Rummanah Aasi
With the recent news of natural disasters plaguing the world, this title was very chilling to read. Like its companion novel, Life as We Knew It, Pfeffer focuses on the same event: the moon being thrown out of orbit by an asteroid and the chain of related consequences. After describing what happened in a rural Pennsylvania town in the first book, she now turns her attention to New York City.

Description: After his parents have disappeared and his older brother, Carlos, in the Marines, 17 years old Alex Morales is forced to grow up and take care of his two younger sisters alone in the chaos of New York City.

 Review: Although this book is much bleaker than its companion novel, I liked this story a lot more. I liked the characters in this story because I could relate to them on a personal level and thought the plot was a bit more realistic. Perhaps I'm a bit bias, since I was raised in Chicago and could picture the setting a bit more clearly.  

It is refreshing to see a family of color (in this case a family from Puerto Rico), be the main cast of characters and not be type cast in participating in gangs, poverty, etc. as we tend to see on TV. Alex may seem too could to be true, but I applaud his strength and courage to help his sisters by whatever means necessary. The concept of family, faith, and hope are integral to the characters and the crux of the story. The Morales family is faced with struggle after struggle, everything ranging to the plausible deaths of their family members, making sacrifices, and the desperate attempt in seeking food and shelter. Alex and his sister's faith, morals, and hopes of surviving are continuing tested. The scenes where Alex goes to the Yankee Stadium and 'body shops' with his friend are chilling and refuses to leave my mind after I finished reading the book.  While I was reading the book, I kept asking myself what would I do in Alex's position. I would like to believe that I would be strong like him, but I'm not so sure.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book by the author called This world we live in, which will bring readers up to speed with what happened to Miranda and her family from the first book.

Words of Caution: There are many scenes of disaster and images of death that may be too much for elementary school readers. I would recommend this book to 7th graders and up, particularly to those who enjoyed Life as We Knew It.

Rating: 4.5 stars

If you like this book, try: The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Staci Llyod
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