The Dead and the Gone, by Susan Beth Pfeffer is the companion novel to Life As We Knew It, which I have also read and loved. I recommend both: they are each strong stories.
What would happen if an asteroid knocked the moon closer to earth?
The answer is even more nightmarish than you might think. Survival is against the odds, and those who do survive must overcome nearly insurmountable challenges: flood, famine and worse. How long would you last in those conditions?
The Dead and the Gone follows a New York City boy named Alex during the aftermath of the asteroid, as he struggles to care for his two younger sisters. Time and again he must face situations that require the utmost resourcefulness.
The book is very hard to put down. Pfeffer leads her readers through heartache and triumph with expert skill. Every moment feels all too real. More than that I'm reluctant to say; I don't want to spoil one single moment of the suspense and surprise.
But I will say this: the story has everything—smooth writing, sympathetic and believable characters, and an engrossing plot. Every page is a blood-pounding thrill.