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Posted November 17, 2013
Posted January 1, 2014
Shy Espinoza is excited to get a summer job on a Hawaii-bound cr
Shy Espinoza is excited to get a summer job on a Hawaii-bound cruise ship to make some good money to help his family. He has found good friends, including Carmen, a girl he likes to know better. Then multiple tsunamis sink the cruise ship following news of a catastrophic earthquake has destroyed the West Coast. Shy finds himself adrift at sea with only Addie, a rude rich girl who treated him with nothing but disdain back, for company. Though, they are rescued just as they've lost all hope, Shy soon learns that they are still in great peril.
Shy is a Mexican-American kid from the border, good-hearted, and devoted to family and friends. Carmen is smart and fun. Both of them have relatives who have died of Romero disease, a new illness that's spreading over the Mexican border into California, and they are able to confide in each other. They understand each other, and I liked their friendship. As for Addie, she is not friendly to Shy in the beginning, but they forge a bond going through the days on the sea in a fight for survival.
Nevertheless, there is more to the story. With a few twists and turns, the book slowly builds into something that I didn't expect at the beginning. The Living is not just a survival story plotline. There is also the conspiracy plot on a mysterious island to which Shy and Addie may have a connection.
The Living is an on-the-sea survival adventure, a global disaster and a contagious thriller of a book. There is plenty of horrible violence and a high body count. The story line focuses themes of racism, class conflict, and the selfish privilege of wealthy passengers. It is full of action and very well constructed. It is a great read for those who looking for adventure and survival stories.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2013
Posted December 31, 2014
I do happen to love my YA full of action and intensity and THE L
I do happen to love my YA full of action and intensity and THE LIVING definitely met those expectations. This was pretty much as intense as it sounds. I’ve heard people say this is like a YA LOST without the smoke monster weirdness, and it definitely has that vibe, though I think it reminded me more of I SHOULDN'T BE ALIVE for YA. Either way, THE LIVING is a super interesting read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Something I appreciated was the incidental diversity. Shy is (half?) Mexican American and many of the important side characters have diverse racial backgrounds, which was really nice to see. And while there are absolutely some themes of race and class coming into play, THE LIVING doesn’t read as an issue book (and it’s not supposed to), and overall, I think it was very nicely handled.
I will say that the ending was kind of predictable and the confrontation between Shy and a particular baddie was, shall we say, a teensie bit evil bad guy Hollywood cliché? Also, there was a thing with super aggressive sharks that I wasn’t totally buying, but the issues were minor and I still definitely enjoyed reading. Now THE HUNTED just has to come out so I can find out what happens. *frets*
I’m giving THE LIVING 4/5 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy fast-paced, Adventure/Disaster-type books.
Posted December 8, 2014
This book was a great chice of reads for me. The auther did a great job with this. An easy to follow suspence novel that will keep you guessing and wanting more. Although i have to say *!spoiler alert!* that leaving off with a cliffhanger is exciting but a letdown. But hey, cant wait to read the next one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2014
This was an interesting premise, but its execution wasn¿t my fav
This was an interesting premise, but its execution wasn’t my favorite. It follows Shy as he works on a boat, hungers after a co-worker who is engaged to be married in a few months, and tries to deal with the death of his grandmother to a deadly new strain of virus while also coping with the suicide of a guest aboard the ship. Truth be told, I never did get to the point where I connected with Shy (or any of the self absorbed characters, for that matter); his antics didn’t impress me, and his near obsession with his co-worker rubbed me the wrong way. Add in the extreme foreshadowing that begins almost from the very first page, and I ended up knowing the ending before I was even a quarter of the way through, which is unfortunate.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I really liked the idea behind the novel, but it was just too obvious for me, and there wasn’t much that actually surprised me as I read. It was also a bit too long–as if everything was dragged out and I think it could have definitely been shortened, or at least had a conclusion. de la Pena only goes part of the way through the story, ending on a big finale that solidified what I already knew, and didn’t have any closure whatsoever. I felt that the beginning and middle dragged on for much too long, and then the end was a quick succession of unbelievable stunts and antics that honestly didn’t do anything for me as a reader.
Posted November 17, 2013