Parajunkee's Reviews > Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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's review
Feb 08, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed, favorites
Read from April 13 to 16, 2011

Touching. Full of hope, yet incredibly heart-breaking. Hits close to home. This could happen to anyone. Makes you realize how much we take for granted. Puts things in perspective. Sobbing at work. I want to race through this series.

Life as We Knew It

Never an easy read, Post-Apoaolytpic dramas are something you should mentally prepare for. I could have never prepared myself for Pfeffer's LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. Pfeffer's first Survivor's Novel was a heart-wrenching look into one families decent into their own private Hell. The POV is from Miranda, a sixteen year old girl as if she is writing in her diary, at no point throughout the story did I doubt I was reading Miranda's words. Pfeffer's unique storytelling ability and her gift of portraying real family drama makes LAWKI a tale that resonates in me, I'll be thinking about this one for a long time. Pfeffer captured the essence of what life would be like in these circumstances and rubbed my nose it, no matter the consequences. I experienced it with Miranda and with it hoped that one day if I was faced with trials such as Miranda and her family went through that I would respond with as much courage as they did.

An asteroid hitting the moon was of no consequence to Miranda as LIFE AS WE KNEW IT begins. Her teachers talk of it and the news reports on the impending impact, constantly, but to Miranda it is only a passing interest. Until it happens. The scientists were wrong. The asteroid must have been denser than they thought, the moon is now much closer to the Earth than before the asteroid hit. With this change massive ecological changes are raining down on the planet, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, violent storms. Communications are down, the population is in a panic. Thinking fast, Miranda's mother grabs the kids from school and they go on a break-neck journey to secure as much food and supplies as they can get their hands on. It was decision that saved their lives…because as the world falls apart around them, Miranda and her family are alone, in a world gone mad. The only ones that can help them are themselves. They could starve to death, they could freeze to death… they don't know what the end will be, just as the food runs low, and the temperature drops, plagues, violence and more ecological disasters occur everyday, they pretty much know that death might be a lot sooner than later.

I'm still shivering just thinking about these books. I read all three back to back without breathing for three days in a row. My husband thought I was a lunatic by the end I thought I was a lunatic. I don't think I've ever been as emotionally involved with a group of characters. Maybe one or two out of a series, but I loved every single one of them. This is a novel you can't put off reading, yes there are some flaws, but the plot and emotional drama are so intense that you will look past all of it and just get immersed in the story. Read the books -- then buy some non-genetically modified seeds and stock up on MREs, because you can never be too prepared.

I did mention some flaws, so I feel obligated to mention them. Ok, first one, while in diary form, it was believable, but really it didn't strike me as how a young girl would write in her diary. There were moments when Pfeffer hit it on the head and I was like "Yeah, that is what I'm talking about." But, there were other times where she used a bit of creative license and forced some plot through. Secondly, and it might be just me the Southerner, but some of the narration just struck me as mature. It felt as if I was reading my grandmother's journal instead of a modern teens journal. I've never heard someone (but my granny) say "I'll grab my pocketbook." Just phrases like that seemed out of touch with today's youth. I have no problem with it…just thought I should mention it.

Fans of emotional dramas and books such as The Hunger Games should enjoy. There was nothing to be worried about from a parental stand-point, the books are squeaky clean.
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