Sunday, March 09, 2008

LIfe As We Knew It...Random Thoughts



After reading a book like Ender's Game, which was such an incredibly emotional experience for me, I was afraid that next book I read couldn't possibly get a fair shake. That no matter how good it was, it would be a let-down. I'm happy to say that wasn't the case. No, I'm not claiming that Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, has made my top reads of all-time list the way Ender's Game did. But I was able to let this book tell its own story, without interference.

I hadn't heard of Life As We Knew It until reading Somer's review. And after reading her review, I immediately headed to our library's website and requested it. After all, Somer's review did contain the words "post-apocalyptic"...how is a girl to resist that?!!

Miranda is pretty much your average 16-year-old girl as the book begins. She worries about her grades. Her friends are growing and changing as kids do. Miranda had been an ice skater until a broken ankle sidelined her, and she then took up swimming instead. But all these normal teenage concerns become a thing of the past when a freak event changes life on Earth for everyone.

Everyone knows that an asteroid is going to hit the moon. It's a big event, drawing people out of their homes to watch. But something goes wrong, something the scientists didn't predict. It turns out that the asteroid is denser than predicted, and it manages to knock the moon out of its normal orbit. The moon is now noticeably larger in the sky. And the effects of this are immediately felt around the world, as gravitational forces related to the moon are thrown askew. Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Volcanoes. Millions die.

Life As We Knew It is Miranda's personal account of life in the year following this catastrophic event, told through her journal entries. Miranda is a good kid. And like even the best of teenagers, or people in general for that matter, she has her selfish moments. But through this story of survival, we watch Miranda grow into one incredible woman. It's a story of survival, but it's also a story of family, a story of sacrifice, a story of hope.

I admit I was in tears near the end of the book (I know, I'm an emotional mess). But mostly this book terrified the heck out of me. It was easy to imagine my family in this situation, and having to fully admit that we would not have survived for long. But it really was a compelling read, and I found myself time and again saying, "I'll just read one more entry." Which would lead to another entry and another, as I blowing off all the things I should have been doing. As far as post-apocalyptic stories go, this definitely can't compare to The Stand (what book can?), but I honestly enjoyed it very much.

Anyone else interested in reading it might want to check out Becky's post. She's heading up an on-line book discussion group in May featuring Life As We Knew It. (I would have waited until then to read it myself, but I already had it from the library when I heard about it and was afraid I wouldn't be able to get it back during the appropriate time.)

11 comments:

Joy said...

I have this one on my iPod ready to go. Glad to read you liked it. :)

Becky said...

I'm glad you liked it. :) It's one that stays with you--at least in my opinion. But it sure can make you cold and hungry!

Chris said...

This sounds like such an amazing book. I wanted to read it before and you just boosted it for me even more now! I love the cover for this one..very creepy in a "calm before the storm" way. And that giant moon is so peaceful yet invoking at the same time. Ooooh, I need to read this one.

Nymeth said...

I don't think I'd heard of this one before, and it sounds great. I can understand why it terrified you...I honestly got scared just reading your plot summary. I guess it reminded me of how vulnerable we all are...something like that could indeed happen.

Anyway...I'm going to have to look for this one.

(I swear, the amount of times I get the word verification wrong makes me wonder if I am a robot.)

Somer said...

I'm so glad you liked the book! I'm looking forward to reading Pfeffer's companion book when it comes out.

Melody said...

After reading your review, I've to add this book to my wishlist. The premise is great, and I'm a sucker for any good emotional and thought-provoking story.

Thanks for sharing with us, Debi! :)

Jean said...

Gee, thanks, Debi. Like I needed another book to add to the list/pile to be read. On the other hand, what the heck. If you were in tears at the end, I probably will be, too. My kids are so good at leaning over to me during movies and saying, "Don't cry, Mom" at the very moment my eyes are starting to well. Yeah, I've been known to cry over a TV commercial every now and again.

Jean said...

Ooh, I just remembered that there is a book out there (my brother gave it to our dad for Christmas one year) that discusses in scientific terms the effect of the moon on the earth, as in what would change on the earth if the moon weren't there. I glanced through it once when I was visiting.

alisonwonderland said...

i put this on my to-read list a while back - although i can't remember where i heard about it. your review makes me want to read it even more! i'll have to check out becky's post.

valentina said...

sounds very very exciting! it's not on my tbr pile but it should definitely be. It's been out since last year but never really thought of reading it. thanks for the review!

Joy said...

I just read your post in full. We are on the same page! What a good book!