I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series: The Last Survivors #4
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on August 13, 2013
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
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?
[alert]This is the fourth book in the series. I will keep it spoiler free for The Shade of the Moon, but there will be spoilers for the first three books.[/alert]
What I Thought…
- I read the first three books in the series in my preblogging days. Because of this I didn’t want to get super excited for The Shade of the Moon. My views on books have changed a lot (for the better) in the last year and half that I have been blogging.
- Even with my expectations in check The Shade of the Moon and I did not get along. We got off to a pretty rough start and even though things started to get better it just wasn’t enough.
- The Shade of the Moon is narrated by Jon. His sister, Miranda narrated two of the first three books, and she was the only thing I really liked about The Shade of the Moon. She was the little bright spot with the positive attitude that was so needed.
- We pick up a few years after the This World We Live In and Jon, his step mother and step brother are living in a “city” while his mother, sister and brother in law live outside of it. There are two groups of people: the clavers (the haves) and the grubs (the have nots).
- Jon and I got off on the wrong foot due to his whinyness and highhandedness. Jon is a claver and his attitude reflects that. I realize that growing up after the disaster would have been different for him than Miranda, but he is a selfish jerk. His entitlement attitude was annoying as was his whinying when things didn’t go his way.
- At the end of the third book Alex’s sister, Julie, died and that causes two points of contention with me regarding Jon in The Shade of the Moon. The minor one is that he is all pissed off that Miranda ended Julie’s life (Julie was paralyzed from the neck down and with no medical care there was no hope of maybe fixing it). Miranda did what she felt was best given the circumstances (and I agree with her decision) and did it humanely and not out of spite so he needs to stop being a spoiled brat about it. Rather than talk to Miranda about it he was a spiteful asshat to her.
- The other point issue I had with Jon is that we learn more details of how Julie got hurt and they were quite unpleasant View Spoiler »Jon and Julie were waiting out the bad storms and they were making out and he wanted to have sex because they love each other (I think they were 15?) and she said no and he kept going “because we love each other” and she kept saying no and she finally gets away from him and runs out into the storm, he runs after her “because he was sorry” and then that’s when she got hurt. My issue with this is that in The Shade of the Moon he keeps justifying it and saying that he wasn’t going to rape her. Ok, just because you love each other doesn’t take away someone’s right to say no. « Hide Spoiler After this I had a hard time connecting with him at all.
- A little more than half way through the book Jon suddenly realizes that he should stop being a jerk and help his family and do the right thing rather than the easy thing. Given the fact that I was already annoyed with Jon this just further annoyed me.
- Sarah is new to town and of course Jon takes an interest in her. She was a nice girl and had good intentions, but her quick forgiveness of Jon’s issue was a bit of a shocker and felt a bit out of character.
- I may have been annoyed with the characters I did like where the plot went. There were arguments and fights between the clavers and grubs (as to be expected), and I thought the twist involving Miranda and Alex’s baby was done really well (and to be honest if she would have done some kind of twist with that I would have been really upset).
- The end was satisfactory, but similar to her other books leaves a lot up in the air.
If you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic The Last Survivors series isn’t a bad place to start, but Ashfall by Mike Mullin is grittier and more enjoyable, in my opinion.