Monday, September 6, 2010

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Do you slow down to look at an accident as you drive by? Do you watch The Weather Channel with excitement as a large hurricane bears down on a coast... and get disappointed if it loses steam before it hits? Are you a fan of disaster movies? Were you bummed when they cancelled Jericho? Did you stock up on canned goods for New Years 2000? If you can answer yes to any of the above, I have the series for you.

Miranda Evans is 16 years old. She's a normal teen looking forward to summer and getting her drivers license. Nothing much exciting happens in her Pennsylvania hometown so everyone is excited about the asteroid that is supposed to hit the moon. Teachers are giving moon-related homework and most of the town is planning to be outside to watch it happen. The astronomers are saying it's no big deal. Asteroids hit the moon all the time. Except this time... something went wrong. The impact forced the moon even closer to the Earth and all hell broke loose... tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions.

The book is written in journal style by Miranda and reminds me very strongly of Anne Frank. Although this is a fictional story, you can't help but see the similarities of two naive girls fighting for survival as the world falls apart around them. It also makes you think long and hard about the what-if's. Could this really happen and, if so, would I be prepared? Also food for thought... the harsh reality of the survival of the fittest, the have's versus the have-not's, family before strangers, where is the safest state to live, and is it ok to steal to survive? Who knew the moon could be this important? I know I'll never look at it the same way again.

BEST FEATURE: The plot. It sucked me in so hard I actually contemplated stocking some extra canned goods in the basement. You never know.

WORST FEATURE: Miranda's annoying habit of reporting what each meal was. When starvation is a real threat, food is obviously going to be an obession. Although mentioning it helped contribute to the realism, there could have been less of it.

PARENTAL WARNING: no real sex or violence to speak of, but death is a constant theme; appropriate for teens

RATING: 4 - Totally addictive.

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