Title: Life As We Knew It
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Published: 2006 by Harcourt Books
Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid 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. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource—hope.
It’s always a bad sign when I start to look ahead in a book for any interesting parts. Not that this wasn’t a kind of interesting book, it was. Really. But it read more like an essay entitled “what would happen if the moon’s orbit got messed up”, and wasn’t very fun to read. So I stopped reading.
I didn’t like any of the characters, they were boring and all annoyed me in different ways. Miranda’s obsession with Brandon the figure-skater is pointless (at least in this book) once she ends up with another boy who then leaves. Yeah, I might be spoiling some things if you haven’t read it yet, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. The only reason I can see that this book is considered good is because of the possibilities it illuminates.
I was rather impressed with Pfeffer’s details and the horrors she shows can come through something as seemingly simple as the moon getting closer to Earth. The tides start killing everyone on the coast, the electricity goes out constantly, food is scarce, etc. She definitely thought through this story and knew what would go wrong.
As lovely as her research is, it doesn’t mask the boring characters and their family/friend struggles. So I didn’t finish it because I just couldn’t take the diary format (I’ve never been a fan of books written like diary entries) and the tediousness anymore. Also I couldn’t imagine this story needing two other books!
Anyways, you might like this if you enjoy thinking about the various ways in which random events can change life on Earth. Otherwise, you’ll probably think like me.