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This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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Mar 24, 12

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Shae

Beware of spoilers

I was very excited to get this book. After finishing it though, I am rather disappointed. I have not read the second book, “The Dead and The Gone”, but it wasn’t necessary because all 3 books can be stand alone novels. The first book, “ Life As We Knew It”, is one of my all time favorite books. It is Miranda’s story of her and her family’s survival during the first year after a meteor hits the moon and changes the moons pull on earth. It is in the form of Miranda’s diary entries. Book two is about a teenager name Alex and his family’s survival that year, in New York. And this book is again from Miranda’s diary entries, but her and Alex’s stories intertwine.

I waited impatiently on this book. I was left so impacted from Life as We Knew It. However, in my opinion this book was no where near as good. Do not get me wrong, it was not horrible. It kept me interested enough to stick it out, but it did not compare to the first.

It starts out with the family, still sticking it out in their home, but they are almost out of supplies. They start to scavenge, and collect a few items that they need, but not much. The electricity starts to come on every so often and they still get the food deliveries, though they know that won’t last long. They know they can stay there for the time being, but their mom seems to be in denial about ever leaving.

Miranda’s brothers leave and go fishing for a week, they decide to try and get protein and they can try to get enough Shad to salt and store. The boys return, the oldest one has gotten “married” while they were gone. The things you hear about the wife are actually confusing, things that would scare you about a person or look very badly upon her. I thought she may do something very bad in the future. Her character seems very deceiving.

Just a few days after the boys get back the kid’s dad, step-mom, baby brother, and a few tag-alongs show up at the door. So life goes off balance again. The tag-alongs are a Alex and his little sister Julie, and an older man named Charlie. Alex is Miranda’s age and Julie is the younger brother Jon’s age.

The first book was just Miranda, her mother, and two brothers. It was mostly about the kids arguing with their mom. The only interaction they had was each other. All these new characters showing up is good, Miranda now has more people to interact with and more relationships and dialog. You get bits and pieces of back stories, but that is about it. Having so many extra people in the house either brings out selfishness or their survival instincts., there are many conflicts about having enough to go around.

One thing about the book that got to me is how the way this one is wrote seems different. I am not sure if this was unintentional, or if Susan was trying to show everyone has changed. The characters, the dialog, and even the way Miranda thinks has changed. Someone is almost always throwing a fit, or having a meltdown. Alex seemed to be a nutcase, and hiding behind his religion. Miranda even seemed borderline psycho.

Every person that finds out about Gabrielle, the newborn baby, is automatically drawn to him. That is very understanding. The world is falling apart, everyone is dying, and the future looks pretty bleak. However there is a newborn baby, and that does give you hope. There are babies still being born and babies are the future. It would always seem like there has to bee a future if there is a baby. Their desire to protect, nurture, and basically raise this infant seems like instinct.

The ending of this book was ridiculous. It made no sense and had what seemed to me like a very huge cliffhanger. I have no idea if there is going to be another book, from Alex’s point of view, or I hope so, with an ending like that, there better be something more. This book is worth reading, I just personally didn’t like it. I was often confused, and all the major action was all at once and really clustered. This story wasn’t as descriptive and addicting as the first, either.

If you are a big fan of these books, it is worth reading. The atmosphere and the writing seem a little off in this story, though. This all may be because the obsession I have with the first. That could be why this one doesn’t compare for me. As a huge fan of the first book, I hope there is another coming. I love Susan’s world. I hope I get the chance to read more about it and restore my faith in her writing.

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