Monday, January 21, 2013

"Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Release Date: October 1, 2006
Publisher: Harcourt 
Pages: 337

From Goodreads: "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."

At the time that I had read this book I had just finished both "The Way We Fall" and "The Lives We Lost" by Megan Crewe and I cannot help but compare this to the two, the former especially, as they were both written in the same format- that of a journal/ diary. While one of my largest complaints in "The Way We Fall" was that I was unable to relate to much of the book as I found the writing to be quite flat and one-dimensional, that was anything but the case for this. If I had to describe this book in a few words it would be "a roller coaster of emotions"- I cannot even put to words all of the different emotions that I felt while reading it, one minute I was smiling, the next I was sobbing.

Aside from the emotional-strength of this book, I think that its other biggest strength is that it just comes across as being so realistic. While reading it I kept wondering to myself how my family and me would fare if something of this nature occurred (probably not very well, if the 5 cans of soup in our cupboard are any indication and the fact that we still haven't mastered the thermostat during the winter months in our house, despite having lived in it for over a year). I don't think that it would be all that far-fetched for future generations to have to experience something of this nature (I mean, look at the flu endemics that our world is currently experiencing). 

All in all, I think that this is one of the best books of this nature that I had read in a far while- nature taking back the reigns of control, pushing mankind into the beginnings of an apocalyptic society. That being said, I am on the fence about whether or not to continue on with this series (something that is almost unheard of for me), one reason being because I feel like this nicely wrapped itself up, having the potential to be a standalone, another reason being because the next one doesn't focus on Miranda and her family, but instead Alex Morales (though I do understand that the third book once again focuses on Miranda/ her interactions with Alex)- this is a family that I don't want to let go of, even for a book. 

Rating: 4/5


  1. I read this book a few years ago and remember really enjoying it. I'm glad you liked it, too. It's definitely a roller coaster of emotions.

  2. Ooooh this sounds kinda good! Sorta like a disaster movie in a book. I always like those kinda survival stories that focus on one family and aren't too dystopian...I might check this out, Ta Avery ;)

    Cait x

  3. I have this one because I was really compelled by it, but haven't read it yet. I understand how you feel about the ending wrapping up nicely and not wanting to move on to the next book. Sometimes, especially when a series focuses on a different character in each book, I end up feeling the same way.

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction


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