Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Date Published: November 12th 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Environment, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 7 hours 48 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Henry Leyva
Description: 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.
Warning: If you are planning a cruise, skip reading The Living til afterwards. Trust me on that.
The Living by Matt de la Pena is about a collection of characters on a cruise ship, trying to survive after an earthquake sets off a massive tsunami right in the path of the ship. All while a massive epidemic is raging through the people back home. On Shy’s first cruise, he witnesses a suicide. On he’s second, a tsunami. I don’t think working on a cruise ship was the best choice for a summer job!
What I really liked about The Living was the frantic pace set by Mr. de la Pena. I felt the realistic stress of the ship being hit by a tsunami. Watched with Shy as the wall of water came towards the lifeboat. Worried how the survivors of the ship wreck were going to get back home. I empathized with the characters as they try to fish off the side of a life boat. By the end, there was a lot of death for the survivors to deal with. Added to the shipwreck and the tsunami is the whole virus situation- don’t trust pharmaceutical companies.
What I didn’t like about the book was the end. The wrap up at the end was quick and a little too convenient. I would have liked to read more about what happens once the survivors returned home. Did they cure the virus? Save the rest of the world?
I thought that the narrator did a good job. Reading at a frantic pace along with the characters was helpful as a listener.
Overall, The Living is a really good suspense/thriller. I’d recommend it. So long as you aren’t afraid of the water.