The Dead and the Gone (Life As We Knew It #2) - Susan Beth Pfeffer

4 stars!

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event--an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
     With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities. 

 Susan Beth Pfeffer is the author of many books for teens, including the New York Times best-selling novel Life As We Knew It, which was nominated for several state awards, and its companion books, The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In, and The Shade of the Moon. She lives in Middletown, NY. 

This has turned out to be an amazing series! I had no intentions on reading these until the first one became a "book of the month"  for a shelfari group I am in, so I thought "Oh well, what the heck, might as well give it a try." 
This is turning into one of my favorite series. Book 2 was not quite as good as the first but still gripping, sad, and shocking! Normally a book 2 would take off where the first left off, but this one actually happens at the same time as book 1, just in a different location. "Life as We Knew it" takes place in PA as we follow Miranda and her family through this tragedy. In the 2nd book - "The Dead and the Gone" it takes us to New York City where we are introduced to Alex, a 17 yr old who is left to take care of his younger sisters when neither of his parents come home after the devastation.

To me, this book started out a little slower in the beginning, but got much more shocking after the middle. So - the first one was better all around, but I almost liked the ending of this one better. And when I say shocking, I do mean shocking! There is so much sadness in these books and the author doesn't spare us any details! This one does get a little graphic. I was in tears all through the last couple chapters.

This series certainly has had some of us talking! I am in a book discussion group, and my friend Jen is also reading them. The effects it has had on people is amazing. These books certainly make you think. My friend Vonnie "Vonnie's Reading Corner" said she googled how far she was from the ocean - only 20 mi., and she is near a fault line, so she is "screwed either way!" another person I know said she actually did go out and buy some jugs of water and some canned food, another woman said she had nightmares, and Jen "At Random" now has the 3rd book - "This World We Live In" actually stalking her! - HERE

I just got the third one from the library and plan on starting after the weekend.
Check out my review for the first book - HERE

If you have been contemplating if you should read these or not - contemplate no more! Read them, they will change the way you look at the world.


  1. This really is a great series for book club discussions! It definitely makes you think.

    And thanks for the link to my stalking post ;)

    I'll second what Wendy said, if you're on the fence about these then I say jump over that fence and read them!!

    1. Seriously! Did you ever think that these were going to be THAT good? I didn't. I was very pleasantly surprised.

  2. My daughter just gave me the first book, and it's only a matter of time before I dive in. I remember her talking about it and saying that it was amazing when she was reading it, and she liked the second book too. Time is a'wastin. I need to get on these, quick!

  3. I'm still waiting for my copy at the library. I can't even imagine how the events are unfolding for this book since it takes place in NY. I would suspect that most of the state would be underwater.

    And yes...the idea that I'm screwed either way only makes me hope that I won't have to go through this in my lifetime.

  4. I wasn't planing on finishing this series but then I found out that there is going to be a fourth book. How exciting is that? I liked the first better than the second but they were book good.