Book Review: Life as we knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Today’s read <3

Title: Life as we knew it written by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Survival, Post-Apocalyptic
Published By Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Page count: 337
Format: Paperback (decided to use an image I took of this book with Instagram the other day)
Rating: 4/5, Loved it
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #8

Do people ever realize how precious life is? I know I never did before. There was always time. There was always a future. – Susan Beth Pfeffer in Life as we knew it

On a day that seemed just like any other, with homework and friendship drama on her mind Miranda and her family sat outside their home in Pennsylvania and watched as an meter struck the moon. It was almost like a block party as people sat outside barbequing and celebrating this fun but small event. Little did they know how this seemingly small event would rock their lives. The awe and amusement that this even struck in Miranda and her neighbors soon turned to fear and helplessness as they watched the meteor hit the moon and knock it out of position causing the moon to almost fall to earth.

People obviously panic and start hoarding food from the supermarkets and gas stations as well as stocking up on blankets and other necessities. It is a smaller town so there is not much in the way of looting except we do encounter some towards the middle of the book but it’s pretty small time as well. Electricity starts going, water conservation becomes a necessity as does food conservation, illnesses start breaking out, and the weather gets out of whack. The gravitational pull is altered as well causing major catastrophes that we weren’t prepared for like hurricanes and the eruption of long dormant volcanoes all over the world in a seemingly unceasing force causing the air quality to plummet and a grey fog from the ash to settle around them. Things just seem to keep getting worse and worse but there are small, tiny pockets of hope and love that are still there to live for and hope for. Just as there seems to be no end to the misery and no light at the end of the tunnel (although we do feel this way alot), the electricity starts coming on for small increments and Miranda stumbles into City Hall to find that there is food now being provided for them. They will survive after all.

The story is told in journal form through Miranda’s writings in her journal and on sheets of paper she finds around her house. It is the story of life as they knew it during that time, sort of a record for either themselves if they find a way out of the situation or for the ones that will come after them.

I thought this story was awesome. It was really hard to read because there are some really sad parts in it and we are getting a firsthand account through Miranda’s journal entries so we easily empathize with her and suffer along with her. A review on the back cover of the book (paperback format) I think describes this book accurately: “It was kind of like a car crash I couldn’t stop looking at” – I couldn’t agree more. It was difficult to see people suffer like this because it just seems to go on and on and on and just when the situation can’t seem to get any worse it actually does but we can’t help but read on and hope and hope and hope that things will get better. It’s also thought provoking because its hard not to imagine yourself in a “what if’ scenario when reading this book. It makes you remember to appreciate the things in your life more which Miranda didn’t until it was too late. If you haven’t read this book, I definitely recommend it. This is the first in a three part series. I am pretty scared to read the other two but of course I definitely will. I’m really curious to see what happened to their Dad and his wife and new baby. I’m curious to see what happens with Miranda and her family. I’m curious to see what happens with the entire world, what happens with the moon, how has the electricity come back on, how are they delivering the food…there are a ton of questions I have so yes, I will be reading the second book!

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