Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jessi Reviews Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title/Author: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher/Year: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006
Where I Got It: My local public library
Why I Read It: It had been on my to-read list for quite a while


Synopsis:


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.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.



Review:



Okay, so this book definitely freaked me out. I don't know if it's just because of the wacky weather we've had so far this year, but the events of this book seem completely and utterly possible.

The fact that this book is so realistic is what makes it so good. The after effects from the moon being knocked out of orbit are completely plausible, and it made me all too aware of how much we take for granted. Simple things like electricity and running water. Being able to go to the store if we need something. It freaked me out because, to put it plainly, I would suck at surviving.

Another thing that I found to be realistic was Miranda's voice. The diary thing worked for me, as a whole. There were a couple things I didn't buy, like who really writes dialogue in a diary? But I understand that things like that have to be taken with a grain of salt because they are necessary for the book to work. And to tell the truth, it didn't really bug me all that much. I was too busy being freaked out about how much food we have in our house. I thought Miranda was really authentic, though. What 16-year-old doesn't have their vulnerable or whiny or selfish points? What 16-year-old wouldn't rather be ice skating than sitting in a sunroom reading a history textbook? Especially when the world is ending! I also liked how even though I would have liked to know what was happening in the rest of the world, we couldn't know because Miranda herself couldn't know. Hopefully, we'll see more in subsequent books.

This was compulsively readable for me, and I probably would have read it all at once if I wouldn't have stopped myself. I had this utter need to know what was going to happen and how it was going to end. I will definitely be reading books 2 and 3 to find out!

14 comments :

  1. Loved the book. It's a pageturner! So, so, so good. Unfortunately I haven't read book two or three yet.

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  2. I have read all three and they are so realistic for dystopian novels. Although who knows, really. I liked the relative lack of graphic violence in all of them. Well worth reading.

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  3. I always look at this at the library and never take it out. You have inspired me to! I like a book you cannot put down. Nice review :-)

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  4. I have this on my reading list, looking forward to reading this:) Love your review:)

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  5. I like the idea of books that are a survival story, especially with something that can really happen to us. That definitely freaks me out (I probably would not do well in a situation like this). I'm really interested to read this, I'm usually not sure about the whole idea of being written as diary entries but this one sounds like it works well!

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  6. This book has been on my to-read list for so long after my sister raved about it. I hope to get to it soon! Nice review.
    heathercim.wordpress.com

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  7. I am excited to know this is a pageturner-- I've been meaning to read it, but hadn't seen too much about it! I like the idea that it takes place while the world is ending instead of right after like a lot of these types do.

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  8. Loved it for all the reasons mentioned. My whole family read it, and we have quite different tastes. It freaked my 17yo out until I pointed out that she lives in a house in the middle of National Forest (elk, deer, lumber, shelter, security) with a father who is a first responder and who hunts and makes his own ammo, and a mother who stockpiles everything and cooks months in advance. Heck, we are even both firefighters, with keys to the always-filled-with-water fire trucks:) Bring it on, asteroids! That sparked a still-ongoing discussion of what families we would invite to live with us, and what each could bring to the table, lol.

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  9. Loved this book! It was so good! It's the sort of thing that I would kinda half-wish would happen(my silly,adventure-starved self)and then totally hate after the first couple days. And, is dialogue in a diary so weird? I use it frequently...Of course I'm a writer, so maybe that makes a difference?

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  10. I really enjoyed this book too. It gave me the chills because I could totally see this event happening. It also made me think of how unprepared I would be if something like this happened. Yikes!

    I agree with you. I think Miranda's voice was spot on. She was a little whiny at times, but I still saw the strength that she had. Like when she confronted that creepy priest. Ugh!

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  11. This sounds like it would freak me out too! Sounds not too far off from where we are already heading! And I would definitely not survive!

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  12. I loved these books! I agree with you about the authenticity of Miranda. She definitely seemed like any 16 year old would if that sort of thing were to happen. It also freaked me out a bit too because the whole event seemed so realistic. I found myself thinking what I would do in that situation for weeks after these books.

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  13. It sounds really interesting, but I'm getting really tired of YA series. More stand-alones, please!

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  14. loved this book, and i think it can stand alone. (haven't read the other two in the series yet.)

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