Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review: Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Synopsis: (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.

Why I Picked this Book:  A friend had told me about it, and said she knew I would love it.  So I bought it, and lent it out to other friends.  All of them loved it.  Months later I finally got it back, and decided to see what this love was all about.

My Thoughts:  
I loved it.
Life As We Knew It is such a realistic take on "what it" that it left me forgetting this event hadn't actually happened.  Pfeffer does a great job on writing in journal format, getting you into the MC, Miranda's head.  How the events unroll, how everything happens, isn't pumped up or magnified.  It is true people, acting how they truly would.

We read many stories about the world coming to an end.  Alien attacks.  Nuclear war.  Viruses, famine, dictatorships.  Smart apes.  In Life As We Knew It, all that happens is an asteroid hits the moon.  No one thought it would be bad.  They gathered on their lawns with sodas in hand to watch this rare event.

Then the moon grew larger.

In short, some how the asteroid managed the bump the moon out of orbit and closer to the earth.  And... you know... we kinda depend on the moon.  For tides.  And weather.  So you can only imagine what happens.

Miranda was very believable.  The story starts with her as the normal teen: whining about homework, thinking about boys, complaining about her parents.  Through the series of events and catastrophes that happen, you really do get to see this young woman grow up and change.

I was so in Miranda's head, that I forgot this story wasn't an actual journal of actual events.  When I had to set it down to take care of my kids, eat, anything, I found myself thinking thoughts like: "Ok, but we need to conserve the granola bars.  We don't know how long our rations will last." and "We still have tap water.  I hope it lasts."  Then I would have to shake my head and remember: In the real world, the moon is still in its rightful orbit.

The reactions of people was too right on.  It was real world reactions.  Real world panic.  How Miranda thought her mother had gone crazy when she loaded their car to the ceiling with canned goods.  How the schools and police stations and stores close down.  How people turn on each other.  How teenage love can truly only be a handful of journal entries long.

I don't know what else I can say.  I could rant forever about characters, plots, the happenings.  But honestly: I just want you to read it.  Pfeffer has created a book where she destroyed the world perfectly, and pulls you along for the ride.  It is believeable.  It is too real.  And now when I look at the moon, I am grateful for its small, distant size.

My Rating:
(5 out of 5 stars)

1 comment:

Lady Gwen said...

Sounds awesome! Funny how you can get so into books - conserve granola bars and water, etc. I do that too, when I'm really into a book. With 5 out of 5 stars, I will have to read it. Thanks for the review!


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