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Publisher's Summary

Shy takes the summer job to make some money. A few months on a luxury cruise liner - how bad can it be? Bikinis, free food, maybe even a girl or two...there’s always going to be a fresh crop of passengers, after all. He’ll rake in the tips and be able to help his mom with the bills.

But then an earthquake more massive than any ever recorded hits California, and Shy’s life is changed forever. The earthquake is only the beginning. Twenty-four hours and a catastrophic chain of events later, Shy is lost at sea, fighting to survive - and stuck with her.

She’s blond and she’s rich, and never in her life would she have dreamed she’d be adrift in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by death and completely dependent on a guy like Shy.

And Shy hasn’t even faced the worst yet.

©2013 Matt de la Peña (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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YA Dystopia Cruise Line

Yet another young adult novel about the impending apocalypse. Stranded in the ocean is a new twist, but beware the same tired format: boy loves girl out of his league while she loves someone else; other consolation girl loves boy. Entertainment Weekly compared characters' composition to those created by John Green. I say, not even close. Save your credit on this one and if you like YA and haven't discovered John Green or Stephen Chbosky, check them out instead.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin
  • Carlsborg, WA, United States
  • 12-29-13

Ripe for a Sequel?

What would have made The Living better?

The Living would have been better if it had an ending. Not sure if de la Pena is gunning for a sequel or if we're meant to basically just imagine what happened next. Perplexing.

Would you recommend The Living to your friends? Why or why not?

I sort of recommended this to my 14 year old although I think the reading level is more of that of a 9 year old..except for the girly stuff.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator needs to listen to how a book should be narrated. He had the same inflection it seemed for every sentence. It was distracting.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Living?

I wouldn't have cut scenes, I would have added a freaking ending. What happened to Addy? Does Shy end up with Carmen? There's no way of knowing.

Any additional comments?

Readers that enjoy this genre need to read or listen to the 'The Fifth Wave' to see how it's REALLY done.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Thrilling story!

My daughter listened to this first after Matt De La Pena spoke at her school. She's bugged me to read it and now I know why she loved it. Wonderful believable characters woven into a rich and exciting tale. The narrator for this book does a great job of illustrating each character through his voice.

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A HUGE dissappointment!

I picked up this novel because it hit a lot of genres I like, including disaster, drama, and thriller, but boy, the moniker of a YA novel really pulls this piece down.

The characters are stock -- they're somewhat likable, but they have very clunky story lines that are told in huge plot dumps. Being that most of the characters are of color (of Latino origin-I think), they must all talk in "street-slang" (read: use a lot of profanity, talk about females as sexual objects, while the girls are pretty spacey, and listen to latin beats to make themselves seem more "cultured") -- and they absolutely MUST have no other role but to serve the rich (READ: All white, privileged, and racist--because they just ARE).

The narrator in the story also provides a very teen-ish sounding voice to everyone, but the delivery is jubilant to the point of being annoying. I found myself on many occasions going "can we just get to the disaster so the story can get going?". When the wave finally hits the ship, the narration took away from the drama of the disaster, and at that point, I couldn't listen any more.

Granted, I'm not the intended audience for this book, being an adult -- but COME ON!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful