Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: The Living (The Living #1) by Matt De la Pena

Title: The Living (The Living #1)
Author: Matt De la Pena
Published by: Delacorte Press
Released: 2013
Summary: Shy's found the perfect summer job, working on a cruise ship sailing to various locales. He's making money and has the chance to check out hot girls in bikinis. He's also made friends with some of his coworkers and has a mini-cruise ship family. But he still misses his real family, especially his grandma who died from a mysterious ailment before the start of his most recent voyage. Then tragedy strikes. California is hit by a catastrophic hurricane and Shy's luxury cruise liner is hit by a tsunami wave. Now Shy is stranded in the middle of the ocean with a rich, white girl and no real hope of rescue. The fight for survival is strong, but even then, just what is there to go back to?
My Thoughts: This was a lot of fun in a, there's disaster around every corner kind of way. I really liked how the story starts off normal, but there's a creepy undertone lingering in the air. And when disaster strikes, it's pretty epic. Shy is pounded by bad luck everywhere he turns. For those wanting a true disaster tale, mixed with some other mysterious elements, this might just be the book for you!
Shy was an okay main character to follow around. He felt authentic and real.
Now in other reviews I'd read, people mention how The Living is really just an introduction to the rest of the series. Like a really long intro. I can totally believe that. Everything in this first book does just feel like a set up for what is to come next. I feel like this is almost trying to encompass every post-apocalyptic event possible in series form. I'm okay with that because I love those kinds of books, but I could see how it would be too much for some readers.
That shipwreck/wave disaster was epic. It was very cinematic and I could just picture it happening in my mind. Kudos for that awesome scene of disaster. I'm interested to see where things go with Addie. In ways, I felt like she just popped out of nowhere and suddenly Shy was stuck with her, but I did like her more than our other girl, who I will get to.
My one gripe in this book was Shy's fixation on Carmen. I get that he's got a crush on the girl, but I need him to be realistic, she's taken. Shy shouldn't go after another guy's girl. And if that girl has no problem cheating and being unfaithful to her current relationship, then it's only a matter of time until she does it to her next boyfriend or fiancé . I just got annoyed by how Shy's mind revolved around Carmen. He'd only known her for a week and she has a fiancé. It really irritated me when Shy couldn't even remember the faces of his own family, but could picture Carmen's clear as day. No, just no. I don't want the relationship to go that way.
So, I thought this book was a whole lot of fun. I can't wait to pick up the sequel and see where it goes. If you're looking for an edge-of-your-seat disaster, this might be the one for you.
Earthquakes, Floods, and Diseases Oh My!

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