Life As We Knew It Book Review

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda has a regular life, sophomore in high school, two best friends who are drifting away, a mom who doesn't understand her, and a mountain of homework including three separate papers about the moon. This due in large part to the fact that a meteor is set to crash into the moon, no big deal the scientists say, but Miranda thinks so because look at all these papers she has to write. But when the meteor crashes and knocks the moons orbit off, everything goes terribly wrong. Tsunamis wipe out almost every single coastal city. Terribly storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes. Never mind that there isn't a lot of food, the sun has disappeared behind the ash, and things are getting cold. Now all Miranda wonders is, what will kill them first, the cold, starvation, or disease?

This is the ultimate in apocalypse novels and Pfeffer has thought everything out. Everything. If you aren't one to think about these doomsday like events, I promise you will when the book is finished, and not in a creepy way, but in a way, would-I-survive-if-that-happened-to-me way.

Told in a journal like format from Miranda's perspective, the reader only knows as much as Miranda. What she chooses to ignore, like the nightly news broadcasts, the reader is forced to ignore as well, and for this book it works. This gives a wonderful glimpse into what it really means to grow up. At first Miranda avoids the pantry only looking in when it is full, never taking inventory, but as the story progresses we see her as she begins to face the reality that they may not all make it through this. She begins to skip meals, knowing that being hungry for a few hours could mean life or death months down the road.

This is a story of survival and tough choices, of loss on a massive scale and a world that gets smaller with each passing day. It is a fight against the odds and I read it with a deep hunger for more. And wouldn't you's a trilogy.