This is not really a sequel but more of a companion novel to Life As We Knew It. The events of the two books take place simultaneously. While Life As We Knew It focuses on a family in a small Midwestern town, The Dead and the Gone focuses on a Puerto Rican family in New York City. The Morales family faces many of the same challenges that Miranda faced (rationing food, sporadic electricity, constant wondering what will become of everyone), but the setting of the city brought presented the problems in a different way.
In both books, there is much more going on than just the fight to survive. In Life As We Knew It, Miranda has a love/hate relationship with her mother. In The Dead and the Gone, Alex finds both comfort and torment from his faith. He prays for the safety of his family, but he is also forced to make some ethically questionable decisions which make him wonder about the state of his soul.
As with the previous book, The Dead and the Gone ends on a note of optimism but without really letting the reader know for sure if everything will be fine in the end. Either one of these books would be great choices for a teen book club.
Reprinted here with author's permission.