Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Living by Matt de la Pena

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.

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.  (taken from inside book jacket)

This is Matt's fifth novel, but the first one I've read.  Now before you pick this up, it's important to note that he's currently working on the sequel, The Hunted, which will hopefully be released in a few months.  

When I first began reading, I was captivated by the characters.  They're strong.  Some are likable, some...well not so much.  But each one fits strongly into an identifiable personality profile.  Basically, they're a lot of fun to study because they're realistic and varied.

As I continued reading, I found myself sucked into the drama and trauma.  There are a lot of crazy things going on in the world and you know they all connect somehow, but you can't quite figure out how.  So you keep reading and reading and adding puzzle piece after puzzle piece in an attempt to figure it all out.  Along the way, you find yourself sucked into the ocean amidst bloated corpses.

Don't worry.  Though there are some pretty gruesome scenes, nothing is really graphically described to the point that it would cause issue.  There's just enough that you feel the urgency of the situation as it occurs.  

This was a great read for me.  I became immersed and lost.  We have strange phenomena surrounding our characters and each is dealing with their own personal live crisis as well as larger issues that encompass the masses.  There's plenty of action and suspense.  Even a hero or two will pop up.  The one issue I had is that once the book ended...I found myself desperately looking for more pages.  I hope Mr. Matt De La Pena knows that the curse words I was using for having to wait for The Hunted were not ladylike in any manner.    This is definitely an action series for the keeper shelf.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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