Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
ISBN – 13: 978-0-152-06154-8
When a meteor hits the mooon and knocks it closer in orbit to the earth, nothing will ever be the same. Worldwide tidal waves. Earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions. And that’s just the beginning.
Mirandas disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid 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. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource – hope.
I really like books written in journal/diary format when they’re done well. Life As We Knew It was done well. Rather than just be wirtten in first person POV and have dates put on the top of chapters, Susan Beth Pfeffer actually wrote the book like journal entries. Days are skipped, dialogue is present but it was believeable that Miranda would have written it from memory, many of the “entries” are short, like there was just nothing to write that day, and one entry even ends abruptly, like the writer had to go do something quickly had didn’t have time to finish.
Throughout the course of the novel, you really feel like you know Miranda, that you’re right there with her going through what she is. Her thoughts and feelings come through loud and clear; her situation is desperate and the writing makes you feel that. I have to admit, near the end of the book one scene had me in tears. Not great sobbing crocodile tears, but just that single one that slips down your cheek when you really feel the characters pain. Or maybe I’m just too emotional, myself. Maybe the books just scared me. Could I do what Miranda’s family has done, if something catastrophic ever happened for real? Would I be able to go without food so that my younger brother could have more? Could I care for three family member deathly sick with the flu all by myself? Would my family even get enough food to last as long as Miranda’s family – but then I realize it wouldn’t matter. My whole province would get wiped away by the tsunami’s. Why do I love post-apocalyptic books so much when they just make me worry? I don’t know, but I do, and I loved this one.
The only reason this books gets four instead of five hearts is because throughout the whole book I kept getting distracted by trying to figure out why things got so bad? How come the power didn’t stay on? Miranda’s town wasn’t hit by floods or earth quakes or volcanos so surely they have their own power plant and don’t rely on some place in New York or where ever. Lack of food I was able to understand; most supermarkets have food shipped in from God knows where so it makes sense that it would run out. The lack of oil, I can understand because that as well comes from outside sources. It was just the electricity that bugged me. But, I don’t know how that works in the States. All I know is that even when a raccoon got stuck in one of the generators at NSPower, power only went out in one part of the city.
Anyway, that was the only thing that I found distracting. I loved the characters, I enjoyed the pacing – not too rushed, not too slow or monotonous – and the concept was brilliant. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic novels, and even to those who don’t. You might just love it.