Life as We Knew It

>> Friday, November 18, 2011

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Recommended Age: 11+
Publisher: Graphia
ISBN-13: 978-0-15-206154-8
ISBN-10: 0-15-206154-8
Year Published: 2006
No. Pages: 337
Genre: Science Fiction/ Dystopian Fiction
Main Character Gender: Female
Read & Reviewed by: Rory

 “Could you survive an insane natural disaster?”

In Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, a meteor hits the moon and knocks it out of orbit. Soon earthquakes batter every country, tsunamis wipe cities off the map, and volcanic ash covers the sky. As Miranda, a teenage girl joins her family and neighbours to watch the asteroid hit the moon, she has no idea how shockingly it will affect her life. Miranda and her family are sent scrambling to survive as Earth begins to freeze and water and food are scarce. They try to live their life as normally as possible while nothing is normal. Will Miranda and her family survive when the odds are against them?

This novel is told through the voice of Miranda. I thought first person narrative was an ideal choice because Miranda was such a good role model, as she fought for her family's lives and realized how import they were to her. Her best qualities came to life during the disaster. Miranda struggled to learn to be very responsible and mature, by helping out as much as she could and trying to keep everybody's spirits up. There were times her family's survival lied in her hands and she demonstrated the courage to follow through.

Some of the themes in Life As We Knew It are death and despair and Pfeffer writes about them in a very realistic way. There is no sudden magical cure for death, and survival is near impossible on this new Earth. The author doesn't inform the reader lightly about death, she jolts you with death. Like the characters, I, as the reader, had to deal with the shock of death and the despair those left behind felt.

I think this book was amazing because of the strong, simple writing the author used. Pfeffer didn't use any complicated words but the writing was still very descriptive; it was stark and effective. The story unfolded for me as though it was a movie behind my eyelids.

One of the astounding things about this book is that the aftermath of this apocalypse was shockingly realistic. It is possible that a meteor could hit the moon and the aftereffects would unveil like this book. I kept thinking about what I would do if my family and I were in a disaster like this. Would I have enough hope and courage to survive for as long as I could?

This is the first book in the Life As We Knew It companion books. I rated it 9 out of 10. It took me a few days to read this book because I had to slow down for the hard hitting and real depiction of our future to sink in. I recommend this book to people who can handle reading about a less than ideal possible future.

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