Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Review: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: Life as We Knew It 
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2006
Source: Purchased
Edition: Paperback (337 pages)
Genre: Dystopian 
Series: The Last Survivors #1



I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s still would be open. High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, the way “one marble hits another.” The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintry in northeastern Pennsylvania, 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 a year’s worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. 
I read this book way back in middle school and I remember loving it so much, so afterwards I ended up going to the store and buying the third book. I have no idea why but I read the third book and never read the second! *face palm for younger me* So I finally bought the second one and I thought I'd give them a reread since it was about 5 years ago now. Holy crap, time flies.

Anyways, in this world, disaster has stricken when the moon is suddenly enlarged after an asteroid hits it. The whole world is watching this happen because it's meant to be some sort of huge deal, though nobody expected the outcome to be as bad as it was. The moon controls the tide and also can affect the weather, so the oceans begin to go out of control and so does the weather. The moon is also always showing, even when the sun is. It just stays there, in the sky, being tantalizingly large, reminding everyone of that night and as a forewarning of what's to come.

People being to die a lot, because the world has gone to hell. Businesses shut down and electricity slowly comes to a stop. It's basically a reversal in human living. Humans gain electricity and technology, electricity and technology get taketh away. It's pretty horrible actually. This story follows Miranda and her family through this traumatic and life-changing experience.

I overall really enjoyed this book, especially because it's written through journal entries, which is pretty awesome and unique. I love it when books are written in ways other than your classic run-of-the-mill narrative like 95% of the books in the young adult genre. I felt horrible for Miranda and her family. It had to have been so hard to live like that and freeze all the time. Even to be scared to go outside at times. I can't even begin to imagine how I would fend for myself in a world like that. The summers got so hot and the winters got so cold. I don't know how they managed to do anything. I really liked how there was a theme of family strength that ran throughout the pages. It was a really hopeful and nice touch on the author's part. I can't wait to finally read book two, I've heard that it's told in a different perspective!

Notable Quotes:

"I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's would still be open."

"I wonder if I'll ever have to decide which is worse, life as we're living or no life at all."

"I hate the moon. I hate tides and earthquakes and volcanoes. I hate a world where things that have absolutely nothing to do with me can destroy my life and the lives of people I love."

"Here's the funny thing about the world coming to an end. Once it gets going, it doesn't seem to stop."

"We may not have a future, but you can't deny we have a past."

"I never really thought about how when I look at the moon, it's the same moon as Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at."

"The only way you can be the best at something is to be the best you can be."

"It wouldn't be New Year's without a resolution. I've resolved to take a moment every day for the rest of my life to appreciate what I have."

Rating:

Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

5 comments:

  1. I've seen this book around quite a bit, but just have never thought to pick it up. The cover doesn't really pull me in. But it seems like you enjoyed it! I might have to take a closer look.

    Lisa
    www.turningpages94.blogspot.com

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  2. I absolutely loved this book. It made me cry and gave me hope that humanity (and cats) could persevere even in the toughest times. I liked that this was a post-apocalyptic story that didn't involve aliens or monsters, just a natural disaster. I also learned that if anything like this happens that I should go to the grocery store FIRST and fill carts with cat food and people food. Priorities. This is definitely one of my favorite books.

    Michelle @ Michelle's Minions

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  3. I've had this book on my TBR list for a while now, it does seem intriguing though - I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Lovely review!

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  4. Just from that first quote, I have decided I want to read this book. I already wanted to read it because I have never read anything like this and am interested to see what the moving of the moon would actually mean. :)

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

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  5. My book club read this one a couple of years ago. I liked it so much I read the next two. The 4th wasn't out yet, so I still need to read it.

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Hello there! (: Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one!