Life As We Knew It



Title:  Life As We Knew It

Author:Susan Beth Pfeffer

Summary:  Have you ever gotten about half-way through a book and were struck with the almost irresistible impulse to flip to those last few pages –  and you fight that impulse for the rest of the book?   The impulse is born not out of  the need to finish some mega-hit bestseller before someone spoils the ending for you, but rather because you are so invested in this story and in these character’s lives that you need to know what happens to them.  Author Susan Beth Pfeffer has created one such story in Life As We Knew It. 

Miranda, a sixteen year old high school student, records the usual teen woes – step-parent issues, friend problems, massive crush on an unattainable local Olympic hopeful, etc. – in her diary.  Along with the rest of the world she thinks nothing of it when it becomes known that a meteor is about to crash into the moon.  With unconcealed excitement people around the world wait to see this once in a lifetime astronomical event, but the scientists were wrong about the potential outcome of the meteor crash.  

No one could have imagined that life on earth would change so drastically:  Massive tsunamis, newly erupting volcanoes, and earthquakes strike throughout the world and with a ripple effect, touch the lives of everyone on the planet.  Through Miranda’s diary we experience the horror of these disasters and how she and her family must change if they are to survive this new world.

Who would like this book?:  Don’t be fooled by the science fiction set-up – you won’t find a truly in-depth scientific explanation as to the how’s-and-whys leading to this natural disaster.  Rather, this book’s focus is on self-examination and relationships with family and the world around oneself.   This book’s universal appeal is that it builds off of a question most of us have asked of ourselves – “If a disaster struck, how would I react?”

If you like this, try this: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the dead and the gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Recommended by: Jennifer, Branch Teen Librarian