Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

September 21st, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars

Description: Miranda is your typical teenager worried about finding a boyfriend and having to deal with her parents divorce.   One night while she and her family are watching a meteor impact the moon something goes terribly wrong.  Apparently the scientists miscalculated somewhere about the effect of this impact and the meteor knocks the moon out of its normal orbit.  It forces the moon closer to the Earth which starts to wreak havoc with the tides, volcanic activity and much more.  Miranda chronicles her family’s attempt to survive in this new, crazy world.

I first read about this book at YA Book Nerd’s blog and it immediately grabbed my attention.  This was a crazily intense book that stayed with me long after I finished.  I actually had a hard time falling asleep after I was done because I kept thinking about the story, what it must have been like to be Miranda and what would I have done in her shoes.   Miranda, her mother, her older brother, Matt, and her younger brother, Jon, are holed up together in their house watching as the world slowly descends into chaos after the meteor impact.  Miranda’s mother and older brother Matt quickly grasping how bad things can get stocks up on food and supplies but it takes much longer for reality to sink in for Miranda and Jon.  I alternated between thinking Miranda was the biggest brat in the way she reacted to her mother’s attempt to keep them alive and sympathizing knowing that sometimes it’s hard to face a reality as dark as what she is facing.  The story spans almost a year and is an emotional roller coaster as you don’t know who will or will not survive.  The only thing I wished was that there were a few characters that you never actually find out what happens to them.  Other than that I really got into this book and it really gave me the shivers.  I saw there is a companion book, The Dead and Gone, that follows another young man living in New York City who is also struggling to survive this disaster.  Can’t wait to read that one.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

12 Responses

  1. Jenny

    This was such an intense read, and I heard that the companion book is even darker. I eventually decided not to read the second one, just because this already gave me scary nightmares and I think more terrible things occur in the other. I loved/hated how plausible the whole disaster seemed.

  2. Michelle

    I thought this book was great (though a little slower read) as well. I think the not knowing what happened to certain people was pretty realistic given the circumstances and I also think it was done by design so we could see what happened to them later on in another book. I believe there is a third on the way after The Dead and The Gone. Perhaps we’ll know more then. :)

  3. Stephanie

    This sounds like an interesting and unique YA novel, and I love the cover.

  4. dsuzuki

    Jenny-I had a hard time sleeping after reading it since I kept thinking about what I would stockpile and how we have no trees to cut down for firewood :)
    Michelle-it seemed slower and yet I couldn’t stop reading. I know what you mean about realistic but I was feeling vindictive & wanted to see what happened to that pastor who was such a jerk.
    Stephanie-I know, I thought it was a great cover!

  5. Jill

    This book stuck with me too! I still think about it especially with all the H1N1 talk. I haven’t bought the next book yet, and a 3rd book is coming out in January (I think) that pulls the first two books together.

  6. Kailana

    I really liked this. I must read her other book!

  7. Kristi

    Thanks for the good review of this one. I just put it on hold at my library!

  8. Laura @ ImBookingIt

    Any opinions on whether this would make a good book club book? It sounds great!

  9. dsuzuki

    I haven’t really been in a real book club but I thought it raised some interesting issues in how Miranda feels her mother is banking on her younger brother being the sole survivor.

  10. Kay

    Wow! It sounds like a very unique read. How come I had never heard about this one? I’ll check for it, that’s fore sure!

  11. dsuzuki

    Jill-I need to check out that third one too when it comes out.
    Kailana-yeah, but I need a happy break before reading the next one.
    Kristi-hope you enjoy it.
    Kay-I know right. Seems like everyone else has read this.

  12. Linda

    what are some physical and personality descriptions of Miranda? also what is her background informaton and some problems in her life besides her mom and dad divorced?

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