Dan Thorson's Reviews > Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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's review
Feb 17, 2011

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bookshelves: young-adult-materials
Read in February, 2011

Miranda's small town in PA was excited to watch the asteroid strike the moon. Astronomers believed this would be an extraordinary sight. The impact did not disapoint, inciting singing and cheering. The excitement did not last long. Suddenly people were screaming and praying for salvation. The moon was drawing closer to Earth! The impact, it turns out, knocked the moon out of its orbit and closer to our planet. The result is catastrophic. Chaotic tides destroy coastal cities; millions are dead in the US alone. Telecommunications are just about gone. Electricity is just about gone. Volcanoes have turned the sky thick and gray. For most of the world survival is impossible. For Miranda and her family, however, survival is essential. Their stockpile of food and water diminishes throughout the year, but they have made it so far. A fatal flu has struck everyone but Miranda, yet no one in the family has died.

Pfeffer's story is certainly interesting. The means through which Miranda and her family make it are often extremely innovative or extremely lucky. The crisis also results in an amazing transformation of protagonist Miranda. In the matter of a few months she has gone from immature and slightly selfish to an integral cog of family survival. Miranda has also come to truly appreciate the relationship she shares with her mother and two brothers.

The novel is also frightening for many. The situation seems realistic enough and the solutions almost unimaginable. This is a good science fiction novel geared toward grades 7th through 12th.

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