Series: Last Survivors #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2008
Genres: Family, Fantasy & Magic, Nature & the Natural World, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Also by this author: This World We Live In
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.
I am in love with the post-apocalyptic dystopian genre. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is a fine piece of YA apocalyptic reading. Life As We Knew It takes the format of a journal written by Miranda who is sixteen and living a super-normal life until in the space of a single day, everything changes. Before going any further with this review, I should probably let you know I read this during the wee hours of the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. Life As We Knew It grasped my attention and did not let go until the very end.
So what exactly changes Miranda’s life? Basically, the moon gets hit with a giant asteroid, and since people can be a bit daft everyone in the book is all YAY moon party, until they realize the tides are all messed up resulting in massive weather disasters. Miranda’s area is not exactly hit by the weather disasters but they feel the repercussions. The rest of this character-driven novel is all about survival when the worst happens.
Now, this was not quite as creepy as The Road by Cormac McCarthy, yet I found Life As We Knew It to be just as compelling. I found this book to be scary, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and engrossing. Mostly this is due to the characters whom I feel I know completely. I though Miranda was easy to relate to. She is strong, yet like all people she has her vulnerable moments as well as her selfish moments, one of which brought tears to my eyes. I ask what girl would not be like Miranda if Life As You Knew It were to completely change?
While reading this, I suggest you chug down some gatorade to keep your electrolytes replenished, you never know when disaster is going to strike and you’re going to have to chop some wood or hand wash clothes or hunt animals. Also, I recommend keeping your eye on the moon, so you know when to prepare.