The Living: Book summary and reviews of The Living by Matt de la Pena

The Living

By Matt de la Pena

The Living
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2013,
    320 pages.
    Age range: Young Adult


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Book Summary

Shy took the summer job to make some money. In a few months on a luxury cruise liner, he'll rake in the tips and be able to help his mom and sister out with the bills. And how bad can it be? Bikinis, free food, maybe even a girl or two - every cruise has different passengers, after all.

But everything changes when the Big One hits. Shy's only weeks out at sea when an earthquake more massive than ever before recorded hits California, and his life is forever changed.

The earthquake is only the first disaster. Suddenly it's a fight to survive for those left living.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Much of the fun of de la Peña's latest is how unexpectedly he blends genres, making this, in a sense, four books in one: a finely observed social-class drama, an on-the-sea survival adventure, a global-disaster book, and a contagion thriller." - Booklist

"Starred Review. It's a harrowing, exhilarating ride right up to the cliffhanger ending. An addictive page-turner and character-driven literary novel with broad appeal for fans of both." - Kirkus

"Adventure survival enthusiasts will relish the vivid and raw descriptions of the sinking ship, blistering sun, and shark-infested waters. But most appealing is the empathetic teen, portrayed as a tough guy with a romantic side, who will appeal to both males and females, and is likely to appear in the upcoming sequel, The Forgotten." -School Library Journal

"In Matt de la Peña's compulsively readable thriller...the breakneck plot will draw readers in, but Shy's personal discoveries about how the world is skewed toward those in power, and his decisions to do the right thing, will hold their attention." - Shelf Awareness

"De la Peña injects his hybrid natural/medical disaster novel with sharp commentary on social injustice, classism, and discrimination, and the effects of the story's many calamities set the stage for a planned sequel." - Publishers Weekly

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The Living is Matt de la Peña's fifth novel. He attended the University of the Pacific on a basketball scholarship and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at San Diego State University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing. Matt's other books include Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and I Will Save You

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