Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Like the first book, this sequel raises big, discussion-worthy themes of response to climate change, the collapse of the energy infrastructure, and the role of the individual within the community.
Realistic story of individual and family survival after a disaster. Teens readers will see the protagonists cooperate -- and face complicated moral choices.
Positive Role Models
After the disaster, the main characters work toward protecting and caring for one another.
Violence & Scariness
Many deaths, including main characters. Bodies are left to decompose and be eaten by rats; main characters strip the bodies for goods to barter; Alex goes to a stadium filled with nude, dead, decomposing bodies to look for his mother. In a food riot a baby and old man are trampled; a man leaps to his death from a high window. A young girl is grabbed by a man who attempts to drag her into a park where, it is assumed, he will rape her, but she is rescued first.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The sounds of lovemaking are heard through a window, Playboy centerfolds and "get[ting] laid" are mentioned.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Food and drink brands mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Not glamorized: Beer, vodka, cigarettes, and cigars are bartered; a mother becomes an alcoholic and her son provides her with booze.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sequel deals with a family trying to survive after a natural disaster. It is a grim and, at times, rather gruesome book, with many deaths, including some major characters, and details about decomposing and rat-eaten bodies. This book will be terrifying to some kids, especially those without the experience to put it in context. Readers on the younger end of the spectrum may want to know more about their own family's readiness for disaster, and about the likelihood of these types of events occurring. Those mature enough to handle the content will find plenty to discuss, and main characters who work hard to protect and care for one another.
Is It Any Good?
Profoundly disturbing, this book will make many readers want to put it down -- but the relentless story won't let them.
This is not really a sequel, but a stand-alone book covering the same worldwide events from a different point of view than the white, suburban family in Life as We Knew It. This one involves three working-class Puerto Rican teen siblings in Manhattan, whose parents disappear on the first day of the disaster. This change introduces both a grittier level of grimness (the first book didn't have rat-eaten bodies rotting in the streets or stadiums full of naked corpses) and some new issues, such as class differences, and the place of faith and the church community in the face of overwhelming disaster.
Like the first book, though, big, discussion-worthy themes of response to climate change, the collapse of the energy infrastructure, and the role of the individual within the community are carried by a taut, suspenseful, and realistic story of individual and family survival. This, of course, makes it ideal for middle and high school discussion groups.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.