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You are here: Home » Book Review » Two Stars » The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer Book Review

The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth PfefferTHE SHADE OF THE MOON by Susan Beth Pfeffer Book Review
Series: The Last Survivors, #4
Publication Date: August 13th 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating:  – Poor  | 

Book Summary: It’s been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?

Book Review Overview:

  • Unlikeable protagonist
  • Generic plot; more dystopian than post-apocalyptic
  • Twists and turns that had me surprised until the very end

THE SHADE OF THE MOON by Sarah Beth Pfeffer is the fourth book in The Last Survivors series. Each of the books are told in a different perspective. The fourth book follows Jon Evans, the youngest in the Evans family. Jon and his family have left their home in Pennsylvania to join an enclave – a community slowly rebuilding itself after the apocalypse. But only three family members have passes to enter, and the rest must live in the outskirts of town in horrible conditions. Jon continues to be haunted by his past. As the social order in the enclave starts to be questioned, Jon must reconsider what is important.

Unfortunately, I found that the protagonist was not as likeable as the others in the series. Jon is privileged and selfish. The whole story revolves around how he doesn’t realize how lucky he is. His family has given up a lot in order for him to get an education and live a healthier life, and he seems to take this for granted. Jon does grow as a character, but it basically takes the whole book for this to happen. By the time he realizes his faults, the book is basically over. He didn’t win me over.

Out of all the books in the series, THE SHADE OF THE MOON is the most dystopian. The first three books were more post-apocalyptic because of the general absence of the government. But now that some of the characters live in the enclave, there is a clear inequality amongst the Clavers and the Grubs. This to me is kind of disappointing. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this series so much was because it wasn’t like other dystopian/post-apocalyptic YA novels out in the market. I liked hearing about how the families have survived on their own by sheer will. THE SHADE OF THE MOON resembled so many other books out there, so I really was disinterested in the plot.

Despite my qualms with the book, I was still happy to read about the many shocking twists and turns throughout the novel. I realize that there is always an unexpected death in each of the book. Susan Beth Pfeffer still manages to keep me guessing until the end.

I was really disappointed with THE SHADE OF THE MOON, since I had been enjoying this series up until this point. The combination of the generic plot and unlikeable protagonist brought down my opinion of what had been a pretty solid series.



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I can't save you like that Ty. What you did to me wasn't this brilliant thing, like you think it was. You took me away from everything - my parents, my friends, my life. You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. And that's the hardest bit. Because I did, or at least, I loved something out there. But I hated you too. I can't forget that.
- Lucy Christopher, Stolen


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