“After an asteroid knocks the moon out of its orbit and closer to the Earth, conditions in New York City quickly deteriorate. High school junior Alex Morales is unaware of what’s happened, but when he gets home from his job at the pizza parlor the electricity goes out. There he finds his two younger sisters alone in the apartment. Their father was out of town for a funeral. Their mother, like all medical personnel, had been called into work at the hospital. Thus begins their long ordeal, with Alex assuming the role of head of household, though barely more than a child himself.
Told mostly from Alex’s point of view the reader sees him struggle to make decisions far beyond his level of maturity. But he’s very resourceful and a born leader. Carefully building alliances with those who might be able to help, he keeps the family situation a secret as long as possible, and does everything possible to ensure that he and his sisters survive.
I liked this sequel to Life As We Knew It somewhat better than the first book. Yes, there are still gross errors and omissions. (Does no one think of stockpiling toilet paper? Tampons?) But I connected to Alex and his sisters and thought that they were written as fairly accurate portrayals of kids their age. The Catholic Church certainly fares better in this book than the religious sect in the first book – while some of the clergy are harsh and seemingly without compassion, in general they do more to help the parishoners than to punish them.
There were several instances in the last third of the book when I was in tears. I felt as frustrated and helpless as Alex, and cheered for his continued determination. The ending leaves the door open for continued sequels, which I find a little annoying, but certainly understandable in this genre.