Sunday, April 15, 2012

(51)Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It

Publication Date: May 1, 2008
Pages: 347

I have a confession to make.  I am increasingly becoming addicted to anything and everything Post Apocalyptic.  From The Walking Dead to Doomsday Preppers to reading “Prepper” blogs on the internet and of course reading Post Apocalyptic themed books .  First up on my long list of “the world is coming to an end” reading material is Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.   And here is a kicker for you, Life As We Knew It is a Young Adult novel.

It is May when we first meet Miranda on May 7th.  She is a High School student living in Pennsylvania with her Mom and younger brother, while her older brother is off to college.  The media has been talking about an Asteroid about to hit the moon for a while now and the whole block gathers outside to watch events unfold; kind of like people do for Haley’s Comet or other big events that can be seen by the naked eye.  What they (they being the Scientists) did not expect was for the asteroid to be much denser than they thought.  So big it actually knocked the moon out of alignment and is closer to Earth than ever before, causing earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions and tidal waves from hell.   Electricity becomes sporadic, gas becomes a luxury item and food becomes scarce.  Miranda and her family are surviving for now, but what will happen when Winter comes?  Will they be able to survive? And do they want to?

I really enjoyed Life As We Knew It.  The book is written as if it were ripped right from the pages of Miranda’s diary, so we only see her side of the story, but I enjoy novels written in that format. There were a few political jabs at President Bush that let me know exactly what side of the fence the author resides politically, but they are brief and if you can get past that, you will find an engrossing novel that will cause you to pause and think “What if…”  The author did a really good job, in my opinion, of having the characters be realistic in their actions and reactions to the state of the world.  They tried to carry on as normal as possible for as long as possible, by going to the library and post office, and even school and I really enjoyed seeing that.   The one thing I questioned more than once, was as food was running low, why weren’t Miranda and her Brothers HUNTING in the woods that surround their home?  Squirrels, rabbits, and even deer could have made their lives a bit less stressful.

Bottom line is that I really enjoyed Life As We Knew It.  It was a fast read about a situation that we pray we will never find ourselves in at all. But it really challenged me to think about how I would behave in the event of a catastrophic event that caused me to not know where my next meal was coming from.  Because it is a YA novel, there was nothing too scary in this novel.  I would say that even my 12 year old could handle the content.  I would even go so far as to say that I think it would make a great movie, too. 

P.S. I also want to add that I liked it so much, I ran right to and bought the next two books in the series and am already almost finished with the second book!!  Review is forthcoming!!


Sara Bell said...

I love the idea of this! I'm pretty big on post-apocalyptic novels too lately (weird, right?) and I just bought a new one yesterday called After the Snow. It sounds amazing.
I've added this one to my list and I'm excited about the other reviews too!

Lisa Mandina said...

I love this series too. I read the first two to one of my classes a few years ago. I also noted the jabs at Bush, but just ignored them as much as possible. I have noticed I'm reading a lot of those lately as well. I kind of need a break I think.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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