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The Living [NOOK Book]

Overview

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, ...
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The Living

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Overview

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


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—For Shy Espinoza, handing out towels and bottled water on a San Diego cruise ship filled with pretty girls seems like a glamorous summer job. The teen from Otay Mesa is grateful for the paycheck that may help his nephew get medicine to battle Romero Disease, a lethal virus that has been running rampant in Southern California and that killed his grandmother. One night Shy unsuccessfully tries to prevent a distraught passenger from jumping overboard, and not only does the death haunt him but there is also a too-keen interest by certain passengers about the man's final confession to Shy. Suspense builds as Shy tries to determine the dead man's connection to a pharmaceutical company responsible for developing-but withholding-the medicine needed to cure the disease. An earthquake and its resulting tsunami capsizes the ship, and Shy goes into survival mode, desperately worried about his friends Carmen, Rodney, and Kevin-and leery of the passengers he is helping to save. Over-the-top catastrophes and mad scientists are woven into a mostly realistic thriller, and 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, The Forgotten.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Publishers Weekly
10/07/2013
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. 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 Peña 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. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Entertainment Weekly, November 13, 2013:
"The Living seamlessly incorporates his trademarks (racial identity, class, street slang) into a lightning-paced page-turner...De la Peña has created a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel. A-"

New York Times Book Review, November 10, 2013:
"Action is first and foremost in ‘The Living’…The breathless conclusion, with an escape by helicopter and a cliff-top showdown, sets up a sequel, scheduled to be published next year."

NPR Weekend Edition, November 23, 2013:
"A disaster epic, a survival story, and a coming-of-age novel filled with the life of a young man who's becoming aware of class, prejudice, and romance." - Scott Simon

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2013:
"It’s a harrowing, exhilarating ride right up to the cliffhanger ending. An addictive page-turner and character-driven literary novel with broad appeal for fans of both."

Starred Review, Shelf Awareness, October 23, 2013:
"In Matt de la Peña's compulsively readable thriller...the breakneck plot will draw readers in, but Shy's personal discoveries about how the world is skewed toward those in power, and his decisions to do the right thing, will hold their attention."

The Rumpus, November 6, 2013:
"The Living is action-driven but doesn’t lose the literary form, while still exploring the themes of race and class."

Booklist
, September 1, 2013:
"Much of the 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."

School Library Journal, October 2013:
"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, The Forgotten."

Publishers Weekly, October 7, 2013:
"De la Peña delivers near-constant action, a high body count, and a compelling cast of characters in this socially aware thriller...De la Peña 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."

The Bulletin:
"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."

Starred Review, VOYA, December 2013:
“A great read for those looking for adventure and survival stories with some good character growth and introspection for others, this should have a wide and satisfied readership.”

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-01
Shy Espinoza's summer job on a Hawaii-bound cruise ship has a lot going for it: decent pay, good tips, congenial crewmates and most of all, Carmen. Both come from working-class Latino neighborhoods and have recently lost a loved one to Romero Disease, a fast-spreading pandemic. With a fiance on the mainland, Carmen won't act on their mutual attraction. Shy's haunted by his failure to prevent a wealthy passenger's suicide and perplexed by the man's mysterious last words. As Shy's followed and questioned, his cabin ransacked, the mystery deepens. Soon, bigger problems loom on the horizon: A catastrophic earthquake has devastated the West Coast, generating a huge tsunami. Shy's an appealing kid whose tough, impoverished upbringing has both limited his choices and shaped his character. His actions and emotions feel honest and earned, thereby lending authenticity and gravitas to the plot's wilder leaps, deepening the narrative. Shy finds that focusing on work helps manage his fear. When he's adrift on a leaky raft with Addie, a pretty passenger he'd dismissed as spoiled and shallow, their differences fade while their shared humanity gives them heart and hope. Disaster's a powerful teacher, Shy's adventures, the ultimate learning experience; it's a harrowing, exhilarating ride right up to the cliffhanger ending. Relax: A sequel's on the way. An addictive page-turner and character-driven literary novel with broad appeal for fans of both. (Post-apocalyptic thriller. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375984358
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 71,663
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL700L (what's this?)
  • File size: 808 KB

Meet 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.




From the Hardcover edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    Wow, what a ride!

    Wow, what a ride!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Jesus

    Best book ever written. (My dad thinks so) i agree with him. Bit slow at the beggining,but gets more exciting

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2014

    Wonderful

    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  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    Meh

    Entertainment Weekly gave this book a glowing review. I'm not sure why.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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