Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer | Review

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Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer | ReviewLife As We Knew It Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2006
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 337
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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.

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)

I read this book way back in middle school and I remember loving it so much, so afterwards I ended up going to the store and buying the third book. I have no idea why but I read the third book and never read the second! *face palm for younger me* So I finally bought the second one and I thought I’d give them a reread since it was about 5 years ago now. Holy crap, time flies.

Anyways, in this world, disaster has stricken when the moon is suddenly enlarged after an asteroid hits it. The whole world is watching this happen because it’s meant to be some sort of huge deal, though nobody expected the outcome to be as bad as it was. The moon controls the tide and also can affect the weather, so the oceans begin to go out of control and so does the weather. The moon is also always showing, even when the sun is. It just stays there, in the sky, being tantalizingly large, reminding everyone of that night and as a forewarning of what’s to come.

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People being to die a lot, because the world has gone to hell. Businesses shut down and electricity slowly comes to a stop. It’s basically a reversal in human living. Humans gain electricity and technology, electricity and technology get taketh away. It’s pretty horrible actually. This story follows Miranda and her family through this traumatic and life-changing experience.

I overall really enjoyed this book, especially because it’s written through journal entries, which is pretty awesome and unique. I love it when books are written in ways other than your classic run-of-the-mill narrative like 95% of the books in the young adult genre. I felt horrible for Miranda and her family. It had to have been so hard to live like that and freeze all the time. Even to be scared to go outside at times. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would fend for myself in a world like that. The summers got so hot and the winters got so cold. I don’t know how they managed to do anything. I really liked how there was a theme of family strength that ran throughout the pages. It was a really hopeful and nice touch on the author’s part. I can’t wait to finally read book two, I’ve heard that it’s told in a different perspective!

Notable Quotes:

“I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s would still be open.”

“I wonder if I’ll ever have to decide which is worse, life as we’re living or no life at all.”

“I hate the moon. I hate tides and earthquakes and volcanoes. I hate a world where things that have absolutely nothing to do with me can destroy my life and the lives of people I love.”

“Here’s the funny thing about the world coming to an end. Once it gets going, it doesn’t seem to stop.”

“We may not have a future, but you can’t deny we have a past.”

“I never really thought about how when I look at the moon, it’s the same moon as Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at.”

“The only way you can be the best at something is to be the best you can be.”

“It wouldn’t be New Year’s without a resolution. I’ve resolved to take a moment every day for the rest of my life to appreciate what I have.”

Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. I absolutely loved this book. It made me cry and gave me hope that humanity (and cats) could persevere even in the toughest times. I liked that this was a post-apocalyptic story that didn't involve aliens or monsters, just a natural disaster. I also learned that if anything like this happens that I should go to the grocery store FIRST and fill carts with cat food and people food. Priorities. This is definitely one of my favorite books.

    Michelle @ Michelle's Minions

  2. I've seen this book around quite a bit, but just have never thought to pick it up. The cover doesn't really pull me in. But it seems like you enjoyed it! I might have to take a closer look.

  3. Just from that first quote, I have decided I want to read this book. I already wanted to read it because I have never read anything like this and am interested to see what the moving of the moon would actually mean. 🙂

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