Monday, December 2, 2013

(97)The Living by Matt De La Pena

The Living

Pages: 320
Publication Date: November 12, 2013

In order to help his mom pay the bills, Shy took a summer job with a cruise line.  He is planning on spending the summer racking up the tips while getting some sun and meeting some ladies.  He did not expect the hard work, the man who jumped overboard or the man in the black suit who won't seem to leave him alone.  He also did not expect a tsunami to hit the cruise ship after "the big one" destroyed the entire west coast.   His dream summer of fun quickly turns to a nightmare when the ship is destroyed and he finds himself adrift at sea on a lifeboat with a dying man and a snooty girl.  Will Shy and Addie be rescued before they run out of water?  And what does all of this have to do with the man who jumped overboard? 

First of all let me say that The Living just reinforced my firm belief that I do not belong on a cruise ship. Ever.  The book started out a little slow and the build-up to the "event" went on for nearly 100 pages and then things started moving so fast I almost got whiplash.  Once I got to the end and realized that The Living is part of a series and I suspect that if read all at once, the build-up doesn't seem quite so long.  Shy is quite a resourceful young man and I enjoyed to seeing him springing into action to help those on the ship and also when they are on the lifeboat.   Even though he played a hero role he was still very much afraid and at the mercy of nature as the rest of the characters.  It made the story even seem more real.  And terrifying. 

Bottom line, Young Adult apocalyptic novels are one of my favorite means of escape from reality.  The Living was a quick and entertaining read.  I will likely read the following books in the series, but I may try to seek them out at the library instead of purchasing.


Lisa Mandina said...

I enjoyed this one too! It was a bit of a change from the author's usual type of story, but like you, the disaster types of YA are often my favorite.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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