Review : Life as We Knew it

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Pages : 337
Genre : YA, Apocalypse Fiction
My Rating : 

From the Back of the Book :

When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it closer in orbit to the Earth, nothing will ever be the same. Worldwide tidal waves. Earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions. And that’s just the beginning.


I’m not sure where to begin with this review. I finished reading Life as We Knew It a week ago, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I’m pretty sure its story and characters will stay with me a lot longer than that. Haunting, realistically scary, it’s easily one of my favorite books this year.

Would I recommend it? Mostly, yes, although I know it’s not a read everyone will enjoy as much as I did.

Life as We Knew It was both powerful and scary. What made it so scary was the realism with witch the author described the events through Miranda’s journal. It’s not an action story : there’s no “fighting the evil guy and save the world”, nor is there a “send Bruce Willis to the meteor in a space shuttle and save the world”. There is no “good against evil” message or environmental message. It’s happening out of human reach, making our lives seem very small and unimportant on a universe scale.

All Miranda and her family can do is fight for survival – and that they do. I loved how close they were to each other, even in the hardest times. This doesn’t mean that they all get along perfectly, of course not! But how they react to each other, good or bad, was a lot like I would imagine people being if such a thing happened. Miranda’s voice was particularly true to a fifteen years old’s voice : at the beginning of the book, she was such a normal teen, going from very excited to whiny to scared. In the end though, it’s admiration I had for her strength. I have to give props to her mom, too, who was an incredibly strong and resourceful woman.

I feel there’s very little I can say to explain how much I loved this book or why. It was absolutely scary – I had nightmares of it a week after reading it. But this book wouldn’t be half as good if it wasn’t so realistic.

I loved the ending, although I was a little sad that we didn’t get a last update on certain characters. Especially since the second book, The Dead and the Gone, evolves around a different set of characters. The good news is, the third book, out in 2010, seems to join characters from both books together. I’m looking forward to reading these two books – and I just love the covers, too!

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17 responses to “Review : Life as We Knew it”

  1. A Bookshelf Monstrosity says :

    You’ve got me really pumped to read this book. Thanks for the great interview!

  2. Amanda says :

    The cover I have is really crappy, looks all frivelous and such, but I’ve heard so many good things about it. I”m saving it until after Oct 15 for the YA dystopian challenge.

  3. Nicole says :

    I think it it must be the season for the creepier books because I am all about them lately. This one sounds really good, and it seems as if you were really into it.

  4. Juju says :

    I can not wait to read this.

  5. Bella says :

    I love the covers! I think I need to get these for that reason alone.

    Awesome review Kay. This one is definitely going on the Christmas wishlist, which is getting bigger with every post I read 🙂

  6. bermudaonion says :

    Fantastic review! I think my husband and son would love this book!

  7. Jill says :

    LOVE this book! My daughter and I are listening to The Dead and the Gone while we drive to school. We have trouble shutting it off. I can’t wait for the 3rd book either!

  8. Debbie says :

    I loved this book as well! I was also bummed we didn’t get that last update on all the characters and was excited when I saw the third book revisits them again. Can’t wait for it to come out.

  9. Catherine says :

    Wow, that book sounds really interesting – I’ll have to check it out. And the covers are absolutely breathtaking.

    Although now I am having The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask flashbacks…

  10. Megan says :

    I just finished this one last night, Kay — and wow! I absolutely agree with you! I know I already left you a comment about it, haha, but I completely agree that it was terrifying… because it seemed so real. It wasn’t science fiction, really… it just felt like realistic fiction. Yikes! Definitely haunting! I’m off to write my review this afternoon! 🙂

  11. kay says :

    A Bookshelf Monstrosity : Oh, I’m glad! I hope you read it and enjoy it!

    Amanda : It’s coming soon! I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Nicole : Yes, it might have something to do with the season! It was really great to read, and I was into it – a lot more than I thought I would be.

    Juju : I hope read and like it!

    Bella : They look great, don’t they? I tend to want pretty books on my shelves, too… not always a good thing! 😛

    Kathy : You know, I remember that your husband loved The Hunger Games and Uglies, so maybe he would love this, too! It’s a great dystopian, with not as much action but very realistic!

    Jill : Oh, I’m a little envious! I can’t find the book here, so I’ll have to order it and wait!

    Debbie : Yes, I’m looking forward to the two next books, too. Do you know if the third one is the last one?

    Catherine : They’re some of my favorite covers, and they fit the story very well.

    Megan : Oh, I understand that feeling! It took me a while to put my review together, and I’m still not perfectly happy with it. It’s a very strong book, but it’s hard to explain it without giving too much away.

  12. Nikki Mantyla says :

    Thanks for this review. I’m new to your site and was just browsing, but this is a book I own but haven’t heard much about, so I wasn’t excited to read it until now. I’ll have to move it from my bookcase to my nightstand!

  13. Tracie Yule says :

    Great review! The cover is what enticed me to read your review and this book looks very interesting. I love when catastrophes are the back-drop to a character driven story; makes the book seem much more interesting.

  14. Joanne says :

    Awesome review! I read and loved the first two books and now I’m very anxiously awaiting the third.

  15. 3m says :

    My son and I listened to this together and we both really enjoyed it. I haven’t read The Dead and the Gone yet, but I’d like to read it and the third at some point.

  16. Kate at Read This Book! says :

    This book caught my eye the other day at the bookstore but I was unsure whether to get it or not. But I think now I will be buying it during my next bookstore trip!

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