Title: Life as We Knew It
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Page Count: 337
Why I read it: Looked good
It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.
I'm not even sure I want to tell you how many times I cried while reading this book. We'll just say it was a lot, and leave it at that. Life as We Knew It is bleak, it's depressing, it's sad, and it was the most captivating book I've read in a really long time. I read late into the night, and only stopped reading when I was so tired I couldn't stay awake.
When I read the description for this book, it seemed interesting enough, but I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, or for it to make me feel as much as I did. I've often thought of how things would be, or what I would do if there was a natural disaster I had to deal with, but I only thought in terms of a few days or a week or so, never what I would do if it lasted months.
The characters were real, and even though I thought I might get annoyed with the main character, especially since the book was told in diary form, but I didn't at all. I really liked her. The secondary characters were good, though, even though there weren't very many of them for the bulk of the story. The only thing is, I thought at times that her friend Megan, who was deeply religious was almost silly in the way she was portrayed sometimes. If I'm honest, I think I would have reacted to the situation very much as her friend Megan did, and I don't think it's as crazy as the book made it seem. Although to be fair, the story is told through the diary of Miranda, and she probably did think her friend was crazy.
This book was excellent, and I highly recommend it to anyone, no matter what genre you usually read.