This World We Live In, by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Oh, I wanted to love this book so much. I absolutely adored the other two books in this series, which were full of suspense and emotion and just win in general, and I was intrigued by the prospect of the two protagonists meeting each other. But.

Well, let’s just start with the obvious — this book is completely different from the other two. It takes place after the events of both, and the world is starting to look up. So right away the suspense of “what’s going to happen next oh no terrible things are going to happen I can’t look let me peek through my fingers” is dialed way down to something more like “what’s going to happen next it’s probably going to be okay there aren’t as many terrible things that could happen but I’ll keep reading in case one does.” Which, okay. It’s a different book. If I wanted more of the same I should just go re-read the others.

But I was hoping the book would at least speak to me in the same way. New book, new situations, but still a poignant outlook on a bleak life? Not really. The characters pretty much refuse to be developed, so even when terrible things did happen I was just like, “Oh, that happened,” unlike my barely-stifled sobs in reading the other books.

I will give Pfeffer credit for not just making the world all bright and shiny again, and for giving us a sense of what else is happening in the world outside of Miranda’s house. But now I’m going to pretend this never happened and go back to the ambiguous endings I liked so much from the previous books. And then I’ll see what other stories Pfeffer has to offer, because they’re probably pretty darn good.

Rating: 6/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2010, A to Z Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
My Friend Amy

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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