Tag Archives: Moon Crash trilogy

Shade of the Moon [ARC] by Susan Beth Pfeffer

shade of the moonI 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!  😉

Happy Reading!

this world we live in by Susan Beth Pfeffer [ARC]

I have been a fan of the Moon Crash Trilogy since before it was even called the Moon Crash Trilogy…  Since before it was approved to become a trilogy, even!  I have been following Susan Beth Pfeffer’s blog — http://susanbethpfeffer.blogspot.com — for a couple of years now, and I have been anxiously following the development of this world we live in since she first mentioned approaching her editor with the idea for a follow-up story.  I have done my best to stay away from the spoilers on the blog, and I have waited as patiently as possible, but the wait is finally over!  I received my ARC on Monday, and I finished it last night…  Let me just say, “Whoa!”  Even though the other two books have some freaky disasters and frightening situations, this book definitely takes the cake.  I will do my best to give you a decent idea of the story without giving away too much of the plot…  And, if you know me, I may even lend you the ARC so you can see for yourself before the March 31, 2010, release!

It’s been almost a year since the fateful day when the moon was hit by a meteor.  Modern day conveniences, like electricity and running water, still haven’t been fully restored.  No one knows if they ever will.  Miranda, her mother, and her brothers (Jon and Matt) are doing the best they can to survive on the meager supplies of canned foods they get from Town Hall every week.  They’re fortunate that they have a wood stove to keep them from freezing to death, since the shift in climate meant that winter started in about August and still hasn’t let up — even though it would normally be spring by now.  They’re especially lucky to have each other, since so many people have died from cold, sickness, and starvation already.  Jon and Matt do the majority of the wood chopping, and Miranda helps her mom with upkeep tasks like cooking and cleaning.  With occasional trips to forage for supplies in abandoned houses, they are getting by… but barely.

Jon and Matt decide to go on a fishing trip to bolster their food supplies, and return with a bit more than just fish.  Matt met a girl (Syl) during this 3 day trip, and the two have already “exchanged vows,” thus considering themselves married.  Adding this extra person to the family creates a whole lot of tension, since food supplies are already scarce, but Matt insists that he loves Syl and she is not going anywhere.  It seems, however, that adding Syl to the equation is practically nothing compared to when their father (Hal) returns with his new wife (Lisa), their baby (Gabriel), and three of their traveling companions (Charlie, Alex, and Julie).  With six more mouths to feed, everyone starts to worry that the food will run out in no time.  Will they be able to find enough food in abandoned houses?  Or will they find a way to get more food from the town?  Will they have to leave Howell in search of a better-functioning city after all?

People who read the first two books will be glad to learn a lot more about what happened to characters from both Life As We Knew It and the dead & the gone…  And people who haven’t read the first two books should go back and start reading them NOW!  Seriously…  Don’t start this book until you’ve read the first two!  You’ll thank me later.

Happy Reading!

the dead & the gone (td&tg) by Susan Beth Pfeffer [ARC]

td&tg coverLet me just start off by saying that Susan Beth Pfeffer is completely, amazingly awesome for passing along the ARCs of td&tg to fans (like me) who have been dying to read this follow-up to LAWKI! I literally screamed and then jumped up and down — in the middle of my library! — when I found out I was among the chosen few to receive an ARC. Now that I am finally done reading it, the ARC is making its way through the hands of the other YS librarians, but I will certainly loan it to anyone else who stops by the library and asks. For the most up-to-date news about td&tg — like if Ms. Pfeffer has any more ARCs to raffle off from the Bolivian hat! — check out her blog at http://susanbethpfeffer.blogspot.com/. And now, on to the review:

In td&tg, we follow the lives of the Morales family (of NYC). When a meteor crashes into the moon, resulting in natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, Papi is away (in Puerto Rico) to attend a funeral, Mami is called in to work at a hospital in Queens, and their eldest son, Carlos, is in California with the Marines. This means that 17-year-old Alex is now responsible for his younger sisters, fourteen-year-old Briana and twelve-year-old Julie. Alex knows that it will be tough to be the head of the household, but he reassures himself that it is only temporary. Mami will soon come home from the hospital, and Papi will return from Puerto Rico as soon as airplanes start flying again. Right?

Unfortunately, things are not as simple as he initially thought. Much like Miranda, in LAWKI, Alex goes through a very quick maturation and learns the true definitions of hard work, sacrifice, and love. When food supplies start to run out, Alex makes some very tough decisions — skipping meals so his sisters can eat more; sending Briana away to work at a convent so she will have ready access to fresh food, which also frees up more food for Alex and Julie; stealing from other people’s apartments to reinforce his families supplies of food, clothing, and other necessities; and doing other, terrible, things he never could have imagined in his previous life for the sake of a few more meals.

In stark contrast to Miranda’s house with a wood stove, in the suburban setting of LAWKI, the Morales family must try to survive in a contemporary NYC high-rise apartment building. How will they stay warm once the oil in the furnace is gone? When the natural gas and electricity stop, how will they cook their food or boil their drinking water? At times, it seems that all hope is gone, but Alex and his sisters cling to life with their strong Catholic faith and their hope for a future in which they will be reunited with the rest of their family.

Sometimes gross, often heart-breaking, but always enthralling. This would be a great book for a reluctant reader. (Just make sure s/he doesn’t have too many anxiety issues!)

Happy Reading!

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s story is both inspiring and terrifying at the same time. Emily Bauer’s voice talents, nevertheless, bring the story to a whole new level. This post-catastrophe story is scary, and realistic, enough to make you think twice about life as you know it.

Happy Reading!

P.S. LAWKI’s follow-up/parallel story, the dead & the gone, is coming soon — and I am lucky enough to have an Advance Reader Copy (ARC)! I will be sure to let you know how it is!

Life As We Knew It (LAWKI) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

lawki coverI read LAWKI a while ago, when I was only reviewing Tween books, so it never made it on my blog (I don’t think it did, anyway)… Such a shame because it was an awesome, albeit rather fear-inspiring, post-apocalyptic story. Miranda is a typical American sophomore. She is a bit self-absorbed, she often argues with her mom, and she can’t wait until she can get her driver’s license. When a meteor knocks the moon out of its usual orbit, however, “life as we knew it” comes to an end. Everyday luxuries like electricity, heat, and food for simply snacking become things of the past. Will Miranda’s family pull together or fall apart? Will the world ever go back to “normal,” or will natural disasters become the norm? Find out for yourself when you read the book!

ON A RELATED NOTE: Lately, I have been getting really exciting about LAWKI’s soon-to-be-published “sister” book, the dead & the gone. Yes, by the way, it is supposed to be all lowercase! Luckily, someone (either on a listserv or in another book blog) alerted me to the fact that Susan Beth Pfeffer has her own blog now! While I was checking out http://susanbethpfeffer.blogspot.com/ this morning, for news about td&tg, I noticed an offer for a free copy of the audiobook for LAWKI — if you were among the first three people to e-mail her. I knew it was unlikely that I would be in the first three, but I had to try! Well… It paid off! I will soon be receiving my very own copy of the audiobook, as read by Emily Bauer. I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Happy Reading!