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Alex Morales is a 17-year-old Puerto Rican boy living with his family in New York. He has two younger sisters, Briana and Julie, and his parents, who he calls Mami and Papi. Everything is going pretty normally for Alex. He's the vice president of his school council and he's looking forward to getting into a great college.

But in one moment everything changes. Something huge hit the moon and knocked it out of place. It's now closer to Earth, causing a lot of horrible changes, including tidal waves, flooding, blackouts, and overall panic. According to many people, the Earth is coming to an end.

Alex's father was in Puerto Rico when it happened and they haven't heard from him since, and his mother was called in to the hospital where she works. Alex is afraid that since she hasn't contacted them that she died when there was a flood in the subway.

All of a sudden, Alex realizes that he is the sole caregiver to his two sisters. He has no idea when his parents will be back (if ever) and he's terrified.

People all around New York are dropping like flies. Bodies line the streets. People are going crazy trying to get their hands on food. Nothing that seemed important before is important now. All that matters is staying alive. And Alex is determined to care for his sisters and keep them alive no matter what.

But is that really possible with what has happened to the Earth?

Wow, this book was intense! It's scary in all ways possible. Reading about the bodies lining the streets of New York brought shivers to my spine. It's hard to explain in words how crazy this book is. If you like really intense books then this is definitely a story for you.

Also, be sure to read Ms. Pfeffer's previous release, LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, which deals with the same issue that's discussed in this book but with different characters. I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure it's just as good and frightening as THE DEAD & THE GONE.

Reviewed by: Breanna F.
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on 3 July 2008
Billed as a terrifying follow up to Life as We Knew It. As a "follow up" I was expecting for life to have moved on a number of years; for survival stories post-disaster. This was not the case as it actually runs in parallel to the first book and gives a different perspective of the after effects of an asteroid collision with the moon.

If read as a standalone book, the reader might be confused as the diary of events begins on the day of the disaster and with no clear explanation of what has happened. Set in downtown New York this time, 17 yr old Alex and his two sisters have to fight for survival as their parents are missing, presumed dead. Alex takes on the parental role and there are tantrums and arguments with his youngest sister. But his efforts to find food and keep his sisters safe and warm plod along chapter by chapter and although society is clearly devasted there is little mention of how the authorities keep law and order. The lives of the remaining population are a living nightmare, but there are many missed opportunities of threads of story lines that could have been pursued to warrant this book being a'terrifying' read. There is death and disease and yes, their survival is harsh but I felt very little empathy for their situation as the writing just did not grab me. The death of one person reminded me of a Roald Dahl tale, (The Way up to Heaven) and that was the most satisfying part of my read.

I absolutely loved Life as We Knew it. It seems with this "follow-up" the author rode on the back of the previous success and tried to scrape together just a little bit more - but regretably it just did not work for me.
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2012
I enjoyed this book. Not as much as Life As We Know It, but enough to be gripped to the pages and invested in the story of the Morales family.

This book was definitely darker than than previous, more gruesome, brutal and violent but surprisingly I found it less believable. This is New York right? One of the most highly populated cities in the world. So I found the three Morelas kids isolation in an apartment block a little odd. I saw Pfeffer's aim at showing how the rich and 'important' and the poor would be treat differently, but I didn't believe they'd be so immediately forgotten about.

I also struggled with the constant religion in this book. Particularly from Alex's sister Brianna. Her blind faith annoyed me, especially when it put herself and others in danger. Yet everyone in this book pampers her. Julie on the other hand is seen as an annoyance, a liability. Personally I'd prefer her resourcefulness and fighting spirit in the face of the Apocalypse..she was my favorite character.

I think the biggest issue was that there's no expansion on the first book here. We don't learn anything new, it's just another persons version of events. I sound like I actually hated it, I didn't. It's still a good read, and the idea behind it is awesom
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on 2 May 2015
After learning there was a sequel to Life as We Knew It, I immediately purchased The Dead and the Gone and I am very happy that I did. This book is a wonderful follow up that shows what is happening in New York, from the perspective of Alex Morales. I much prefer this book in 3rd person, rather than in diary format. I thought that these characters were much easier to get attached to, (that is not to say that Miranda and her family were unlikable) because they were very much alone and Alex was a much more likable lead character. I only wished that we could have got to find out more about Kevin, as I thought that there was something more going on with him which would have been interesting to explore. Also, though I understand why Susan Pfeffer did not explain in greater detail what happened with the moon, anyone reading this book without reading Life as We Knew It, would probably have been a little confused. All in all, a fantastic emotional book (I'll admit I did cry at it). It is worth reading.
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on 17 January 2010
The "sequel" to "Life as we knew it", this story of life after an asteroid hits the moon, causing catastrophic weather change along the east coast of America, in fact takes place in parallel to the first book. The story concerns a young family and their struggle to survive in New York without their parents, with only the church and their school to give them help and guidance.

Once again, the events take place over a plausibly long time-scale and the author describes, in harrowing detail, how the city's infrastructure gradually breaks down with suicides, looting and lawlessness becoming the norm. Having just returned from a holiday in New York, I could more easily imagine the events taking place there and felt that this sometimes disturbing narrative would make a brilliant film.
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on 26 August 2008
I found this book a very compelling read. It's prequel, Life as we Knew It, I enjoyed, but I actually found this one better in a way. The characters were very believable and I was totally dragged into their world that I actually ended up finishing the book in one day.

The book outlines what happens to teenaged Alex and his younger sisters after the world is thrown into turmoil after the moon is hit by an asteroid. Although, as the previous review states, I did find myself wondering about the bigger picture of things, the story that is presented is so compelling and often heartbreaking that all I really cared about was the outcome of Alex and his sisters. I found myself wishing things and willing things to happen.

I really enjoyed reading this, and it's great if you enjoyed the first book because it basically follows the same premise, yet in a different way. For those expecting more the the first book, then this is probably not the book for you, but if themes of a struggle for survival, and a collection of characters to really care about are for you then this is a great read.
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on 11 May 2013
The second in a trilogy of books. The moon is knocked closer to earth due to a meteoric impact and this caused all sorts of natural disasters explained in the first book. I was pleasantly surprised to find this installment takes place in New York and is written from the perspective of a 17 year old boy called Alex (the girl in the first book annoyed more than a little). His mum works in a hospital, his father is away at a funeral and his older brother is in the marines. When his mum doesn't come home from work, and they hear nothing from his father, Alex finds himself in charge of his two younger sisters. I found this book more enjoyable than the first, the characters more likeable and more interesting, although when Alex is particularly hard on his sisters it rankles a bit. They're a very religious family, Alex in particular, so he finds it difficult doing some of the things he has to do to provide for his family but when the world is coming to an end you have to do things you wouldn't normally consider wouldn't you? There was more of a sense of desperation at times in this book, and though by no means did the characters in the first book have it easy or a happy ending, I felt more for these characters and their loss. I liked this installment more. What does the third hold in store? Oh Goody, we're back to Miranda and her family in the third one :-(
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on 10 January 2012
I was a little unsure about reading this after loving "Life as we Knew it" so much. I knew it wasn't going to have
the same characters from that book as this one tells the story of the end of the world in a different city, through
the eyes of Alex. This book covers the same time phrame as the first so we are hearing the story of the same events.
The moon has been knocked off its orbit, closer to Earth causing many problems. The weather changes, food is running
out, the world is ending. But I LOVED it! I don't agree with the more negative reviews I have read. Yes I agree
that you should read the 1st book before this, it will make more sense. But I loved the characters in this, even Julie!
I think the way Alex is written is very accurate. His lack of emotions regarding the awful things he is seeing makes
sense to me. If he fell apart everytime he saw a corpse, or rats eating them then he would be useless to his sisters.
He had to stay strong for them, and that meant in some ways he had to stop caring about some things.

I really enjoyed finding out how a huge city like New York was effected as the 1st book was set in a smaller town.
My only critisism is it could've given a wider picture of what was happening in the city but this didn't let the
book down at all. It is a grim read, but it's about the end of the world so what do you expect? I really think the
author has written an excelent account of what it would be like if something like this were to happen and the
characters were very well written and developed. They all changed and became people you may not have expected them
to become and once again the author did not cop out and just write some happy ever after ending where it all works out
in the end. For a book like this, that would be a let down.

Ultimately this book ends on quite a cliffhanger. Does Alex make it out of the city? Does he find safety for his family?
Well to find out you'll have to read "This World We Live In" which is the final installment where the characters from
the 1st and 2nd book come together. I for one cannot wait to find out what happens to these characters I have grown
to care about and will go read it right now, just as soon as I get another cup of tea!
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on 2 December 2011
I loved Life As We Knew It and was eager to read the follow up. Sadly it was a huge let down. There just doesn't seem as much effort put into this book as was put into the first.

Little effort is made with characterisation, or with establishing the characters' backgrounds, so when the disaster hits (within the first few pages) you don't much care about the people involved. For the remainder of the book the protagonist, Alex, seems to go through the motions, being all stoic and determined, but with little emotion. Seeing rats gnawing off corpses' faces doesn't warrant anything more than a cursory remark. He just came across like a robot, which is a shame as the main reason Life As We Knew It was so gripping was because of the three dimensional protagonist.

I suppose I'll read the third book, but I'm not sure what to expect after this book being such a disappointment.
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on 22 May 2011
Seventeen year old Alex Morales is working at his part-time job,when the unthinkable has happen. The moon has been pushed closer the Earth and with that rising seas, earthquakes and volcano once dead are becoming active again. Overnight Alex, with the lost of his parents, taking care of his under sisters Julie and Briana. Over time the conditions in New York City become hard and everyday is a struggle for Alex and his sisters.
"The Dead and The Gone" is the follow novel by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This time Ms.Pfeffer shows the readers how the struggle in a uban evviroment can hard than in the country. While it was a decent read, I thought that diary format didn't not really work for this novel as it did in the first book, "Life As We Knew it." But overall it was a pretty decent read.
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