The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer


When 17 year old Alex Morales knows life has changed forever, he was working at Joey’s Pizza.  His major concerns at the time was getting elected for senior class president and keeping his grades up to get into the college of his choice.  His family owned an apartment complex and along with his two younger sisters, Alex lived there with his mom and dad.

Who knew that an asteroid would hit the moon knocking it closer to the earth and causing life as he knew it to change forever.  His father who was away at his grandmothers funeral never returns home.  His mother who was working at the hospital is not heard from either.  Suddenly Alex is fighting for the survival of himself and his sisters in what fast turns Manhattan into a deadly wasteland.

Alex tries to hold it together and make the best choices while he waits hopefully, for one of his parents to return…. but time keeps on going by and life… is not getting any easier.


This follow-up book to Life As We Knew It is told during the same time frame as Miranda’s story was.  The difference is Miranda was in Pennsylvania when the meteor hit, and Alex was in New York.  By reading this story you find that New York, was much worse.

A much darker tale of the human need for survival, Alex’s story is haunting.  New York is in a panic.  While Alex has food in the apartment, it quickly runs out.  No stock piling from grocery stores happened like it did in Miranda’s story.  Alex instead finds food by checking the abandoned apartments, and eventually doing a little something he calls “body hunting” with his friend Kevin where they find the fresh dead (sorry, but there it is) and take anything of value from them… shoes, jewelry, clothing, wallets… to barter for food. 

Alex’s sisters are younger, Julie is extremely needy and panicky, Bri has health issues and needs a lot of attention.

While this can leave a gruesome image (and did), I had to think what would life be like if we only had ourselves to count on.  All outside sources as gone – no stores, no hospital…Life As We Knew It and I applaud Susan Beth Pfeffer’s vision to recreate the story but this time, there are no parents to turn too, and this is not a safe community.Alex and his family have a strong Catholic faith which wavers throughout the book – but never is set aside, not even in the worst of times.

If you enjoy Dystopia, this is a series you much check out.


I listened to this on audio checked out from my local library

14 thoughts on “The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

  1. I’m not sure if I’m into dystopia, but that is a goal I have set for myself this year-to expand my reading genres! Thanks for all the great recommendations on your blog!

    I noticed that you are an avid exerciser-I am hoping to go from couch potato to 5k this year. I just started a training program for it yesterday. I told my husband that I want to RUN a 5k this year, not place first! 🙂


    1. You must try it Shannon – I am holding a small challenge to get people interested in it. I never thought I would be… hate anything “sci-fi” but these books are different – usually great story lines…

      Hunger Games, The Knife Of Never Letting Go, and now Divergent – all fantastic reads and all dystopia.

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s