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The Living
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The Living
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Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Peña's The Living is "a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel.” [Entertainment Weekly, A-]   Shy takes...
Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Peña's The Living is "a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel.” [Entertainment Weekly, A-]   Shy takes...
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Description-

  • Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Peña's The Living is "a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel.” [Entertainment Weekly, A-]

       Shy takes the summer job to make some money. A few months on a luxury cruise liner—how bad can it be? Bikinis, free food, maybe even a girl or two . . . every cruise has a fresh crop of passengers, after all. He'll rake in the tips and be able to help his mom and sister out with the bills.  
      But then, an earthquake more massive than any ever recorded hits California and Shy's life is changed forever.
    The earthquake is only the beginning. Twenty-four hours and a catastrophic chain of events later, Shy is lost at sea, fighting to survive—and stuck with her.
      She's blond and she's rich, and never in her life would she have dreamed she'd be adrift in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by death and completely dependent on a guy like...
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the book 1
    Rodney
    "Seriously, Shy. Get up."
    Shy rolled over on his cot.
    "Don't make me smack you upside the head."
    Shy cracked open his eyes.
    Big Rodney was standing over him, hands on hips.
    Shy looked around their small cabin as reality came flooding back: no sleeve in his hands. This, a completely different voyage—bound for Hawaii, not Mexico. The man jumped six days ago, meaning it'd been almost a full week now.
    "I know you didn't forget, right?" Rodney said.
    "Forget what?" Shy sat up and rubbed his eyes. He knew this answer would stress Rodney out, though—because everything stressed Rodney out—so he smiled and told the guy: "I'm playing, man. Of course I didn't forget. You see I'm already dressed, right?"
    "I was gonna say." Rodney ducked into the bathroom, came back out with an electric toothbrush buzzing over his teeth, mumbling something impossible to make out.
    Shy got out of bed and went to his dresser, pulled a brown paper bag from behind the safe he never bothered using.
    Tonight was Rodney's nineteenth birthday. A bunch of people were supposed to celebrate on the crew deck outside of Southside Lounge. When Shy's shift at the pool ended at nine he'd come down to his and Rodney's cabin to shower and change, but he wound up crashing hard. This was a minor miracle considering he'd hardly slept the night before. Or the night before that. Or the night before . . .
    He peeped the clock: already after eleven.
    Rodney ducked back into the bathroom to spit, came out wiping his mouth with a hand towel. Guy was surprisingly nimble for an offensive lineman. "I said, you were thrashing around in your sleep, bro. You dreaming about the jumper again?"
    "I was dreaming about your mom," Shy told him.
    "Oh, I see how it is. We got a second comedian on the ship."
    The suicide might have happened six days ago, on a completely different voyage, but every time Shy had closed his eyes since . . . there was the comb-over man. Sipping from his water bottle or talking about corruption or climbing his ass over the railing—guy's meaty arm slowly slipping through Shy's sissy grip.
    Even worse, halfway through the dream the man's face would sometimes morph into Shy's grandma's face. Her eyes slowly filling with blood from her freakish disease.
    Shy tossed the paper bag to Rodney.
    "Bro, you got me a present?" Rodney said. "What is it?"
    "What do you want it to be?"
    Rodney studied the ceiling and tapped his temple, like he was thinking. Then he pointed at Shy, told him: "How about a beautiful woman in lingerie?"
    Shy gave an exaggerated laugh. "What, you think I'm some kind of miracle worker?"
    "I'm playing, bro," Rodney said. "She doesn't have to be beautiful. You know I'm not picky."
    Shy pointed at the bag. "Just open it."
    Rodney unfolded the top and pulled out the book Shy got him: Daisy Cooks! Latin Flavors That Will Rock Your World.
    "They had it in the gift shop," Shy told him.
    Rodney flipped it over to look at the back.
    "If you're gonna be a famous chef," Shy added, "you need to know how to do tamales and empanadas. Me and Carmen could be like your test audience."
    Rodney looked up at Shy with glassy eyes.
    The gift proved Shy remembered their first conversation on their first voyage together. When Rodney mentioned his dream of becoming a New York City chef.
    But tears?
    Really?
    "Come on over here, bro," Rodney said, holding out his arms.
    "Nah, I'm good," Shy told him, moving toward the door. Rodney was an enthusiastic hugger who didn't understand his own strength. And Shy wasn't the touchy-feely type.
    "I mean it, Shy. Come give your boy some love."
    Shy went for the door handle...

About the Author-

  • Matt de la Peña is the first Mexican American author to win the Newbery Medal. 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. The Living is his fifth novel and was named a Pura Belpré Honor Book. Look for his other books, Ball Don't Lie, We Were Here, I Will Save You, and The Hunted, all available from Delacorte Press. You can also visit him at mattdelapena.com and follow @mattdelapena on Twitter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 7, 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.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 1, 2013
    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)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 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

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books hollenisnotreal - It was every i like in one book pls check it out
  • Booklist

    September 1, 2013
    Grades 9-12 Much of the fun of de la Pea'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. So be warned: spoilers ahoy. Shy Espinoza is 11 days into his summer job on a luxury cruise line when the Big One hits California, hurling massive tsunamis into the ocean and tearing our contemporary romantic plotline to bits, as Shy and an unexpected companion are forced to survive in churning, shark-infested waters. The tsunami sequence is a straight-up tour de force, a breathless, horrifying dash into the void. The book's final acta conspiracy plot upon a mysterious islandis yet another narrative jolt. Can a book withstand this many resets? Mostly, yes, and that's due to de la Pea's narrative restraint and commitment to his unusually believable protagonist. Shy's no superhero, and that's a relief. What tonal bumps do exist may very well be smoothed out in the 2014 sequelthis story deserves a broader canvas.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

  • -John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars "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."
  • -James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series "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."
  • -Kirkus Reviews, Starred [STAR] "An addictive page-turner and character-driven literary novel with broad appeal for fans of both."
  • -VOYA, Starred [STAR] "An excellent, enthralling ride...a great read for those looking for adventure and survival stories."
  • -Shelf Awareness, Starred [STAR] "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."
  • NPR Weekend Edition "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."
  • -Publishers Weekly "De la Peña delivers near-constant action, a high body count, and a compelling cast of characters in this socially aware thriller."
  • -School Library Journal "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."
  • -Booklist "A straight-up tour de force, a breathless, horrifying dash into the void...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."

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