Harry's Reviews > Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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Apr 09, 08

bookshelves: books-ive-read
Recommended for: Tennage girls that like reading dictionary-diarys
Read in February, 2007

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 there wont be. Well the meteor did hit and cerated a Doomsday. In the first few days The family has to survive while the Moon got closer to the earth because of the impact. The Moon gets so close that the gravitational pull creates hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Somehow the author thought that a meteor could do that.
This book is a horrible end of the world book, it has at most 15 pages of excitement. Seriously other then that its like reading a dictionary, other then the 15 pages of robbing a supermarket, you have to read about people dieing of old age and reading about a teen that writes in her diary.
Now this character is the most boring character I have ever read about. In the Diary all you read about is how life sucks in a house. I'm being completely serious. The whole book is about a family surviving in a house and trying to get food and firewood. There is No suspense, No plot, No plot twists, No Excitement, No everything. This book remains the same, for 400 or so pages, it never changes, all you read about is surviving in a house and reading about the teen doing homework, and eating.
Overall I hated this book, I really did. I love exciting books and slow dramatic books but this one has nothing to it.
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Comments (showing 1-44 of 44) (44 new)

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Harry Anyone that wants to discuss my review please do.


message 2: by Max (new)

Max This sounds like a terrible book.


message 3: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa hey i liked that book, thank you.


message 4: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa i was kidding. I stopped in the middle.


Harry hahaha yeah this book sucks so much.


Harry You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth.


Harry I see your point but reading the book was so boring and slow. How could you enjoy a book like that?


Harry I know but if it's a end of the world book wouldn't there be more exciting stuff? and I also thought the ending was horrible.


message 9: by Emily (last edited Oct 27, 2008 08:45AM) (new)

Emily Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a scientist or astronomer?

How do we know what is possible or impossible? That's the whole point of the story that scientists and astronomers didn't know that this is possible, and that we don't know what is possible in the real world.


Denny Kuruklis I hated this book too. I can't believe it's a Caudill book.


message 11: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Brumfield So then I guess I should just skip this one. I am pretty bad with characters who aren't well characters. Anyways, Does anyone have any reccomendations for people who thought this sounded interesting from the summary?


Denny Kuruklis Not me. All the books that were in the caudill contest sucked. So I just picked one out of random. xP


message 13: by Tori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tori I for one liked this book. I loved reading it, and had to keep looking out my window. When you seriously think about it, wouldn't some days be slow when this happened? Especially towards the end of the book? As for the loose ends, isn't this a series? Anyway, I thought it was a great show about what MAY happen, and isn't that why we have the genre of fiction? i'm a big sci-fi fan, and I think if any of you hav watched any Stargates, you would evidentally hate that too. Seriously though, scientifically impossible? has it ever happened? Everything is possible, and this book was FICTION!!!


Nozomi I think the fact that the family had to hoard canned food and conserve resourses was suspenseful. Though I admit, the possibility of a meteor impacting a moon to cause it to shift towards the Earth is unlikely, the reaction is realistic.


Carrie Hinkel-Gill The point is that this book falls into two categories:
Science Fiction (emphasis on fiction) and Speculative Fiction (What if? scenarios).

Think about the cellphones all of you use on a daily basis. At one time, they were just "science fiction" and something "only on Star Trek" and thought to be impossible to do, but, thanks to the early pioneers of science and technology who opened their minds to creativity, the technology was developed and is improved upon everyday.

As for the slowness, that's kind of the point. Things aren't always going to be actively engaging. Aren't there ever times in your life where you feel bored and the day seems to go on forever? The fact that you felt that time moved slow means the author did her job.

If you want action on every page, read action/adventure stories but don't criticize an author because their story slows down a bit. Constant action isn't a requirement and you shouldn't go into any book expecting it. In fact, there are down times in every book that I've read in my life thus far, no matter the genre.

A down time in a book serves the same purpose as a slow song during a song set at a dance club, to slow things down and give people a chance to breathe, and get their heart rhythms and adrenaline levels back to normal.


Fiannabear I think the reviewer missed the point. The same criticism, meteor aside, could be said of the Diary of Ann Frank, or Little House on the Prairie, It's a journal book. It's not about the fate of the world, it's about the individual life of one girl dealing with it. But yes, if the meteor was big enough and dense enough, it could push a moon out of orbit. Journal books aren't for everyone, but if you do enjoy that sort of thing, then you would enjoy this book.


Meggie I, quite literally, JUST finished this book, and I must say


Colleen I think you totally missed the point of the book Harry. :) And I completely agree with Carrie.


message 19: by Rose (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rose I just started reading this book not long ago, so I'll add to this discussion when I'm done. I'm about 20 some pages in and I'm finding it realistic in terms of the reaction, and the protagonist's voice not that bad at all - she's funny in some spurts, and I'm finding the journal style easy to read and realistic. Of course, it's likely to change in quality at any point, and hard to assess after 20 pages, so I'm keeping myself open to the fact it'll be slow and/or change in quality.

We'll see.


message 20: by Rose (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rose Okay, I finished it in one sitting just last night after about a three hour pursuit. It's actually nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, or at least from the scope of this review. I wouldn't say it's the best book in its thematic, but it does a good job of getting inside the character's head and painting the details of the disaster event without being superfluous. I think the character actions/reactions are realistic, and...I didn't find the book that slow at all - it was easy for me to read through and held my attention throughout. I suppose it's a matter of how you interpret it, but it is a story of day-to-day survival in an event of tragedy - and there are certain things you know/don't know because it's coming from the eye of one character. It would have been interesting to see how this story unfolded in an ominescent perspective.

In sum, I think I see where you're coming from with respect to the criticisms, but I think the book is nowhere near 1 star in terms of quality - it tells its story for the most part well, though not without caveats. I'd give it a 3.5/5 rating personally.


Soumya I thought it was a good book. I mean, if you read it without thinking about how accurate it is, it's good.
I mean, it's just a book. It's not like it's going to happen or anything, as everyone knows.


message 22: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina I loved this book! I must defend it. I believe it was thought provoking, and it took my breath away. It was full of drama. And are you saying it's illogical? It's fiction. Logic does not always lie within fiction. Maybe it just wasn't your type of book. Everyone has a type of book they like. We are all different, a diversity of people.


Belyra I agree with that, I totally love it too!


Makefetch I agree with you. This book was only interesting when the electricity came on.


Cindy You know...if you liked Open Water, Buried...films that are slow but show you the human experience, all the emotions you go through facing reality, death, life, then you'll like this. If you don't, then you won't.


Brighid I completely agree!!!After the first twenty pages i was falling asleep, and for me that says something. normally i finish i book that size in two days and i still hadn't finished it after two weeks!


message 27: by Joseph (last edited Jul 07, 2012 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Joseph Anonymous Emily wrote: "Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a scientist or astronomer?

How do we know what is possible or impossible? T..."


No I am not, and I doubt the reviewer is either. But I understand that an asteroid would have to be pretty big to push the moon around. Say, at least 1/16nth of the moons mass (also, it would look like a mini-moon, not a shooting star. No air in space = no friction = no fiery glow of asteroid). When you take into account inertia, you find that the moon has too much of it; it would actually blow apart half the moon instead of just knocking it closer like a game of marbles. Then the moon's gravity would cause the shattered bits to simply re-form. The impact could cause the moon's orbit to slip slightly away from Earth, or decay slowly so that it would crash into earth in roughly 300 years (and that's probably a underestimation.) If an asteroid DID manage to significantly alter the moons orbit it would be a slow and steady change. From the description in the book, lets assume that the moon was knocked twice as close to earth, so the distance was cut in half. the average distance of the moon is 383,990 kilometers away from earth. If it was twice as close, it would be 191,995 kilometers. The time taken in the book for the moon to travel the distance is not specified, so lets assume one minute or sixty seconds. This means that in the space of a second, it accelerated from 1.022km/sec around the earth to 3,199.91km/sec remained that way for one full minute, and then inexplicably decelerating to something like (just eyeballing the equation here) 3-4km/sec. I rest my case, physics backs me up.

Equations used can be found here: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class...
Information I used for those equations can be obtained on Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon


message 28: by Joseph (last edited Jul 07, 2012 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Joseph Anonymous Tori wrote: "I for one liked this book. I loved reading it, and had to keep looking out my window. When you seriously think about it, wouldn't some days be slow when this happened? Especially towards the end of..."

I understand that an asteroid would have to be pretty big to push the moon around. Say, at least 1/16nth of the moons mass (also, it would look like a mini-moon, not a shooting star. No air in space = no friction = no fiery glow of asteroid). When you take into account inertia, you find that the moon has too much of it; it would actually blow apart half the moon instead of just knocking it closer like a game of marbles. Then the moon's gravity would cause the shattered bits to simply re-form. The impact could cause the moon's orbit to slip slightly away from Earth, or decay slowly so that it would crash into earth in roughly 300 years (and that's probably a underestimation.) If an asteroid DID manage to significantly alter the moons orbit it would be a slow and steady change. From the description in the book, lets assume that the moon was knocked twice as close to earth, so the distance was cut in half. the average distance of the moon is 383,990 kilometers away from earth. If it was twice as close, it would be 191,995 kilometers. The time taken in the book for the moon to travel the distance is not specified, so lets assume one minute or sixty seconds. This means that in the space of a second, it accelerated from 1.022km/sec around the earth to 3,199.91km/sec, remained that way for one full minute, and then inexplicably decelerating to something like (just eyeballing the equation here) 3-4km/sec. I rest my case, physics backs me up.

Equations used can be found here: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class...

Information I used for those equations can be obtained on Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon


message 29: by Annie (new) - added it

Annie Okay, screw everyone who says they know/don't know astronomy/physics, whatever. It's fiction. Thank you very much. Also, I've take college courses in physics and astronomy. In fact, one of my classes dealt with astronomy and life. Okay, so an asteroid knocking the moon near the Earth is kind of crazy. But assume that something slowed the moon or increased the velocity at which the moon is spinning. Or assume the moon moved close to the Earth just a TAD bit. It makes a huge difference. Either way, I'm not arguing for or agains the science and blah blah blah, because to be frank, basic physics isn't going to cover it. Physics helps a little, but it goes no where near the type of understanding you'll need to calculate everything. Astronomy needs to be taken into consideration. it's possible... it's not possible. Whatever. If you really want to find out, go e-mail someone from JHU or NASA.


Joseph Anonymous Annie wrote: "Okay, screw everyone who says they know/don't know astronomy/physics, whatever. It's fiction. Thank you very much. Also, I've take college courses in physics and astronomy. In fact, one of my class..."

Well, also the writing sucks in my opinion. *shrug*


Avneesh Joseph wrote: "Emily wrote: "Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a scientist or astronomer?

How do we know what is possible or..."


Two things you ought to have heard of: torque, and Halley's Comet.


Joseph Anonymous Avneesh wrote: "Joseph wrote: "Emily wrote: "Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a scientist or astronomer?

How do we know what..."


Ahh. Good point. I did not consider torque. However, what do you mean by "Halley's Comet"?


Avneesh Joseph wrote: "Avneesh wrote: "Joseph wrote: "Emily wrote: "Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a scientist or astronomer?

How..."


I was referring to what you said about visibility. All while keeping in mind that fiction seldom clings to closely to scientific fact.


Avneesh Avneesh wrote: "Joseph wrote: "Avneesh wrote: "Joseph wrote: "Emily wrote: "Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a scientist or as..."


And I'm sorry if my intitial comment came off sounding cocky. The solar radiation that imparts a glow to a comet, if only temporarily, might've been stretched to the asteroid. Also, the author coudl've mistaken the moon to have an atmosphere like that of Earth's.


Joseph Anonymous Avneesh wrote: "Avneesh wrote: "Joseph wrote: "Avneesh wrote: "Joseph wrote: "Emily wrote: "Quote "You call that realistic?!! The impact of a asteroid could never push the moon closer to earth."



Ummm, are you a..."


Okay. No hard feelings. I like it when people respond reasonably.


message 36: by Paul (new) - rated it 2 stars

Paul Mertz I completely agree! This book was disgusting. If anyone has REAL end of the world/survival books then please let me know.


message 37: by John (new)

John This book was suspensul for a reason! It made the book interesting, and a good book to read about because it is something that will never happen,so its great to let the plot carry u away.


message 38: by Taxandria (new)

Taxandria I don't think the stars represent quality, it only represents what an individual felt about it. Harry didn't like it. Someone else liked it. Someone else thought it was "amazing." It's a really subjective system, so I don't think any rating really reflects quality at all. You can like or love something with lower quality (MST3K for one, haha;) and dislike something "high" quality. That said, the idea behind it reminds me a little of Melancholia but I don't know if that's a book or just a film. It was pretty interesting to me though.


message 39: by Taxandria (new)

Taxandria To clarify, Melancholia was interesting to me; I haven't read this book yet.


Reece Economides You're missing the point of the book. It isn't supposed to be action packed. It's supposed to give a "slow wasting away" attrition like feel. I feel like there is plenty of excitement, though the book has a lot of fluff, it's good fluff, and I feel those are details which help with character development. The book is not for everyone, however I loved the book because of the intricate detail.


Michelle Kugler I do agree that Miranda seemed a little boring after reading about her for so long.


Readforthandconquer thanks for the review. will consider reading this


Julia Mycek Thats a little harsh of a review don't u think? I mean sure the book can be boring and slow, but some people like that type of book. Ur review makes it sounds like it is awful, when it is really not.


message 44: by Portia (new) - added it

Portia Mearns Agree with this review so much!


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