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The Dead and the Goneby Susan Beth Pfeffer
Synopses & Reviews
Set in the very near future, a wounded New York struggles with the aftermath of a power plant explosion that plunged the city into fourteen days of violence and darkness. Christened "Big Black" by the media, the presumed terrorist attack accomplished what 9/11 couldn't: killing the city's spirit and draining it of its life force. An enormous bug-like dome hastily constructed to keep toxic gases from escaping the site casts a gloomy pall over the city and serves as a bleak reminder of the tragedy. Deprived of all reason for optimism, New York's inhabitants slowly withdraw from human interaction and into the cold comfort of technology.
Seventeen-year-old Mal returns to the Brooklyn home of his foster parents one night to discover that his older brother, Tommy, has vanished after leaving a strange message on his phone. Mal launches a search for his brother that leads to a foreboding, seemingly unoccupied Manhattan skyscraper; once inside, he makes a careless mistake that reveals hidden cracks in the surface of the world he knows. Meanwhile, Laura, a high school senior is shaken from her quiet suburban life when her parents inexplicably abandon her and two agents from Homeland Security armed with a hypodermic needle show up at her home.
The two teenagers are thrown together with a cynical and bitter highschool teacher named Mike, and Jon Remak, a covert agent for a shadowy cooperative. The strangers share little in common, save for one terrifying fact: someone or something has wiped them from the memories of every single person the four have ever known. Only by working together can Mal and Laura hope to reclaim a past that was stolen from them--and start a future no one can take away.
"You will read it in one sitting, fighting back tears as you bite your nails."
--teenreads.com on Life As We Knew It
"You will read it in one sitting, fighting back tears as you bite your nails." --teenreads.com on Life As We Knew It
A riveting companion to Life As We Knew It
Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willas peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.
Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secretone that has the potential to tear her family apart.
Willa is lucky. She has a happy familyMom, Jack, her stepsisters Brooke and Alyssa, and Willaall living together in peace and contentment. But a frantic phone call from her mother's best friend from her hometown of Pryor, Texas, shatters that calm and stability. Willa's birth father has murdered his second wife and two daughters and the police think he is on his way east to find Willa and her mother.
Questions abound as Willa realizes that her mother has held on to many secrets. As those secrets begin to spill out, Willa is compelled to seek the truth about the family she never knew existed. In dusty Pryor, away from the peaceful home life shed always known, Willa begins to find her roots and question the meaning of blood ties. Only by looking at all of the pieces that make up her life can Willa discover her strength and independenceand realize what family ties really mean.
About the Author
SUSAN BETH PFEFFER is the author of many books for teens, including the bestselling novel The Year Without Michael. She lives in Middletown, New York.
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