Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review: Life as We Knew It. by Susan Beth Pfeffer

book 4 of 4 for the It's The End of the World 2009 Challenge
book 5 of 12 for the YA Challenge 2009
genre: ya/apocalypitc
rating: 5/5

I've read many post-apocalyptic books - books that take place long after some sort of giant disaster that has changed the way the world and everyone on it functions. While I am a huge fan of these books, I am an even bigger fan of apocalyptic books - the ones where we actually watch the characters who are in the thick of that disaster - the ones where the characters have to cope with, first of all, not dying in the initial tragedy, but also coming to grips with the new "real" that exists afterwards.

Life As We Knew It is one of these second kind of books. High schooler Miranda and the rest of the world are excited about the fact that an asteroid is going to hit the moon - what an event! Except, no one counted on the impact knocking the moon out of its orbit, and the resulting changes on the earth make for some pretty apocalyptic times. Crazy tides, wild weather - and survival is the name of the game. Miranda's life in a remote suburb gives them more options than most and the fact that she's got a tight-knit family surrounding her to help out makes a big difference, too.

The story is told through Miranda's diary and the author got her tone and "teenage-ness" just right. Her frustrations and concerns, so limited to her small circle of experience, felt authentic - as did all the disastrous happenings - I just believed it all. To be completely truthful, this book scared the pants off me, its terrifying plausibility made me want to run to the store and buy them out of canned goods and firewood. It's horrifying to imagine what we would really all do in such a situation, what resources we would have to help us to survive. I couldn't put this book down and the only real problem with Life As We Knew It is that once you've started reading it, you can't get it out of your head.

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

What a great concept for a book. Sounds good to me!

Tricia said...

I Mooched this one and I can't wait to read it!

mookie mama said...

Read this one a couple of weeks ago and loved it, too! I had the same reaction -- wanting to update my food storage. I love a book that will change my thinking like that. She has a second one that's based on the same events from the point of view of someone else living in NY. Cousin said it's sadder.

Melissa said...

I was so totally freaked out by the asteroid hitting the moon, that it took quite a while for me to settle down. My reaction subsequently worried the girls... A still prays, every once in a while, that "the asteroid won't hit the moon." Too cute. (Laughing about it helps, but if I think about it too much, I get stressed.)

Irish said...

This book is on my to get list for a bit ...... I am definately going to get it now ..... Thanks for the review :)

Beth F said...

Yikes! Scary but it sounds like a must-read. Thanks.

Tiffany said...

I rarely have time to read, so when I do it has to be good. I'm excited to read this one.

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