Life As We Knew It is the first book in Susan Beth Pfeffer’s “Last Survivors” series (I say series because I think she has a 4th book in the works). I had been wanting to read this book ever since I saw Jess’s review at Tangled Up in Blue and last week when the honeyman and I were out I found it at Barnes and Noble and he bought it for me.
Life As We Knew It is the diary of a 16-year-old girl named Miranda, who lives in Pennsylvania. When she hears all over the news that an asteroid is going to crash into the moon, she’s just annoyed at the extra homework assignments because of it. Still, she gets together with her family and neighbors to watch this historical event, but in a split second people’s excitement turns to fear as the impact knocks the moon much closer to the Earth, and therefore completely screws up Earth’s weather and climate. Miranda’s life gets turned upside down as food supplies run low, storms occur, and gas prices skyrocket. Miranda’s diary takes us through all of this, an account of how bad things can really get and what matters most in times of crisis.
I am really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I devoured it in less than 24 hours. The diary format took some getting used to, but eventually it seemed like the perfect way for Miranda’s story to be told. I loved how the plot was set up as well – at first it’s just the diary of a normal girl who fights with her mom and worries about her grades, and the moon plot is slowly worked in, and then it becomes the diary of a girl just trying to survive. I loved that the book took us through seeing what goes wrong, and what happens as a result of this catastrophe. While reading it I totally got the urge to start stockpiling and prepare for a disaster like immediately.
Miranda is a very realistic character. For example, while I liked that she was a good student and cared about her family and such, she was also a total brat sometimes. There were times I wanted to smack her, but other times when I just kind of wanted to give her a hug. I didn’t think that the whole asteroids-hitting-a-moon-so-let’s-throw-a-party thing wasn’t really realistic – I think that in real life, atronomers and NASA and scientists would be just a bit more concerned. But hey, I guess it could happen. I did really enjoy seeing how Miranda’s family responded to the situation – she’s lucky that she had a mom who immediately took action, even if it all turned out to be no big deal. It’s really scary to imagine all of this stuff happening.
Life As We Knew It was an easy, engrossing read. I’m really, really excited to read the second book, The Dead and The Gone. From what I gather, the second book focuses on a different character in NYC and how he copes with the same events, and I believe that him and Miranda meet up in the third book. In fact, since the Bout of Books readathon starts today, I think I’m going to have to go purchase the second book and start it right away.
Also, you should check out Susan Beth Pfeffer’s blog. It was surprisingly funny, and apparently she has written a crapload of books.
Sarah Says: 4 stars