Review: Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
4 of 5 stars

Although I would describe Life As We Knew it as apocalyptic, I don’t really want to because it doesn’t really fit in with a lot of books of that genre I’ve read. The Event in the novel is an asteroid hitting the moon and thanks to some gross miscalculations, it ends up knocking the moon off its regular orbit and closer to earth. Because the moon is suddenly closer to earth, the tides swell so that whole states get demolished, dormant volcanoes erupt, and the climate pretty much goes hay-wire.

That’s on a macro level.

The micro level is what Life As We Knew It is about. The story is told through journal entries of a 16 year old girl in a rural, northern state. The beginning of the book reads very much like a Young Adult novel, with the girl, Miranda, fretting over boys, homework, and all the usual things teenagers have on their mind.

When The Event happens, things change, but not at once, and I think this why the novel is so good. No one knows what to expect, so most people don’t prepare. People worry about mundane things like if they should send their kids into school the next day. Pfeffer makes the novel terrifying and believable by focussing on just Miranda’s family. I like that she has selfish thoughts, jealous outbursts, and flaws throughout the entire book. It made her feel realistic.

While reading this book, I kept stopping and reminding myself that this is a YA book. While the narrator is a teenager, she ends up maturing quickly because of The Event. Most of the story is dark and I really felt a sense of hopelessness to the point of wanting to put the book down, but like a bad car wreck, I couldn’t turn away.

Life As We Knew It is a decent entry in the genre and one of the better, serious YA books I’ve read. The cover is also AWESOME. Halfway through the book, I flipped it over to the cover and just stared at it for a few minutes. It made me kind of scared.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great review! I love [post-]apocalyptic novels and am definitely going to order this one. I was on a book ban but you made me break it twice! Hehe. You should read Swan Song or The Stand which are post-apocalyptic novels.

    No, I don’t have a Goodreads account (well I do, but I don’t use it). I haven’t been reading a lot lately though and am hoping to get back into it. I just finished a book last night which is a first for this year.

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