Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life as We Knew It-Susan Pfeffer

Life as We Knew It-Susan Pfeffer

the facts
satisfaction: side
pages: 339
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2007
Novel, YA

High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, the way “one marble hits another.” The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintry in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Okay, so it was well-written and believable. A well-crafted novel.  But I felt like it was covering ground I’ve tread before. I kept thinking of Alas, Babylon or How I Live Now except that this book never became a dystopic novel. The moon throws Earth’s cycles completely out of whack but this post-apocrypal world still has a government. Most of the time it was sending the message of “wait for help if something happens”. Maybe I’m too cynical but really? 
Nevertheless, it was kind of scarily true to life. The pacing is not hectic, there’s no adventure. Instead bad things happen elsewhere which ruins the infrastructure that creates our convenience culture. The heroine, Miranda, does what, let’s be honest, most of us would do when faced with such a situation. Rarely, for YA, there were parents present the whole time. I liked her but I think the whole, “yeah I’ve done all this to make sure we survive and here I am writing in my diary” format was the wrong way to present her.  The characters are well fleshed out with flaws and strengths like normal human beings. 
It makes you think, what if nothing I normally rely on is available? If the world ended tomorrow, what would be my first reaction?
I enjoyed reading it (way realistic) but I doubt I’d finish out the trilogy.


  1. I liked this one when I read it a few years ago and did finish the trilogy. While it's not the BEST of these types of novels I've read I did get invested in the characters, so I kept reading. Too bad it didn't work out for you!

    1. See, that's almost why I thought I might continue. I loved Miranda's voice and other people have told me that they read on and enjoyed it. I just finished feeling meh. I'll put it on the list of trilogies I should give another chance.