Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Life As We Knew It By Susan Beth Pfeffer
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Let me begin by saying I don't read a lot of young adult books. They just aren't my cup of tea. I'm much more into romances and chick lit type of books. :) However, every now and then one jumps out and grabs my attention. I found this book through Andrea at The Little Bookworm.
There is so much to this book that I don't want to leave anything out so here is the plot from Amazon.com:
It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.
This book grabs your attention from the very beginning and pulls you right in until before you know it the clock somehow says it's 2:00am and you feel the need to go to the supermarket and start stockpiling food like there's no tomorrow and to check on the moon just to be sure it looks like it should, Of course, I didn't do any of those things but I was really tempted to. I was however, starving and cold and felt like I had ash all over me. :) I rarely feel like this when reading a book, but that's how good this book is.
One of the many things I liked about this book was that besides it making me think about survival preparedness is how Miranda, the main character matured throughout the book. For most of the book, all she is concerned about is how everything is affecting her. She hates the fact that her mom is looking out for her younger brother more then her and doesn't understand the rationing-she thinks things will be back to normal way quicker then everybody else seems to think they will. By the end of the book, Miranda sees how dire the situation really is and sees things from her moms perspective. A few of the reviews I read on Amazon had problems with how religion is dealt with in the book (Miranda's best friend becomes a fanatic) and how the author puts her politics into the book. (She makes jabs at the President who suspiciously sounds a lot like George W. Bush.) However, these points didn't really bother me all that much and kind of just flowed with the storyline. I can't wait to read the sequel to this book The Dead and Gone which tells the story of Alex, a teenager living in New York and how he deals with the crisis. There is a third book, This World We Live In which comes out next year.
Jane Austen shout outs: 1! Yes, even in a book about the end of the world Jane Austen is mentioned. (After everything starts getting bad, Miranda goes over to her friends house, and says it must be like calling on people was like & felt very Jane Austen-y.
I'll leave you with a conversation I had with my mom after I read this book:
Me: Mom, I read this book over the weekend that was about how a meteor crashes int0 the moon and the effects of what happens. I think I need skis.
Mom: Skis? But you don't ski. Why do you need them?
Me: Well, if the weather acts wonky and we get a lot of snow, no one will be able to plow and how else will I get to your house across town.
Mom: laughing too hard to answer.
Me: Do you have a wood burning stove?
Mom: No, why?
Me: How will you cook food when the power goes out?
Mom: Laughing even harder: We have a fireplace and a grill. You can go down to our neighbors to use his if you want when this happens. You're not planning on reading any more books like this are you? (This from the queen of worrying!)
Me: Well, there is a sequel to this book...(and to myself I add: Thank goodness I didn't tell her this was a YA book...)