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The Shade of the Moon Paperback – September 16, 2014
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The fourth book in the Life as We Knew It series focuses on Jon, younger brother to Miranda and friend of Julie from the previous titles. It’s four years since a meteor crashed into the moon, killing billions and changing everything. Now that things have somewhat settled down, the remains of society are stratifying. Jon is in Sexton with his stepmother and baby half-brother; because of the passes they possess, life is better. Jon’s mother, Miranda, and her husband, Alex, live nearby as grubs, the worker bees whose endlessly long days of bitterly hard labor sustain the surrounding areas. And Julie? She’s dead. In fact, it’s her pass that has allowed Jon to live in Sexton, but thanks to events surrounding her death, his privileges engender considerable guilt. Then Jon learns exactly how Julie died, and everything is turned upside down once more. The pampered and weak Jon is not a particularly likable character, but in some ways that intensifies the story, as the moral choices he makes become successively more complicated. Pfeffer’s well-written take on what life might be as it returns to “normal” is sometimes brutal and always depressingly real. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Action-packed and completely unpredictable, this latest will be widely anticipated by the series' many fans."
"Pfeffer's well-written take on what life might be as it returns to 'normal' is sometimes brutal and always depressingly real."
Top customer reviews
One of my favorite things about this addition to the series is Jon’s narration. Before reading this book, he was the character I felt I knew the least about. In the other books he has mainly been in the background. It was interesting to see this world from his perspective. Interesting to see him deal with the two worlds he finds himself part of. That constant uncertainty would be unnerving.
The class system that Pfeffer created is fascinating. The dehumanization of the “grubs” is a lot like what we do to the poor. Towards the end of the book, the “clavers” no longer acknowledge that the “grubbs” are human. Powerful people were spreading stories to further that ideology. Watching Jon struggle with the entitlement of living in the enclave while also being constantly reminded that he didn’t actually “belong” there was conflicting. Part of me wanted to kick his butt for being such a little jerk and not appreciating everything that everyone was doing for him. That part of me was assuaged when Jon rallies and helps his sister.
This series is a good look into a possible future and a cautionary tale to remind us all how fragile our society really is.
Want to see my full review of this title and many more? Check out my blog AlliesOpinions on Wordpress!
The main character of "The Shade of the Moon" is the youngest Evans child introduced in the first book ("Life as We Knew It"), Jon Evans, who is now a claver in Sexton. The entitlement always enjoyed by high school athletes is a thousand times worse when contrasted with the deprivation and helplessness of the grubs. The mission of the soccer team, on which Jon is the forward, is to travel around the state every Sunday and remind the grubs who's boss. After games, young women are exploited and property destroyed (grubs are not even allowed to have locks on their doors).
Jon is, like most clavers, a fairly unsympathetic character at the beginning of the book, but in between his White Birch family and his new girlfriend Sarah, he redeems himself by the end. Perhaps I shouldn't even say most clavers are unsympathetic because if I had seen everything the survivors in "The Shade of the Moon" had seen, I'm not sure I would be thinking much about the finer points of human social relations. Jon secretly blames himself for the death of his first love Julie at the end of "This World we Live In," and does not think highly of himself. This is one more thing giving him a reason to redeem himself.
As the book progresses, two of Jon's family members make the supreme sacrifice for someone they love and the rest become involved in a plot to assert their rights as human beings. It is a mark of Jon's progress as a human being that he no longer thinks about who's worth saving or not, but instinctively sees his duty to every member of his family and household. I feel these four books have helped me progress as a human being too. No more are needed but I would certainly read a fifth one if Susan Pfeffer were moved to write it. Five stars.
Most recent customer reviews
Before I start my review, I would like to say that I did enjoy the story. With that said, the only problem I really had with the story was the setting.Read more