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The Livingby Matt De La Pena
Synopses & Reviews
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.
“De la Peña has created a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel.”-Entertainment Weekly, A-
“Action is first and foremost. . . . De la Peña can uncork delicate but vivid scenes.” —The New York Times
“[The Living] is special because of its extraordinary protagonist, Shy, who I haven’t been able to shake from my mind in the weeks since I read the book.”-John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars
"There's no way to classify The Living. It's everything I love mixed into one fantastic, relentless, action-packed story. As always with Matt, the characters are the best part. So real. I loved this book."-James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series and The Eye of Minds
[Star] "An addictive page-turner and character-driven literary novel with broad appeal for fans of both."-Kirkus Reviews, Starred
[Star] "An excellent, enthralling ride...a great read for those looking for adventure and survival stories."-VOYA, Starred
"De la Peña (I Will Save You) delivers near-constant action, a high body count, and a compelling cast of characters in this socially aware thriller."-Publisher's Weekly
"Peña takes the time to establish some solid rapport among his characters before unleashing the mayhem, though, and the central disease and drug scam is so viciously immoral that readers will probably book passage on the upcoming sequel, to learn whether Shy and his two smokin'-hot love interests will bring the bad guys to their knees."-The Bulletin
"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."-School Library Journal
"A straight-up tour de force, a breathless, horrifying dash into the void...he 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
Pura Belpre Author Honor Award Winner
An ALSC 2014 Notable Children's Book Pick
"De la PeÃ±a (I Will Save You) delivers near-constant action, a high body count, and a compelling cast of characters in this socially aware thriller. Shy Espinoza's summer gig working on a luxury cruise ship is not going as planned. On his first voyage, he witnesses a suicide up-close and personal; now he's having nightmares, and a mysterious man in black wants to know what the dead man told Shy before he slipped through his fingers into the ocean. Back in California, Shy's nephew has been diagnosed with the mysterious, border-jumping disease that killed his grandmother. Then, in the wake of a massive environmental catastrophe, Shy struggles to survive in a waterlogged life raft with Addie, a spoiled rich girl who just a few days earlier was out of his league; what follows only deepens the mystery about the events battering Shy's life. De la PeÃ±a 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. Ages 14 — up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writer's House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
The Living is Matt de la Peña’s fifth novel and for which he received the Pura Belpré Author Honor Award. 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. Look for Matt’s other books, Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and I Will Save You, all available from Delacorte Press. You can also visit him at mattdelapena.com and follow @mattdelapena on Twitter.
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