Parents' Guide to

The Living

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sympathetic characters anchor over-the-top disaster drama.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):
If it weren't for the appeal of the central characters, THE LIVING might drown in plot clichés. It's a mash-up of Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure, and Lost with earthquakes, tsunamis, a pandemic, evil scientists, bloodthirsty sharks -- even a monologuing villain who blows his chance to do away with his victim. The result is an exciting page-turner with plenty of intrigue and romance to delight fans of disaster books. Shy's a typical kid from the border, good-hearted and devoted to family and friends. Carmen's a smart and fun sidekick.
Author Matt de la Pena has written poignantly on issues of race and class. Those themes now take a back seat to the action here, and when they're pushed to the front it's forced and cartoonish. The ongoing, unquestioned sexual attention given to women may be authentic to the mind of a teen boy, but it may leave a bitter aftertaste for some readers.

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