I was completely wowed (and frightened) by Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It. This new novel is not a sequel, but rather another story about the same events, just experienced in a different location and by different people. It’s amazing what a different story it makes. Although I don’t have a post for Life as We Knew It, I do reference it in my post about The Road. In case you didn’t know, I’m about the only person in America who hated The Road, and I said I much preferred some other post-apocalyptic YA novels to it. After reading The Dead and the Gone I’ve decided that I simply have to stop reading any of these books. Seriously. They haunt me and I can’t stop thinking of them. I had trouble going to sleep when I finished it, the next night I had a dreadful dream, and I’ve already thought it through and told my mother that if some horrific event occured (and cars didn’t run) I would not be able to go get her, but would have to leave her. I’ve also thought of which canned goods I would stock up on (if I had the choice.)
But enough about my obsessive dwelling and on to the book….
The catastrophic event is that the moon has been knocked close to the earth by an asteroid. This causes tidal waves, floods, wipes out coastlines and islands, causes volcanic explosions which leads to a smothering layer of ash which causes the Earth to get very cold. There’s really no good way to recover from that. In the first book the girl lived in the suburbs, but in this book Alex, a teenage boy, lives in Manhattan. His experience, as a city dweller, is entirely different. For one thing, there are a lot more dead bodies. For another thing, the infrastructure takes a little longer to break down, but it does. Also, Alex is a devout Catholic and his faith and reliance on the church really shape his survival.
Although these novels gave me nightmares, they were so well written and so thought provoking. I highly recommend them!