Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It
Susan Beth Pfeffer
337 pgs, 10/1/06
Purchased Book 

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.  

My Thoughts/Summary

I cannot believe this book came out SEVEN years ago and I never heard of it until I saw it on display at Barnes and Noble a few weekends ago.  This is the kind of book that is totally up my alley.

Life As We Knew It is told from Miranda’s perspective as journal entries.  The beginning of the novel shows Miranda’s reactions to typical high school girl issues: crushes on boys, Dad’s new wife is pregnant, missing her brother who left for college.  All of that comes crashing down when a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer to the earth.  Instead of worrying about whether she’ll have a boyfriend, Miranda has to worry about food scarcity, clean water, and heat for the winter. 

The most interesting aspect of the novel is discovering how the catastrophe affects the world outlook of the characters around Miranda, especially her mother.  There’s one scene in particular between Miranda and her mother that just gutted me. 

I spent the whole scene in Miranda’s head (it’s a journal entry for goodness sakes) and totally understood her reasoning for a decision she made.  Then her mother discovers it and just goes off.  After taking a step back I could totally understand her mother’s reaction, but while reading it just felt grossly unfair.

Anyway, if you like books about end of the world type situations and the what if questions you will LOVE this book.  I know I did. 

My Rating

Enjoyability (4 out of 5 stars)

Characters (5 out of 5 stars)

Writing (4 out of 5 stars)

This book will stay with me forever.  I just love thinking about the what ifs. 

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