Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, 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. (From Goodreads)
No matter how much of this type of book I’ve read in the past another one comes along and it instantly becomes a favorite, replacing the previous one. This one take a little more of a realistic turn (sans aliens and zombies) and goes for what would happen if the moon is knocked closer to earth. Major natural disasters occur, and the weather changes drastically.
I admired Miranda’s mom. A lot. She was strong and held her family together, preparing everything in advance when things get worse later. It was as if she had everything under control – something extremely difficult to do especially when the majority of the public are probably panicking and running amok. I also liked Matt who also was strong and acted like the backbone of Miranda’s family too.
It did take me a while to like Miranda. There were times when she acted like a spoiled self centered selfish brat, but then there were other times where she would sacrifice anything to help her family. You do tend to forget that she’s just a sixteen year old girl because of her behavior. She acts like an adult at times, but then reverts to her age the next. It’s the same with Johnny too, and he’s younger than Miranda. It’s in crisis situations like these where you see children literally grow up when they should be having fun at their age.
The story is told in a diary format, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Miranda doesn’t fill her entries with flowery writing, at times it can get a little whiny and her priorities get a little mixed but her descriptions of what’s going on and how the world is during this crisis is cut and clear. It may not be as graphic as some other post apocalyptic books are, but since this is meant for younger readers, the amount of details is just right.
It’s a great post apocalyptic book for younger readers, and I think it’s also a great ‘starter’ book for those that just want a taste of these kinds of books. It’s not over the top graphic detail, but just enough to know that the world Miranda lives in, is filled with a lot of difficulties and hardship. Yet it outlines the importance of family togetherness to survive through the ordeal. This was a great read, and I do recommend this book for readers of any age.
I give it an 8 out of 10.