I am so grateful that someone let Susan Beth Pfeffer in on the “secret definition of trilogy” [as Scott Westerfeld put it when he wrote the dedication for Extras]. I was not OK with leaving the Moon Crash Trilogy as it ended in This World We Live In… I needed to know what happened next! Luckily, Susan Beth Pfeffer listened to her fans and kept writing even when her publisher wasn’t [initially] interested in a fourth Moon Crash book.
Miranda’s younger brother, Jon, is now 16 years old. As the baby of the family, he has gotten used to a life of relative privilege. Even when food was extremely scarce, people made sure he was fed. When work needed to be done, others worked harder so he didn’t have to. And when Alex had only 3 slips to get into an enclave — which would provide more safety, food, and educational opportunities for the people within — everyone agreed that those slips should go to Jon, his stepmother, Lisa, and her baby, Gabe. Many clavers got in simply because of the money and power they had before the moon crash, so Jon’s so-called friends often remind him that he’s a “slip” and could be kicked out if he doesn’t play along/act the part of a claver well enough. Since his “job” is playing soccer and his status as a claver gets him as much food, booze, and trouble-free mischief as he wants, though, Jon is often all too happy to play along.
People in White Birch, including some of Jon’s own family members [Miranda, Alex, and his mom], are known as grubs and often work for clavers in the capacity of domestic servants, drivers, and greenhouse workers. I was extremely uncomfortable with Jon’s hateful attitude toward grubs and how cavalierly he acted despite his family’s position, but I could see how easily a teenager might dissociate for the sake of fitting in and surviving in such a harsh reality. As much as I hated Jon and the things he did, it made all too much sense that a spoiled kid raised in a post-apocalyptic world would turn out this way. Luckily, Jon experienced some decent character development and the ending left me feeling like there was hope for Jon and his family… and maybe even a fifth Moon Crash book! 😉