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Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)
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Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  93,597 Ratings  ·  8,021 Reviews
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 hav ...more
Paperback, 337 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Madeleine How are they still living... (up to four years after it happened)
Jessica Taylor 12 is good, but there are some pretty depressing parts (especially in the sequel), so...
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 30, 2014 Valerie rated it liked it
Recommended to Valerie by: Cara
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is was very overwhelming for me. I felt like it could really happen. After I read half the book I honestly wanted to go to the grocery store and get as much food as I possibly could. It showed me how fragile our lives really are, and I was reminded again what really is important in life. Miranda grows so much, at first I think she sounds a bit spoiled but she grows out of it. And you see what people are truly capable of. As the story progresses things get worse and worse. That is what ...more
i don't know who i am trying to kid. i keep reading these survival stories, thinking to myself, "i will know what to do if this happens - i will have tips and tricks and i will be the last one standing." that's pretty much bullshit. while its true i probably could survive, i wouldn't want to. i'm a fat lazy american - i don't want to have to scavenge. i don't want to have to hunt and skin deer or build a shelter or defend myself from others looking to eat my delicious arms. i don't want to have ...more
Isa Lavinia

Okay, I was really looking forward to this book - I've been reading a lot of dystopias lately and they've surprised me in a positive way. Not this one.

Listen, if you're writing fantasy or sci-fi that's not based on Earth you can go all out, like, "That asteroid knocked Zhogenaqn, our moon, out of orbit, which caused all the feueldndao plants to release zignhnwp, a deadly virus." It's cool. You can do that, and I won't even bat an eyelash at it.
BUT when you say "oh all the astronom
Opening Line:“Lisa is pregnant. Dad called around 11 o’clock to let us know.”

I loved this, easily one of my top reads this year; although maybe love isn’t the right word because this book scared the crap out of me. It also depressed me, made me very cold and gave me OCD about stockpiling food. I mean just how long could I survive on what’s in my cupboards? Not very. Three boxes of Kraft Dinner and a jar of spaghetti sauce are hardly going to see me through a wintery apocalypse now are they? (Alt
Apr 09, 2008 Harry rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Tennage girls that like reading dictionary-diarys
Shelves: books-ive-read
Now I know a one star is pretty bad but when I put my cursor over the one star it says didn't like it and I did not like this book at all. I'm not going to go into full detail because it would torture me but heres the plot: You are reading about a family that lives in Pennsylvania and the character Miranda is a teenage girl living with her mom and brother. Scientists say that a meteor is going to hit the moon, and everyone doesn't really care about being a doomsday because the scientists say the ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
I warn you, this is going to make me sound a little odd, if not insane: I read this book in bed, on the way to work, whenever I had free time. I’d be walking along the road thinking about how it’s probably good that someone shared their lunch with me today because we need to save food. And it’s really grey today. Damn those volcanic ash clouds blocking the sun. I imagined all the food we’d stock up on. What would be like to bring back cars full of tinned and jarred food? I need to remember to st ...more
Rachel Ann
Jul 09, 2011 Rachel Ann rated it did not like it
I don't usually give 1 star unless I really hated the book. I really hated this book.

I'm a sucker for dystopian/end of the world books, let me tell you. I picked this one up at Barnes And Noble last summer in the hopes of finding another book I really loved, but unfortunately that was not the case. The most important part of an end-of-the-world thriller, in my opinion, is it's ability to make you think that it could actually happen. I found Pfeffer's story of the moon being knocked out of orbit
Oct 14, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
For someone who doesn't always like YA, I really liked this book. It wasn't because of the writing style (which was simple), it was because the plot was so engaging. This post-apocalypic book gave me the heebie jeebies big time.

I think the reason why this book really grabbed my attention was the fact that it didn’t seem so far fetched. I mean maybe the specific catastrophe of a asteroid crashing into the moon and pushing it much closer to Earth is far fetched, but any kind of disaster could hap
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews
3.5 Stars

These books always make me a bit paranoid, I start hoarding tins, toilet roll, candles. I need to buy a bunker in Alaska or something.
Stacey (prettybooks)
I first read Life As We Knew It five years agowhen I couldn't get enough of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. This time, I was looking for an audiobook to listen to on my commute and after a few failed attempts at reading paperbacks while squished on the train,a re-read seemed like the perfect choice!

I loved Life As We Knew Itoriginally because it made me feel like I was surviving alongside Miranda after a meteor collides with the moon, altering the Earth's climate, making it almost impos
Feb 02, 2008 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristin by: students
This one has been so popular with the sixth graders I actually snagged it from the "return" box so I could finally read it! What a strange, depressing-yet-hopeful story about a family's struggle to survive after the moon is knocked out of its orbit and closer to Earth. It is definitely a page-turner, but I would also find myself kind of down after reading it.
The one thing that bothers me about this book is that Christianity is portrayed in a horrible way. The main character (Miranda) has a best
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

If you're looking for one of the best books of 2006, then look no further than Susan Beth Pfeffer's LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. A wonderful tale of family love, loss, and survival, this is one story that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

There have been lots of changes in sixteen-year-old Miranda's life recently. Her older brother, Matt, is away at college. Her mom is still adjusting to being a divorced parent. Her younger brother, Jonny, is ob
Apr 16, 2010 Annalisa rated it liked it
Recommended to Annalisa by: Jess
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2009 Felicia rated it really liked it
This is very much a young adult book, but very interesting. Things tend to happen a bit too easy, but still very interesting, a sort of Anne Frank for the apocalypse. Definitely recommend to teen readers and others.
Oct 02, 2016 Josiemaus85 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War besser als anfangs erwartet. Bin schon gespannt auf den nächsten Teil.
Dec 18, 2009 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2007
"Life as We Knew It" is a teen book version of disaster movies such as "Armageddon," "2012," and "The Day After Tomorrow" told from a 16-year old girl's POV. Basically, you have a natural cataclysm that affects the entire planet and you follow a girl and her family through their day-to-day struggles to survive the aftermath.

The book is compelling in many ways. You find yourself imagining what you would do in Miranda’ situation. Like many have said in the reviews before me, you feel an urge to g
Imagine Armageddon directed by Catherine Hardwicke instead of Michael Bay. Life As We Knew It is an end-of-the-world scenario told through the eyes of a teenage girl, who writes down everything that happens in amazingly long and detailed diary entries, which become increasingly implausible as she writes multi-page narratives about how she just dragged her entire sick family out of a smoke-filled sunroom while on the verge of starving to death herself.

This is not a bad book -- it's got a voice th
Sep 09, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it
I am so not as prepared for the end of the world as I thought I was!

Years and years ago, I had a massive platonic crush on a girl named Micheala. She was awesome…. She had bright orange dreadlocks and rode an orange, sparkly motorcycle (and knew how to fix it!) She grew her own veggies, canned them, made pottery, knew how to knit, how to make paper, how to make her own cat food, she was making a loom so she could make her own cloth for clothes... not that she actually did all of this stuff on a
May 25, 2009 John rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I usually really enjoy a dystopian post-apoclyptic novel more than most, but this one left me cold on several fronts.

The basic gist of the story is an asteroid hits the moon and causes immense changes to the teenage heroine's lifestyle.

Issue 1: not enough mayhem ensues with the events in the story. I would easily expect more looting and depravity in this type of scenario. Everything seemed too put together. For example, the coastal regions are decimated ... yet internet access is still available
Aug 01, 2011 Cici rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've come to realize why I am addicted to these types of books, for years I've had nightmares about the world ending or some kind of disaster where I'm trying to save my kids and sometimes other people. I do know that I have these nightmares when I am stressed out and overwhelmed and that's what the dream is symbolizing(something in my life is out of control) and me trying to save people symbolizes that I'm trying to get it under control. I used to be huge into dreams and their meanings. But, st ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Kristy rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book I love. This is the kind of book I wish more schools were reading. The discussions and papers on this would just be so awesome.

Thoughts/questions going through my mind:

*Would I want to survive?
*Would I leave my home or stay?
*How could I leave?
*Why did Mrs. Nesbitt not move in?
*What would my role in surving have been?
*What would they have done without a wood stove?
*Will things ever get back to normal?
*What modern convience would I miss the most?
*What's the likelyhood my
For some odd reason, I've been reading a lot of end of the world as we know it types of books the past couple of weeks. And they've all managed to convince me that should the apocalypse happen, I am not in any way, shape or form prepared to survive for long.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing, I haven't quite decided yet. But that said, that thought as well as the sheer bleakness of several of the novels have led to a lot of restless nights, wondering if its time to start hoarding food and st
This was an enjoyable story, but it felt long.

I liked the characters in this book, but they did make some poor decisions. Not wanting to conserve food? Not worrying about running out of water? Wanting to give blankets away? Not eating because God doesn’t want you to? Going swimming even though there are mosquito-borne illnesses going about? Not the smartest bunch really.

The storyline in this was okay, but it also had some dodgy moments. I’m not sure how big their car/van was, but the number of c
Yulia K
Feb 06, 2016 Yulia K rated it it was amazing
This book ... *sighs* I don't know what to say, I liked it. It was something really different from what I expected to be. It turned out so well.
Everything in this book is so perfectly described and written that it's easy to get lost in it. It really makes you think for all the things around you and to be thankful. While I was reading I forgot about reality and felt like I was in the book and live through all of the things the characters went. It was like a rollercoaster ride!!!
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
This is a fantastic dystopian novel by Pfeffer which I really enjoyed reading. When I first began reading the book, I didn't feel particularly enamoured by the protagonist, Miranda, or her writing. However, after reading on for only a little while, I found myself absolutely absorbed into the story. One of the great things about this book is that it's realistic and I could actually imagine it happening - it's quite unnerving in that aspect. It's not hard to put yourself in Miranda's position and ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I've always loved apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories. One of my favourite books, Obernewtyn, introduced me to this genre, among other things, back in primary school and since then I've read them more-or-less as I've come across them. I particularly liked Jean Urr's Plague 99 and its sequel, Come Lucky April, as well as John Marsden's Tomorrow series (I really must re-read all these some day!). When I was studying for my teaching degree, we had one assignment for English that involved putti ...more
Aug 17, 2016 Olivia rated it it was ok
I stumbled over this book by chance in my library and thought it sounded interesting, so I picked it up. I love dystopias, I love the apocalypse and the idea of the moon causing havoc on earth was an interesting one. Life As We Knew It almost got a single, lonely star though. The second one I only gave because it was an easy read and sort of entertaining. It's told in the first person from the POV of a teenage girl.

The plot however... the science? Come on. Some research at least? Open up Wikiped
Andrew Hicks
Sep 06, 2015 Andrew Hicks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, ya, dystopian
I was raised fundamentalist Christian, and right around age 11, I became obsessed with pre-millennialist Rapture/Great Tribulation/Armageddon eschatology. So I was in constant dread, for like two years of my adolescent life, that my mom and brother would disappear to heaven and I'd be left alone to navigate a 7-year post-apocalyptic nightmare. I couldn't sleep, which made me an anxious mini-zombie through most of middle school.

Life As We Knew It -- where a family reacts to the snowballing afte
Jun 21, 2013 Victor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one!
DNF 72%
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Susan Beth Pfeffer was born in New York City in 1948. She grew up in the city and its nearby suburbs and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains. When she was six her father wrote and published a book on constitutional law, and Pfeffer decided that she, too, wanted to be a writer. That year she wrote her first story, about the love between an Oreo cookie and a pair of scissors. However, it wasn't ...more
More about Susan Beth Pfeffer...

Other Books in the Series

Last Survivors (4 books)
  • The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2)
  • This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)
  • The Shade of the Moon (Last Survivors, #4)

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“I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's would still be open.” 326 likes
“I wonder if I'll ever have to decide which is worse, life as we're living or no life at all.” 219 likes
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