It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastophically altering the Earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.
Miranda and her two brothers spend their days scavenging for food and household items, while their mother stays at home and desperately tries to hold on to the ordinary activities of their previous life. But they all know that nothing is truly normal in this surreal new world they live in.
The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.
The third book in Susan Beth Pfeffer’s apocalyptic series brings us once again to Miranda’s home in Howell, and her journal entries. Miranda’s life has been trucking along since we left her in Life As We Knew It; she, her mother and two brothers (Jon and Matt) recieve food every Monday from the government, make use of the electricity when they have it to wash clothes and bedding, chop wood to keep warm and spend their time cleaning, talking and generally just surviving. Their monotonous days are interuppted when food stops arriving, and then again when Miranda’s father, stepmother and new baby – along with three strangers – arrive at their door. Insert Alex and Julie Morales from The Dead and the Gone. Soon, everything seems to be getting worse, just as Miranda is finding love.
Although it didn’t have the intense feelings of worry, lose and despair that the first two books had, This World We Live In was still an emotional rollercoaster ride. With the influx of people into Miranda’s home, the worries about having enough food is a constant concern (not to mention electricity and heat). There’s flooding from melting snow and rain, ash from volcanoes covering everything and supplies running low. Still, in the midst of all this, Susan Beth Pfeffer manages to tell an incredible story of hope, finding love in the most unexpected places and that family is more than just blood.
The ending was a bit rushed compared to the rest of the story, and even though Miranda can be seen as the main character of the series (seeing as she’s the narrator of two books, so we get to know her better), I feel that Alex came out the worst of them all. He was put through everything bad that he could be put through and still come out sane. I felt more connected to Alex than I did Miranda, and wish we had got some of his POV in this book as well. Alternating chapters would have been nice! In the end, though, it comes down to that gut-wrenching disbelief that anyone could survive what these characters have, and that was there. This World We Live In delivered.