie said. With all the looting and everything, the hospitals must be full.

And Papi’s safe in Milagro del Mar, Alex said. We’re all fine. By Monday everything’ll be back in order.

I wonder if they’ve called off school, Julie asked. I have an English test I haven’t studied for.

Alex grinned. You’re safe, he said. Even if Holy Angels is open, they’ll probably cancel the test.

Julie continued filling the plastic bags with as much as each could hold. Alex did the same with the cartons. It was nice to tell Julie things would be back to normal by Monday, but he thought that was unlikely. The more food they had at home, the better.

How are you doing? he asked Julie.

I’ve packed twenty bags, she said.

Good, Alex said. Keep on. You know the kind of stuff Mami gets.

Better than you do, Julie muttered.

Alex laughed, but the truth of the matter was he couldn’t remember the last time he’d been to a supermarket, and he certainly couldn’t remember Papi or Carlos going to one. Groceries, cooking, cleaning—all that was done by Mami, Bri, and Julie. Alex kept his room tidy, and Carlos used to help Papi out occasionally, but it was Bri and Julie who knew how to sew and iron and cook. Even when Mami went back to school, first to get her GED and then to learn how to be an operating room technician, she and the girls did all the housework.

Not that Alex had ever heard Mami complain about it, or Bri. Julie certainly did, but if Julie were a crown princess, she’d complain about the crown.

Right on cue, Julie whined, My arms ache. And I can’t reach stuff on the top shelves.

Then just take stuff from the shelves you can reach, he said. Be sure to take canned mushrooms. Papi likes them.

I already have a bag, Julie said.

Good, Alex said, and went back to packing and thinking. NASA was most likely consulting physicists and astronomers from around the world about the quickest way of getting the moon in place. Things would eventually get back in order.

By the time Uncle Jimmy returned, Alex had filled all the empty cartons. He and Jimmy loaded the van while Julie returned to assembling the few remaining boxes. Then he and Jimmy filled those boxes and whatever bags remained.

Julie, you stay here, Uncle Jimmy said. Benny’ll be outside. Alex and I’ll empty this stuff at my place, and then we’ll come back and drive you home.

Alex wasn’t crazy about leaving Julie alone in the store, but he supposed she’d be safe locked in with an armed guard standing watch. Behave yourself, he said to her.

Julie glared at him. Alex pitied any looters who might make it past Benny.

Jimmy swiftly drove the four blocks back to his apartment. Lorraine’ll help us unload. he said. But it’s going to take a while to carry all this stuff upstairs.

Jimmy and Lorraine lived in a second-floor walk-up. Jimmy unloaded the cartons from the van to the first floor, and then Alex carried them upstairs, where Lorraine met him and brought the cartons into her apartment. Alex could hear his little cousins screaming in the background, but that was nothing new. Lorraine said nothing, just grunting occasionally as she pushed the heavier cartons into her home.

When they finally finished, Lorraine looked up at Alex. Thank you, she said. You’ve helped save my babies’ lives.

Things’ll work out, Alex said. Give the scientists some time and they’ll figure out what to do.

This is too big for the scientists, Lorraine said. Only God can save us now.

Then He will, Alex said.

Come on, Alex! Jimmy called from downstairs. Let’s get going.

Alex gave Lorraine an awkward hug, and raced down the stairs.

Jimmy drove them back to the bodega, where Alex noticed Benny was no longer standing guard. Dammit, Jimmy said. I told him to stay until we got back. Julie, you okay?

People were banging against the steel door, Julie said, crouching behind the counter. I heard gunshots.

It’s all right, Alex said. We’re going home now.

Okay, Jimmy said, still looking annoyed. I’ll finish packing what’s left on my own. Come on, let’s load up your stuff.

Alex was impressed with how many bags Julie had filled and how heavy the bags were. They’d certainly have enough food to last until things got back to normal.

Jimmy helped them bring the food into the living room, then went back to the bodega. Alex, Briana, and Julie carried most of the bags into the kitchen. Whatever didn’t fit there stayed in the living room.

The phone rang while you were gone, Briana said. I think it was Papi, but I can’t be sure.

What do you mean you can’t be sure? Alex asked, every muscle in his body aching. All he wanted was a hot shower and four more hours’ sleep.

There was a lot of static, Briana said almost apologetically. But I heard a man’s voice and I’m sure it was Papi’s. I think he said something about Puerto Rico.

Well, that’s good news, Alex said. If he called, he must be all right. He probably called to say he won’t be coming home on Saturday.

I told him we’re all fine so he won’t worry, Bri said.

They left me alone, Julie said. People tried to break in. Someone could have killed me.

Are you all right? Bri asked. Alex could see the worry in her eyes.

Of course she is, Alex said. We all are.

Can we call Mami? Briana asked. We can tell her about the groceries and that we heard from Papi.

We shouldn’t bother her at work, Alex said. She’ll call us when she can, or maybe she’ll just come home. Look, how about making us some breakfast. We’ll all feel better after we’ve eaten.

I can make scrambled eggs, Briana said. The stove’s still working. I checked.

Sounds good, Alex said. I’m going to take a shower. After breakfast we’ll go to school.

I’m not going anywhere, Julie said. Not in the blackout.

I don’t want to go, either, Bri said. Can’t we stay here until Mami comes home?

All right, Alex said. But I’ll go out after breakfast and see what’s happening.

He got into the shower only to find there was no hot water. He got in and out as fast as he could, then dressed in his school clothes.

There’s no hot water, Alex told Bri.

You don’t think the people in the apartments will blame Papi, do you? she asked.

No one will blame Papi, Alex said. It’s not just this building. The whole city is probably blacked out. Where’s Julie? Did she eat already?

She went back to bed, Briana said, putting scrambled eggs on Alex’s plate. I hope the orange juice is still okay.

Alex took a sip. It’s fine, he said. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until he smelled the eggs. He’d

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3.9
125 évaluations / 96 Avis
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  • (3/5)
    Second book in the Life As We Knew It series. Not a bad storyline, but was a bit boring since it was the same time period as the first. A good placeholder to develop some backstory for the third book though.
  • (2/5)
    New York experiences the ramifications of an astroid ramming into the moon - knocking it out of kilter. The focus is on Alex, 17 and his younger sisters Bri, 15 and Julie, 13.Last year, Life As We Knew It was a "Best Read" for me and so, The Dead and the Gone was a highly anticipated read. Boy did it fall short. I am a believer, so a little spirituality sprinkled here and there isn't bad, but GEEZ - this book was oozing Catholicism. I didn't like it or appreciated it in the least. Also, the characters were just not believable.What I did like was the general plot - how the city would respond to the devastating changes and the plans that would unfold. That was what kept me interested.Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy
  • (5/5)
    The Little BookwormThe companion to Life As We Knew It is told from the point of view of 17 year old Alex. Worried about college, he and his family are unprepared for life after the moon is pushed out of its orbit by a asteroid. With his parents missing and his older brother gone, Alex must take care of his younger sisters and navigate a new and dangerous world for the three of them.I'm going to say that this was a very impressive book. Usually sequels and especially middle books don't live up to the first book. I think The Dead and the Gone completely lived up to Life As We Knew It. There was very little rehashing of the events leading up to the moon crash and we get to the complex problem of living with hardly any resources very quickly. I found it a little hard to believe that Alex's family didn't really know about it since Miranda's school made such a big deal about it, but maybe since they were in NYC they didn't think it would affect them. I don't know. But, while Miranda had her mom, Alex doesn't have any adults living with him to make the hard decisions so he has to make them for himself and his younger sisters and he questions his choices all the time. And while Miranda's family had very little religion, Alex's family are devoted Catholics. The Catholicism is very heavy in this book and while it bothered some people, I know families who are very Catholic so it was okay with me.*spoilers*While I don't normally look at other reviews right before I write one, I did for this book. It seems a lot of people had a problem with the switch from first person diary form to third person narrative. This didn't bother me like it did others. Only because I know that the third book (This World We Live In) will involve the characters from both books and I'm hoping that it is written from Miranda's POV. To me that would make sense and the change of POV in TDTG won't matter since I don't like moving one person's head to another in a trilogy. The only way I will care about the shift is if the POV alternates between Alex and Miranda and then I will call bull. The OTHER big problem that people had so the stereotypical portrayal of a Puerto Rican family. Now I will admit that I can't comment one way or the other on whether this is true or not. But I will say that I remember wondering if this was really how Puerto Rican fathers acted towards their families and sons, especially. But it played out since I know that a lot of fathers expect their sons to act a certain way, no matter their nationality and that since it was Alex's impression of his father, it might not be the most accurate. Sometimes what we think people think about us is not the actual truth.As dark as LAWKT was, it was nothing compared to TDTG. Dead bodies, rats, riots and violence permeate this book and it seems completely natural given that all this takes place in a large city. The threat of violence in LAWKT is almost non-existent since Miranda is sheltered and separated from the rest of her town, but living in NYC increases Alex and his sisters contact with others and, of course, they are teenagers living alone so it heightens the reality of their situation. One of the good things is that you get more information on what is happening worldwide and more about the cause and effect of the moon crash. And while the ending was sad and abrupt, it was also hopeful. TDTG could almost stand on its own. Meanwhile, I can't wait for the third book to come out. I have high hopes.
  • (3/5)
    The Dead and the Gone tells the story of how a family in the city cope with the events described in Susan Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. I loved Life As We Knew It and while I did enjoy this book, I did not feel it was as good. It was interesting to read the different ways the people in the city were affected as opposed to those in the country, and how the residents dealt with it. This is a good book to read but it simply doesn't have the urgency of the first one.
  • (3/5)
    Is good, Although I can see how there can be a small "not liking" of the main character for cultural issues. He is such a good representation of how Men in Latino cultures sometimes see their self, as unique protectors for women. I liked it, but been a 2nd book and a paralel story of the 1st sometimes is kind of repetitive. Good reading tough. And easy to read too.
  • (5/5)
    Unlike "Life as We Knew It" you often have no clue in this book what is going on in the world, anymore than Alex did as it was happening. Instead, you see what he sees, the results of the problems in the world. Having read the first book I often knew why certain things were happening, but I could see that knowing or not knowing wouldn't have made the story make any less sense (in fact, when I loaned the book to my friend I told her to read this first so we could compare and all it did was make her even more annoyed with Miranda). What Alex goes through and the things that he had to do were a lot darker and sadder than the things that Miranda encountered. It really makes her experience seem pale in comparison. He struggled far more and it was even more amazing that he was able to get through it. Whereas I could see myself surviving in Miranda's case, I'm not sure I would have been as lucky as Alex. I recommend starting with this book if you'd like to see how the story unfolds if you were unable to get constant updates on what was happening. If you want to know every detail of whats going on around the world, read book 1 first.
  • (4/5)
    I absolutely adored Life as We Knew It, to which this book is a companion. I'd heard that The Dead and the Gone was inferior, so I skipped it until This World We Live In, a sequel to both, appeared.I kind of wish I hadn't - it's true that The Dead and the Gone isn't as good as Life as We Knew It, but it's still quite enjoyable, and these three books are some of my favorite post-apoc lit, period.All three books tell the stories of teenagers living through the immediate aftermath of intense climate change, the result of an asteroid which hit the moon and adjusted its orbit. Communication disappears, food becomes scared, a flu epidemic wipes out thousands, volcanoes send ash into the sky and make growing crops nearly impossible.I think what really appeals to me here is how deeply Pfeffer draws you into the world via her characters. This is a story about people, about particular people, not just about the fun toybox that is an apocalypse. She's stronger in the first person voice, which is part of what makes Life as We Knew It so power, but I still grew quite attached to Alex and his sisters and his friends, and I cried more than once - Pfeffer doesn't pull any punches in these books. A few moments are flat out horrifying.These books aren't /cheery/ by any means, but they're good reads, and if you like a little apocalypse with your stories, I recommend them!
  • (3/5)
    I loved this book! I didn't realize though that it was the 2nd book, so I can't wait to read the first book also. Such an interesting read.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent.. Love this book from start to end. Wanting to know what is going to happen next and how they are going to survive make me finish the book in a day.
  • (4/5)
    It's been awhile since I first read Life As We Knew It which was an awesome book but it took me awhile to recover and when I heard a third book was coming out I wanted to wait on The Dead and Gone until closer to the release date. This book was just as good as the first one and I gobbled it up in a day. This book was a little more disturbing than Life As We Knew It as it takes place in the middle of one of the largest US cities and seeing how the people react in this type of environment was scary as people are driven to rob dead or even not so dead bodies for any useful items.I was actually not a big fan of Alex Morales. His sexist attitude towards his sisters even in this disaster situation was a turn off and a few of his other actions towards his sisters also turned me off. I had to remind myself that despite how well he was handling the disaster he is still just a teenager. His younger sister Julie probably impressed me the most with how she grew and matured through out the story. Yet again Pfeffer had me wanting to go out and stock up on canned goods, water and other survival gear. Especially in light of the recent earthquakes in my area.I was glad I waited until I had access to book 3 in the series before reading this as I had to dive in immediately to find out what happens to both Alex and Miranda from the first book. This is a must read!
  • (4/5)
    Not quite as good as Life As We Knew It, at least in my opinion. But that may be because I could identify with Miranda better in that one. Still very compelling, and a bit more gruesome in this installment; in NYC, there are a lot more people, so we see a lot more dead bodies. I'm looking forward to the third book in this series.
  • (4/5)
    Imagine the moon crashes into the earth and the earth's climate changes. What would you or your family do? Find out what Alex's family does in The Dead and the Gone.
  • (5/5)
    In this companion book to the fantastic Life As We Knew It, 17-year-old Alex must try and keep himself and his two younger sisters alive in the chaos that erupts in New York City after a meteor impact knocks the moon out of its orbit and closer to Earth. As tidal waves, earthquakes and volcanoes turn the planet against human life, Alex becomes more and more desperate in his quest to survive in the absence of his parents.This one is different, as the challenges that face Alex in a big city are different than those facing people in small towns. Alex doesn't have quite as much difficultly finding food (though he does have trouble), and he is able to continue attending school for a good portion of the time. His behavior - very macho-man, women do the chores - is annoying, but his interactions with his sisters and the struggle he has with survival feels very real.If you, like me, are obsessed with end-of-the-world stories, do miss this one. If you're not particularly interested in struggles for survival, read this one for its suspense and Alex's growing up.
  • (2/5)
    I was excited to find out about this companion book to Life As We Knew It, but when I finally sat down to read it I was sorely disappointed. While the idea to show an urban viewpoint of the moon disaster was a good one, the main character, Alex, was so unbelievably stupid, infuriatingly unresourceful, and intensely unlikable that I didn't care if he lived or died. I highly recommend reading LAWKI, but I would skip this one.
  • (4/5)
    This was a quick read for me. I don't feel it was as good as "Life as We Knew It". That book was about a girl living in a rural area. This book is about an older brother and two younger sisters during the same event in the middle of New York City: the moon is knocked out of orbit and it is much closer to Earth. Their parents are missing and Alex takes responsibility for his sisters. They are a Catholic family, and the siblings all go Catholic schools. One of the sisters might even become a nun in the future. They continue to go to school, where they get some food, but eventually it seems it might be necessary to try to get out of the city, but how?
  • (3/5)
    This book is about Alex Morales. This book talks about alex's side of the story when the astriod hit the moon. Alex lives in New York City. Mostly everyone is dead in his city. Everything happened just lilke Pinsalvania. It was snowing and sleeting everyday and it never rained.I didn't really liked this book because it just repeated like like as we knew it. I didin't make sence to me becase it was choppy and going different topics.It really had know piont to it. Its just they should went on with Marada's story of what happened to her and her family. THis book made me bored and i thought that it would get better but it didn't. Its ending was bad too. I wouldn't recamind this book.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    I seriously love reading this series. I get so enthralled with books that are set in a post apocalyptic world--well, at least one where natural disasters are going crazy. I'm not sure which one I enjoyed more, this one or the companion (Life As We Knew It). Both had their highs and lows...but this one KILLED me for two major plot points:

    Alex's dad was the super of the building. He would've had keys to every apartment. And, even if he didn't have the keys, EVERYONE IS FREAKING GONE OR DEAD LIKE THE TITLE SAYS, BREAK DOWN THE WALLS OF THE DOZENS OF APARTMENTS AND STEAL THEIR SH&T Alex and his sisters are starving to death (literally) and there was probably tons of food and supplies in the other apartments. People in the convoys could only take a bag of stuff--there would be lots left over.

    The world is going to sh*t? There would be major looting and shooting. I know this a young adult book but Pfeffer isn't afraid to bring in harsh subjects (selling a young girl into basically sex slavery, anyone?)so it surprised me that she left out such an element. I think it would be human nature to rip buildings apart and strip them of everything. It is basic survival.

    Don't get the idea that I didn't really enjoy this book; I totally did. I have some sort of sick obsession with survival stories.

    P.S. I thought this ending was sort of a letdown
  • (4/5)
    This was a very enjoyable post apocalyptic fiction. I liked reading about the struggles that this 17 year old boy went through to keep what was left of his family as healthy as he could. I think that the description of the suffering that they must have gone through being down to one meal a day was a little bit lacking, but then it would have gotten tedious reading about them complaining about being hungry all the time. Perhaps this is not such a bad point of the book.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic fiction.
  • (4/5)
    This is the second book in the series that begins with the book Life As We Knew It, but the two books can be read in any order. Either way, battery manufacturers could not have come up with better advertising in their wildest dreams.Both of these books take place in current times, but with a dystopic twist. An asteroid of unexpected density has hit the moon, knocking it off kilter, and suddenly the world is inundated with disasters caused by the change in the moon's gravitational pull. Tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquakes kill millions of people, with coastal areas hit the hardest. Electricity is only sporadically available. Inevitably, volcanic ash begins to block the sun, and the world gets darker and colder. Crops and animals die. Oil reserves under the earth and sea are gone, and with no heat or medical services and little food, starvation affects many, and communicable diseases become rampant and lethal. Armed looters add to the chaos.Alex Morales is a seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican New Yorker. On the day disaster struck, his mother was at work in Queens, and his father was visiting in Puerto Rico. Alex and his sisters Briana, 14, and Julie, 12, never see their parents again.The Morales’s are a religious family. All of the kids (except the oldest, Carlos, away in the Marines) go to nearby Catholic schools. They attend Mass frequently, and now pray regularly for La Madre Santissima to watch over them. And Alex, suddenly responsible for the survival of his sisters, prays for wisdom as well, and thanks God for the Church, “without which he would be lost.” But as the pain of what has happened to his family and the stress of day-today existence mounts, he stops feeling anything. He goes to confess to his Acting Headmaster, Father Mulrooney. He admits: "I don’t hate God. I hate not loving Him.”In one of the rare lighter moments of the book, Father Mulrooney replies: "I think it would take a saint to love God under the circumstances. And in the forty years I taught at Vincent de Paul, I never once came across a seventeen-year-old saint. … If God wanted a world filled with saints, He never would have created adolescence.”At home, Alex struggles to reconcile the new reality with what he has been taught his whole life about the structure of family life and the role of males and females. Obviously females must cook and clean; obviously he must control and discipline his sisters. Obviously he does not consult them even on important decisions affecting the course of their lives. But soon Alex is forced to stop asking himself what Papi would do, and instead determine what needs to be done, no matter what tradition dictated in the past.In the companion book, the mother had the foresight to stockpile food. In this book, the parents are gone right from the beginning, and Alex doesn't have much money in his pockets. The Morales kids get some food from their Uncle Jimmy, who is taking off for parts south, but it runs out quickly. Then a friend in school, Kevin, introduces Alex to the practice of “body shopping.” Since the streets (and the rats) are filling up with dead bodies, Kevin and Alex raid the dead for items to barter for food. This too, is a way in which Alex learns to accommodate his beliefs to the realities of surviving. Meanwhile, the waters in the streets keep rising, and more services in New York are shutting down. Alex finds out that some of the rich have a way to escape New York; but it’s an option not open to people without money or influence. Yet he is determined to find a way for his little family to survive, no matter what it takes.Evaluation: Whichever book you read second will not have the shock value of the first, since you will already know how bad things will get and what steps will be necessary for survival. And yet, the opportunity to hear the story from an entirely different sort of teen in an entirely different environment makes the companion book well worth reading. Both books command your attention, especially with the current unease over real-life environmental aberrations. And in both books, survival is not a given for these teens; their fights to save themselves and their families will keep you transfixed until you find out what happens. A third book, This World We Live In, continues the saga. These books are generally recommended for middle and high school students, although they also, of course, are immensely interesting for adults.
  • (4/5)
    Pfeffer revisits here the world she created in Life As We Knew It - but shifts her scene to New York City, to again tell the story of a normal teenager (Alex), trying to do the best he can t survive in a post-apocalyptic world, after an asteroid crashes into the moon. Again, the atmosphere and images of this story were particularly vivid and memorable (and shocking). I enjoyed this almost as much as I enjoyed the first in the series, although they tell quite different stories.
  • (5/5)
    When the moon's orbit is knocked closer to the Earth by an asteroid, tidal waves, earthquakes, tsunamis and major climate change occurs. 17 year old Alex is responsible for his younger sisters in the absence of their parents. Their father was is Puerto Rico when the disaster occurred and their mother was called into work at the hospital, both never return. Survival becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous.One of the scariest books I ever read.
  • (3/5)
    I'm on the fence about this book; because I really do enjoy the way Susan writes. Her ability to draw you into this End of Days type of world is to be admired. There are things I've committed to memory from reading her books just in case the moon should ever be knocked closer to earth.My biggest issues with book 2 was the incessant religion. I'm an atheist at the best of times, but I can handle religion in novels in small doses. Every single conversation lead character Alex has with a person ends with them offering prayers to one another. Alex and his sister's pray everyday. It just grows tiresome to read. Another issue I have is with the way Alex tells his sisters they must do all the cooking and cleaning for him. I understand that this is a religious family of a background where women are expected to be the woman-of-the-house or whatever, but it's quite confronting to read Alex complaining his 13-year-old sister didn't clean his shirt good enough in a time of sparse electricity and global destruction. Clean your own damn shirt, idiot.Other than his patriarchal ways, Alex is quite a bold and heroic character. His concern for his sisters at the expense of his own safety and health is admirable. The loss of Bri comes as an expected shock, I held out hope that she would make it through. Julie is a survivor, and I only hope her life improves. The indifference between Julie and Alex grows into a bond after the tragedy, the fact their parents never return, and Bri's subsequent death. They are all each other has and it's refreshing to read that neither of them take this for granted.If this had been the first book I had read in the series, I would have stopped reading at once. So from an authors perspective, I applaud Susan for writing something so drastically different from Miranda in Life As We Knew It that it could be mistaken for being another author's work. As I await the arrival of the third book in the series, I've read that the two worlds collide with Alex and Miranda. I'm quite excited for that to happen; I just hope I don't wind up reading Miranda's complete conversion to Alex's religion. Recommend to keep up with the series, but if the religion doesn't bother you at all; you should enjoy it as much as the first.
  • (5/5)
    Wow! This book was just as good as the first one. This book took us into the lives of people in New York. You are with The Morales family. You have Mami, Papi, Brianna, Julie, Carlos and Alex. Papi is in Puerto Rico, Mami gets called into work at the hospital and Carlos is in the Marines when everything starts to change because of the moon. So Alex, Bri, and Julie are left by themselves.This is a heart wrenching story. They are a religious family and the children are attending Catholic Schools. This really makes them wonder why God would let this happen. I found the religion very honest and truthful. As things get worse Alex does what he can for his sisters, going so far as sending the oldest Bri to a convent to help work on a farm. Until she returns because she has asthma and the farms have all died. Now Alex needs to get food for his sisters and him. They have food given out on Fridays. The schools are open and serve lunch. But how long will that last? Will they be able to survive in New York?I was crying by the end of the story. The loss and devastation that Alex, Bri, and Julie see is enough to change anyone and make you think about God and humanity. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!!
  • (4/5)
    This book continues where "Life As We Knew It" leaves off -- except a new protagonist and new location. The moon is still akilter. Life is still definitely not good. We are in New York City now instead of a Pennsylvania rural town. A young man named Alex Morales is our hero trying to take care of two sisters by himself. Just like the previous book in this trilogy, it is hard to put down. Although written for a younger audience, I still loved the story line (being a sucker for a disaster story). I can't wait to read the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Both The Dead and The Gone and Life as We Knew It are easy to "sell" to students. Appealing to kids that don't really like sci-fi.
  • (3/5)
    This companion book to Life As We Knew It follows the post lunar disaster experiences of Alex, Julie and Bri, the children of a New York City apartment super. Like the previous book there are some flaws in the writing (why isn't anyone eating the rats?), but readers who liked Life As We Knew It may enjoy this book too.
  • (4/5)
    Second book about life on Earth after an asteroid knocks the moon out of orbit and causes catastrophic global upheaveal in the natural and man-made worlds. This one focuses on what happens in New York City, through the eyes of 17 year old Alex Morales-who must take care of his sisters when his parents are killed in the events of the first day. Starts off a little slow but then builds momentum and get very good; the Morales' faith and their connection to the Catholic church is also interesting and a central part of the book.
  • (3/5)
    As a big fan of Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It, I couldn't put my finger at first on why this companion novel, which also chronicles the effects of a catastrophic asteroid-moon collision, doesn't quite measure up. Two possible explanations: the third person narrative is not as immediate as the first person in the first novel, and Pfeffer is not as deep into the head of her protagonist, a Puerto Rican son of a New York City building super whose hopes of a college scholarship are dashed by the emergency. That said, this is still a gripping novel. It is not for the faint of heart; Alex's encounters with gigantic rats and dead bodies are vividly portrayed.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this story much more than the first, possibly because I preferred the third-person narration. Also, the characters of Alex Morales and his sisters were more sympathetic.