The Living (The Living #1)

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3.3 (2)
 
1.0 (1)
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The Living
Age Range
14+
Release Date
November 12, 2013
ISBN
1480524360
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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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

You'll never want to take a cruise again
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
What I Loved:
The apocalyptic genre is one of my favorite when it comes to books and movies, so I knew this novel would appeal to me. THE LIVING reads like an action movie with high-stakes situations and non-stop suspense.

The author writes action sequences so well. When the cruise ship the narrator, Shy, is on is in danger, I could not stop turning the pages. The tension was so well done and the author doesn't shy away from showing the terrifying and gruesome parts of a disaster. I could vividly picture what was happening to the ship because the imagery was so clear.

I don't often read YA novels with a male narrator. I liked how Shy was an average teenager. He thinks about girls a lot, but he's also dedicated to his family and friends.

What Left Me Wanting More:
There are a lot of elements at play here: an apocalyptic situation, survival story, medical thriller, even a bit of contemporary romance. At times, it felt a little too overwhelming; these different parts, rather than blend together into one story, made it seem like a million different stories were put together into one. It felt a bit discordant to me.

The Final Verdict:
THE LIVING has the cinematic feel of an action movie paired with a realistic male narrator that will have readers racing through every page.
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Reads Like a Blockbuster Movie
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
A non- stop action adventure story, The Living, kept me on the edge of my seat. The best part of The Living is its interesting blend of genres; survival fiction, apocalyptic-natural disaster, mystery, and a little medical thriller.

The story builds quickly after the initial exposition. I found myself sitting down and reading the entire book in one day. Matt de la Pena does such am incredible job with the entire plot it reads like an action movie.The success of this book is that he is able to weave serious issues into a novel that moves at the pace of a Blockbuster action movie. Matt de la Pena writes about mixed race identity and class issues which makes The Living an insightful and relatable story beyond the survival tale.

The Living takes place in present day, Shy takes a summer job on a cruise line so he can help his family out with medical bills back home in California. Once things start to go wrong on the cruise ship it doesn't stop. Death is constantly knocking on the door. The first death occurs in the prologue and the body count just increases from there. Matt de la Pena is definitely a master at plot twists.

The last fifteen or so pages is a perfect set-up for the next book in the series. Although the ending leaves me wanting more- it is completely understandable and makes you want found out and grab the next book. De la Pena will catch off-guard as you read his well placed and exhilarating twists and turns.

The Living is a series and after reading the first book and I can't wait to see where the story goes next! There are so many possibilities. Looking forward to its sequel,The Hunted out in the Fall of 2014.
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0  (1)
Characters 
 
1.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
1.0  (1)
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One of the worst books of all time.
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
1.0
This book is full of terrible clichés, and is a complete ripoff of the titanic, and many other disaster books. The writing is mediocre, and the plot is terrible.
Good Points
There was some suspense, thrill, the characters were decent at best.
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