THE 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.
Summary: Perry Stormaire is a normal high school senior– he is busy applying to college and rehearsing with his band –until he agrees to go to the prom with the Lithuanian exchange student who is staying with his family. It turns out that Gobi Zaksauskas is not the mousy teenager that she seems but rather an attractive, confident trained assassin. Instead of going to the prom, Perry finds himself on a wild ride through the streets of New York City as Gobi commandeers the Jaguar his father lent him for the prom in order to take out her targets. Perry learns a lot about himself – and ends up with some amazing material for his college application essays.
- LOVE the format
- Too crazy to be true; reminded me of a blockbuster teen flick
- Quick read; entertaining but not for me
The first two things you’ll notice when picking this book up are: the crazy title and the ridiculously short length of the book. A novel called AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK is just one of those books that begs to be picked up. It’s kind of hard to walk a way from a title like that and not wonder what it is about. Nowadays, it’s so common to pick up a 400-page young adult novel, so it was refreshing to pick up such a quick light read that you can really read in one sitting. AU REVOIR falls under a manageable 200 pages.
Opening the book, I was so delighted to find that each chapter starts off with a dreaded question from different college applications. I’m pretty sure that these questions came from actual applications. Why? Because I recognized one of them. It’s only been two years since I had to fill out those dreadful applications and those essay prompts are impossible to get out of your head. Each chapter does in fact answer an essay prompt, but some of it are a stretch. Still, it was fun to see which question would be next, and just exactly how a part of Perry’s night can be told in this fashion.
AU REVOIR reminded me of a blockbuster teen flick: a hot girl, semi-geeky guy, and lots of guns and explosions. It’s action-packed and fast-paced, but surprisingly, it wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this foreign exchange student turns out to be a well trained assassin. It makes me wonder what is wrong with my imagination??? This totally could be such a fun book, if I could just get myself to believe that this can actually happen. But I couldn’t. And the magic of the book was lost.
And I guess there’s Gobi. Usually, I love an ass-kicking heroine (Katniss from The Hunger Games? Or Vampire Academy‘s Rose Hathaway?) but Gobi’s character just felt flat to me. I just couldn’t find anything to like about her. Even when I did find out why Gobi was assassinating all these people, I just couldn’t find myself to care. I guess she just came across as fake to me. I never felt that her character was genuine.
Which makes me want to face-palm at the fact that Perry just eats it all up. Of course, he’ll be so into her once she’s a really hot international spy. Gah, the “romance” in this book is kinda cheesy and reminds me once again of a blockbuster flick. There was little to no chemistry, but of course in the face of danger, the two characters in the book just have to get it on. (Okay, they don’t really get it on, but you know what I mean…).
I do think there is an audience for this book out there: high school seniors, like my sister, who are ready to tear their hair out from the amount of stress that comes with applying to college. The fun format of the novel will hopefully remind these teens to be daring when writing their applications. While it’s hard to top Perry’s, surely there’s a fun and exciting story that’s waiting to be told.
I love the format of this book, even if it brings back terrible memories of applying to college. I wish that the book was a little more believable and the characters a little more likeable.
About the Author
Joe Schreiber was born in Michigan but spent his formative years in Alaska, Wyoming, and northern California. Until recently, he had never lived at the same address for longer than a year. Becoming a parent forced him to consider a career with more reliable income, and he got a job as an MRI tech in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and their two children.
Find the Author
Thanks to HMH Galleys from NetGalley for letting me read this book.
Summary: In the year 2098 America isn’t so different from the USA of today. But, in a post-9/11 security-obssessed world, “secured” doesn’t just refer to borders between countries, it also refer to borders between states. Teenagers still think they know everything, but there is no cure for cancer, as Kelsa knows first-hand from watching her father die.
The night Kelsa buries her father, a boy appears. He claims magic is responsible for the health of Earth, but human damage disrupts its flow. The planet is dying.
Kelsa has the power to reverse the damage, but first she must accept that magic exists and see beyond her own pain in order to heal the planet.