This is not really a sequel to ‘Life as We Knew It’; it is more like a companion book, kind of like the Giver books by Lois Lowry. In both novels, the main premise is that the moon got knocked out of its orbit by a meteor, and this causes all kinds of terrible environmental disasters that threaten to eradicate the human race. ‘Life’ takes place in an unnamed suburb and is told from the point of view of a girl, whereas this book, ‘The Dead and the Gone’ is told from the point of view of a 17 year old Puerto Rican American living in New York City.
I read this book because I had a love/hate relationship with ‘Life’; my relationship with ‘Dead and Gone’ was more hate/hate. It is not a badly written book, and it most certainly is a page turner, and anyone who read ‘Life’ will want to read it to the end, as I did. But it is SO DEPRESSING. Additionally, while I’m one of the biggest anti-censorship advocates I know, I won’t say kids shouldn’t read this book, but I will say that I’d think twice about giving it to a younger child. There is no language, no sexuality, no drug use, not even any real violence…it is just…disturbing. Imagine what would happen in NYC if electricity stopped and food supplies stopped and water became polluted and the sun got blocked out…whatever you are imagining, that’s what goes on in this story. May this type of tragedy NEVER actually become a reality.