The Living (The Living #1)Hot
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.
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.