Book, Review

Life As We Knew It ~ Susan Pfeffer

Pages: 339
Read: February 2016

I really enjoyed this, I’ll admit that at 24 its target audience is a fair bit younger than me but I stand by the premise that age groups on books are rather unimportant as long as what you’re reading is appreciated for what it is.  What this is, is teenage/young adult dystopian fiction, not something I’ve really explored.  I picked this up following Cece’s review on YouTube based on her description of how easy she found it to get lost in.

Spoiler free summary time.    The book is written as if it were sixteen year old Miranda’s diary; beginning about a week before an asteroid is due to hit the moon, astronomers are all certain that this poses no threat and the world is awaiting the spectacle eagerly.   When the asteroid does hot the consequences are infinitely larger than anyone anticipated, the moon is knocked a lot closer to Earth, this triggers a sequence of natural disasters, starting with tsunamis.  Miranda’s diary goes from a catalogue of homework woes and ice skating dreams to the story of her family’s struggle to survive in an ever-changing world.

The diary structure was well suited to the story, it kept the pace up as when nothing happened, the diary entries were short. The diary format meant there was very little location descriptions, why would Miranda bother describing her own home time to her diary; this allowed me to actually get more involved, when she mentioned going somewhere in town or to school I would just picture one familiar to me, which when imagined in the broken down environment that she is describing and it was very easy to get scarily lost in this.  I’m not saying it’s going to change your life but for the few days I was reading this I did become slightly more aware everytime I poured away an abandoned glass of water or I was wishing the heating would come one, not in a way that I’m going to start trying to solve the world’s renewable energy supplies, just an enhanced awareness and appreciation.

*****Spoiler Time*****

I loved this up until the last week or so that was covered, I was so engrossed in the story that I was pretty disappointed.  It’s far from a happy ever after ending but the idea that things had been getting better for a month without the authorities actively seeking out people that are living seemed a bit far-fetched.  They had food and fuel so why weren’t they looking for people?! Then this 16 year old dying girl turns up and they’re completely unphased when they’ve been giving out free food for a month!  I appreciate that after everyone’s been through its completely understandable that these people would have become desensitised to starving children but c’mon! I was also a little annoyed that there was no explanation of how or why things were ‘getting better’ but maybe that’s what book three will be for.

*****End Of Spoiler Time*****

I’m about 10 years late to the party with this one, the upside being there are three sequels to this in existence.  I’ve already purchased book two, ‘The Dead and The Gone’ which is the re-telling of the story from the point of view of someone living in New York.  I gave this 3/5 stars on goodreads, it was a four right until the ending but I am planning on continuing with the series.


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