Karin's Reviews > This World We Live In

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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Dec 10, 09

bookshelves: 2009-reads, science-fiction, youngadult
Read in December, 2009

A year has passed since a meteor collided with the moon, sending it closer to the earth, and forever changing the world. In LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, Miranda chronicles the events her family experiences as they struggle for survival during dramatic weather changes, loss of friends, and dangerous food shortages.

The companion novel, THE DEAD AND GONE, follows the hardships of Alex and his sisters in New York City. The author paints a more gruesome side of life in this installment. One that stays with the reader long after the book is closed.

THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN brings the two stories together. We, once again, see Miranda at home with her mother and two brothers as they continue to eke out a living. They find ways to deal with food shortages, poor air quality, cold temperatures, and lack of electricity. Even though they are doing okay now, Miranda knows it won't always be like this. The food deliveries might stop and then what would they do? Miranda's mother rejects any suggestion of leaving , but Miranda knows there will come a time when they'll have no choice.

Miranda's brothers leave for a fishing trip in an attempt to supplement the provisions they receive weekly from town. Matt and Jon bring back a lot more than fish. While fishing, Matt and Jon run into a band of travelers including Miranda's father, his new wife, Lisa, and their new baby, Gabriel. Also traveling with them as a man named Charlie and a brother and sister named Alex and Julie. As if that weren't enough, Matt meets a girl named Syl and claims her as his wife.

If supplies were dangerously low before, adding six more people to the mix made it down right frightening. Everyone struggled - with issues of privacy, issues of jealously, and issues of conscience.

THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN returns the reader to the first-person diary form of LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. Miranda documents her changing life as she talks about her growing family, her complicated feelings for Alex, and the grotesque discoveries that still seem to pop up even after a year. Their lives settle into a new routine until an unthinkable disaster rips through town. Miranda and her family are forced to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives if they want to survive in the world they live in now.

Susan Beth Pfeffer gives her readers what they've wanted. Personally, I'm very glad she went back to the first-person diary format. Even though there were times Miranda seemed at bit too whiny and I wanted to strangle Alex, I'm happy with the ending of the book.

If this series is new to you, please begin by reading LIFE AS WE KNEW IT followed by THE DEAD AND THE GONE. You won't be able to understand the full impact of what these characters are going through in THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN without knowing a little about their backgrounds.
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12/07/2009 page 13
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