It appears to Sam that everything in her life is broken down. Sam’s father is a pastor, her beautiful but fragile mother is an alcoholic who has had tIt appears to Sam that everything in her life is broken down. Sam’s father is a pastor, her beautiful but fragile mother is an alcoholic who has had to go to rehab after a DUI. Even though their church is quite successful, money is tight, so tight that every time their credit card is used, they breathe a sigh of relief when it goes through. The world around Sam is broken down too – the town is suffering from a massive heat wave and both the air conditioning and her ceiling fan are broken. The plants outside that her mother had planted are dying. The heat is oppressive, suffocating.
And then the unthinkable happens. A thirteen-year-old girl in Sam’s church is kidnapped. Sam’s father becomes the family’s spokesman and encourages Sam to go and stay with her friends until the crisis is over. Sam resists but ultimately agrees to go for a short time. As the search for Jody continues, the likelihood of her being found diminishes and Sam’s faith flounders. ...more
Joey and Maureen were the lucky ones. The fire alarm had been constantly going off that day at school. Each time the intercom would come on, telling eJoey and Maureen were the lucky ones. The fire alarm had been constantly going off that day at school. Each time the intercom would come on, telling everyone that they were testing the new alarm system. But the last time it goes off, the intercom message is fuzzy. Mr. Austen is annoyed by the interruptions to his class and he tells everyone to ignore the alarm again. But Joey can’t. His mother died the previous year in a fire, and he and his best friend are the only people in the class to defy their teacher and evacuate their classroom. They are also the only ones to survive the fire that kills everyone else. Needless to say, Joey is traumatized by the whole thing. Afraid to be in his house and harassed by those who blame him for the fire (looking for someone to blame, he and Maureen became the natural, albeit innocent, scapegoats) Joey cannot get past what has happened to him. How do you get over the fact that you are only one of two survivors? ...more
The only color I know now is gray, the gray of ash and dirt and sadness.
It’s been less than a year since everything changed, less than a year since huThe only color I know now is gray, the gray of ash and dirt and sadness.
It’s been less than a year since everything changed, less than a year since hunger and darkness and death have become so commonplace, but I couldn’t remember what life – life the way I used to know it – had been like. I couldn’t remember blue. (p. 2, ARC)
Yesterday I checked my mailbox at school just before I left for the day and discovered an ARC of this world we live in. My plans to finish decorating my house for Christmas quickly flew out the window because the rest of my evening was spent devouring the book (I have a very understanding husband who even cooked dinner so that I could read).
this world we live in begins about a month after Miranda’s last entry in Life as We Knew It. While finally the family is beginning to receive food every week from the government, they are very aware that eventually the food will run out. Because the world outside is finally beginning to thaw, Matt and Jon decide to walk to the Delaware River (about 15 miles away) to fish for shad and hopefully bring enough back to supplement their diet for a while. Not only do they bring back fish, but Matt brings back a wife, Syl. While not exactly welcomed with open arms, Syl soon begins to fit in with the family. And then more company arrives. Miranda’s father, stepmother, and baby brother show up and they bring three new people: Alex and Julie (the brother and sister from the dead and the gone) and Charlie, a man they met on their journey. Now with eleven mouths to feed, survival has become just that much harder.
I honestly don’t want to say anything else about the book because I don’t want to spoil it. this world we live in is a bleak book, but it’s appropriate for the world Pfeffer has created. It’s the story of a family who has been thrown in an impossibly difficult situation yet they are managing (barely) to survive. It is their struggle that haunts me – it’s been two years since I read Life as We Knew It and yet I still think about Miranda and how much food it would take for our family to survive if we were thrust in the same situation.
While this is a survival story, it is also a novel about people and I have become quite attached to the characters. Pfeffer has done a wonderful job with characterization – I feel as though I know Miranda and her family. I don’t feel like I really got to know Alex and Julie any better but that’s ok – this was Miranda’s story and she’s who I really cared about. I have read Pfeffer’s blog for the past two years, and I know she debated on several different plots when writing the third novel. I’m thankful she settled on the story that became the world we live in because it’s a perfect way to end this trilogy.
I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the author and used it to review the book. Quotes need to be checked against the final printed copy of the book, which will be released in April 2010. ...more
It is the future. An incredible thing has happened. Disease has been cured and a drug that will extend life forever has beeThe Declaration Gemma Malley
It is the future. An incredible thing has happened. Disease has been cured and a drug that will extend life forever has been discovered. Sounds like paradise, but there’s one hitch. With nobody dying the world is becoming overpopulated and running out of resources. So the Declaration is created. People have a choice – take the Longevity drug and never die, or Opt Out and have children. Pretty much everyone chooses not to die, but there are a few that rebel and have children anyway. If the children are captured (and they are almost always captured), they are considered Surplus and are sent to live in Grange Hall where they are trained to be servants for those who are legal. These children are treated horribly and are brainwashed to think that they should never have been born.
Anna had been at Grange Hall longer than any other child. She is determined to become a Valuable Asset in someone’s home. But then a new Surplus shows up. Peter is unusual because he was not captured as a young child, and he refuses to submit to the brainwashing and abuse that the other children take for granted. He quickly ingratiates himself to Anna and tells her that he knows her real parents and he has been sent to help her escape and take her to them. Anna is not inclined to believe him or even to care about her parents (after all they are terrible people for breaking the law and having her) but when it becomes apparent that the head mistress of Grange Hall is going to have Peter murdered, she decides to help him escape and to leave with him.
I’ve read a lot of books in which children are treated badly – whether it’s from child abuse or neglect or from addictions on the parts of the parents. The Declaration, however, is different. In this book the mere existence of the children is treated as despicable. People are willing – even eager – to trade the existence of children, a natural and good part of the life cycle, for the opportunity to live forever (certainly an unnatural thing). The abuse and brain-washing that Anna suffers was very painful for me to read.
This is certainly a compelling read, and I’m eager to read the second book in the series. It’s a great choice for anyone who loves dystopian fiction. ...more
I picked up this book because I enjoy watching Mitch Albom on The Sports Reporters. I had absolutely no idea how much I would love it I found myself mI picked up this book because I enjoy watching Mitch Albom on The Sports Reporters. I had absolutely no idea how much I would love it I found myself marking passages to read again and have ordered two copies for friends for Christmas. This will be a book I'll reread over the years and savor its truths....more
Rosalind, princess of Wilde Island, is almost perfectly beautiful. She has a lovely face and will have a beautiful shape when she is a woman. But sheRosalind, princess of Wilde Island, is almost perfectly beautiful. She has a lovely face and will have a beautiful shape when she is a woman. But she is not perfect. The ring finger of her left hand – the finger on which she should wear her wedding ring – is not a finger at all but a claw, a dragon’s claw. Nobody but Rosalind and her mother are aware of her deformity – she always wears golden gloves to hide it. If anyone finds out, she will no longer be a princess – will perhaps be thought of as a witch and killed. It was prophesied by none other than Merlin that she will be the one to bring peace to the island – but how can that happen. To make matters worse, the island is under periodic attacks by a dragon, who has no compunction about eating humans. When Rosalind is captured by the dragon, there is no real hope that she can survive. But there is that prophesy – and can Merlin be wrong? I really enjoyed Dragon’s Keep. Janet Lee Carey is a wonderful writer and this novel has a lot of depth to it. I did find that I did have to pay attention to what I was reading – I couldn’t simply fly through the novel because I got lost a couple of times. I read the book during a read-a-thon at school and it was easy to get distracted by people who came into the media center needing my help. I don’t think this is necessarily a good book for people who don’t like fantasy, but if you do love fantasy novels, this would be a good choice. ...more
I thought this was supposed to be the last of the Sisters Grimm series, and as much as I've enjoyed the series, I've been ready for it to end. Now itI thought this was supposed to be the last of the Sisters Grimm series, and as much as I've enjoyed the series, I've been ready for it to end. Now it looks as though there will be at least 2 additional books. In this one, we find out who the Master is. Sabrina's and Daphne's parents are awakened but all in all this is a darker book than some of the others....more
I like Roland Smith and I liked the premise of the book. I just found it a little disjointed and confusing in spots. Usually Smith's books demand allI like Roland Smith and I liked the premise of the book. I just found it a little disjointed and confusing in spots. Usually Smith's books demand all of my attention because I just have to know what happens next. This one I could put down and go do other things. I hope I'll enjoy the next installment more....more