John's Reviews > Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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May 25, 09

Read in September, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I have to give the author props for a wonderful premise to a book, and after reading it, I took nothing in my life for granted (a drink of cold clean water).

I have huge problems however with making fun of the President only to solve the problems in the book ... HOW? Yea ... count on the government to get food for you. Last time I checked, the PRESIDENT IS THE GOVERNMENT! How can we count on the GOVERNMENT for the food if the PRESIDENT (who according to the narrator totally messed this whole thing up) is RUNNING THE GOVERNEMNT!

Oh, and the churches? They are all run by people who let little girls starve while they eat all the food. Last time I checked, tons of churches stock food pantries all over the world; not necessarily governments stocking food pantries.

Huge problems with the way the story came out. Then again, maybe it is just somebody with a problem with churches. Me? I would rather count on people that I know from church than people who I don't know (government). That is just me.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by babyhippoface (last edited Dec 15, 2009 01:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

babyhippoface I'm happy to see that someone else felt the way I did about these two specific areas of the book.

Every time the mother slammed the President (who just "happened" to be from Texas, no political comment there, I'm sure), it annoyed me.

I also hated the way Christians and the church were portrayed. I began this book listening to the audiobook, and the narrator read Megan's character as an over-the-top Kool-Aid drinker, which really bothered me. I wondered if I would have been as annoyed had I been reading the book myself, but when I reached the end, it was clear that's the way Pfeffer meant the character to be perceived.

In reality, when a natural disaster hits, it is the churches who consistently reach out to help the victims, even before the government, but none of that appeared in this title.

Now that I think about it, just about every "conservative" entity in the book was mocked at some point: churches and Christians, George Bush (let's face it, that's who she was slamming), FOX News, the police (hospital scene, when they wouldn't let Miranda in). Seems Pfeffer has issues with conservative America.

The storyline was very good, and I enjoyed the book a lot, but Pfeffer's bias in these areas bothered me a great deal. Glad I'm not the only one.


Lauren Those elements of the book really bothered me too. Yes, because it clearly showed bias, but I also felt it had no place in a YA novel, and clearly dated the book. It was just poor editing. No idea why those things made the final cut. If Pfeffer wants to rail against institutions like the US government and the Church, a YA novel is not the place to do it...




Lisa Maddock Glad to hear others speak to these issues. Kids get enough indoctrination and bias in their schooling, don't need it in fictional novels. I think the Bush slams and other conservative slams took away from the book and made the author seem petty/petulant. It looks like the second book, however, features a Catholic kid - not sure I want to read it and find out how she treats that whole sector (as a Catholic, I'm not sure I want to put myself through that...)


message 4: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Check it out from the library, then you don't have to pay for the book (your taxes already did!)

As a Catholic, I sure as heck don't want to endure another one of these trips, but I will try to find it and at least give it a chance.






Lisa Maddock I admit I'm curious, will probably give it a chance.


Meggie The slams were very painful for me, as


message 7: by Eileen (new)

Eileen I don't feel that the author was slamming ALL churches and Christians. An over-the-top church, however, was important to the Megan/Miranda plotline. Pfeffer wasn't saying all churches would be selfish and crazy, or that all preachers would let their congregation starve. And I AM a Christian (my father is actually a preacher), but I realize that Pfeffer clearly intended Megan's church to be an extreme case.
As for the slams against Bush and conservatives, well, that was developing the mother's character. Young children probably wouldn't have even picked up on them, because they were rather subtle. The book was not centered around bashing conservative Americans; there were only a few moments at the very beginning when that was an issue.
Conservatives can write about liberals, and vice versa, just as blacks can write about whites. Your characters do not necessarily reflect your views.


message 8: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John The problem as stated in the book was that the government bungled the entire thing when the moon got knocked by the meteor.

The answer to the problem. More government intervention.

The reason I have a problem with this book is that in a truly just world, the CHURCH would have come up with a program for the people of their congregation to find food, not fed the minister and starved the child.

There are rich people and poor people who all go to church. The rich would help the poor and the poor WOULD HELP THE RICH, not take their handouts and USE them for the handouts.

The ANSWER to the problem, IN THIS BOOK, was to go to the government and get the food.

The BIG PICTURE answer is that the government can solve ALL of the world's problems.

Please see, that everything that the government "gives" you has a string attached to it.

The string is your FREEDOM. They will protect you, if you will give up your freedom. They will keep you safe, if you will give up your freedom.

Right now, our government will pay for your health care. No. The government doesn't have ANY MONEY without taxes. They are taking money from people who more than likely (though could be crooks) made their money legitimately, through hard work and give it to people in the form of handouts to people who don't DO anything.

Ask yourself, WHY?


message 9: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Because the U.S. was, up until the bill passed, the only industrialized nation that did NOT guarantee healthcare as a right of citizenship. Among industrialized countries, we have some of the lowest life-expectancy rates, and some of the highest infant mortality rates.
Not everyone who can't afford healthcare just sits around.
Back to the book- in this book, only the government had the ABILITY to distribute the food. In the second book, the main character is Catholic, and that plays a huge role. The church does many things for him and his family. I'm not saying I think government is perfect. I just think we shouldn't read TOO much into this book- I don't think Pfeffer was trying to make some grand statement by having the government be the "saviors".


message 10: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John I never said that EVERYONE who can't afford healthcare just sits around. You said that.

I said that the government which has no money without taking it from the working people who pay taxes (by force -- can get arrested for not paying them) are paying for the "right of citizenship" of healthcare.

You don't owe ME healthcare. If I don't have it, and I get sick, you don't OWE me healthcare.

I hope Pfeffer wasn't making some grand statement by having government be the saviors. It is a very, very simplistic view of the world.

I am the person who is to take care of me.

Not the government.

I hope the JUNIOR HIGH kids who read this book don't look to the government as their only source of hope in a dire emergency.

I pray that I can teach them to help one another, not count on the government or anybody else, but to take personal responsibility like the admirable protagonist of the book.

Still think it is stupid, simplistic viewpoint to take and I still give it 1 star.


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