Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer (1 September)

Wow. Just… wow. This book was excellent. Amazing. Wonderful, even. So good that when I described it to Scott, he told me to let him read it next, and this guy usually has to be begged and pleaded to read a book I like. So, yeah.

The novel is presented as a series of journal entries from our protagonist, Miranda, and starts off like the journal of a normal teenager — her dad is having a kid with his new young wife, there are tests that must be studied for, she’s growing apart from her friends, her teachers are giving all sorts of extra homework because of some asteroid that’s going to hit the moon. You know. The asteroid thing is supposed to be pretty cool to watch, so there are lots of block parties and things like that, but when the event actually happens, there is panic. See, those astronomer fellows who said that everything was going to be okay misjudged the mass of the asteroid and it ended up pushing the moon rather closer to the Earth. Uh-oh. (I don’t know if this could really happen, but that’s what speculative fiction is for, yes?)

At first, nothing seems much different except that the moon is huge in the sky. But soon reports are coming in about stronger tides taking out coastal areas everywhere, including some offshore oil rigs. Everyone panics and buys out the supermarkets; the cost of gas goes up right quick; the electricity starts to blink out. But still Miranda has to go to school… until the school, with no electricity and no food and a decreasing student population, closes early. And then things get worse.

I loved this book and devoured it in just a few hours. Pfeffer could have gone for the “people helping people” saccharine view, or the “people murdering people” depressing view, but instead she wrote this incredibly realistic account of what you and I would probably go through if suddenly something like this happened. I was sympathetic not just to Miranda but to her mother and brothers and her father’s new family and her friends who’ve gone weird but who are still her friends, and I cried a whole bunch when some bad things happened to these good people.

And apparently there’s a sequel! Oh, goody! I love it when excellent books turn into series. It’s like some excellent whipped cream on an excellent scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mmm, ice cream.

Rating: 10/10

See also:
Book Nut
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
things mean a lot

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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4 thoughts on “Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer (1 September)

  1. Nymeth says:

    I haven't read The Dead and the Gone yet, but apparently it's more of a companion book than a sequel. I loved this too, though! It did seem very real.

  2. Alison says:

    A companion, you say? Hmm. I was really hoping to find out what happened to Miranda! Well. We'll have to see how that goes.

    Also, every time I see the moon in the sky I sort of check to make sure it's the right size. 🙂

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