Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Harcourt Books

5 out of 5 stars

Millions reported dead so far, and millions more missing. Waves have swallowed most of the east coast, leaving cities such as New York and Boston underwater. Los Angeles has been destroyed by an earthquake, and Hawaii’s paradise has been swallowed by volcanic eruptions. Right now we can only hope for the best, but it would be safe to say that things might stay like this for awhile. If you can, you should store up on food, water, and other necessities. The electricity has been going on and off ever since the meteor hit. We can only speculate why the moon was knocked out of orbit and moved so much closer than was ever expected. Now we go to John Delry at the Griffith Observatory who is talking with noted astronomer Blake Greene. John…

This is what one might hear on the radio after an asteroid hit the moon and moved it closer to the Earth. What was supposed to be a rare astronomical event, turned into a world-changing phenomenon. Folks in neighborhoods around the country laid blankets out and got comfortable in lawn chairs as they waited expectantly for the asteroid to shoot across the sky and make impact with the moon. No one could have guessed what happened next.

They watched in horror as the moon grew in size and started to fill the night sky. Suddenly it was huge, and every detail of its surface was in high resolution. There was no need for a telescope anymore, because the moon was right in front of your face. However, all of the people in the nation who had been watching this happen didn’t know what to think. Panic set in. Is the world ending? Did the scientists expect this?

Tidal waves out of control, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, and on and off electricity are some of the immediate effects that take place. No one expected this to happen, but nevertheless it has. Sixteen-year-old Miranda is just one out of millions who is baffled by this unexplainable occurrence. No one knows how long this will last and where things will go from here.

Miranda records the events in her journal, and she knows that life will never be the same. But can Miranda handle this sudden change? Will she and her family be able to survive, or will they just be more bodies added to the death toll? All is revealed in Susan Beth Pfeffer’s intense account of one girl’s journey as she struggles to comprehend how her life could have changed in an instant and strives to survive in, Life As We Knew It!

I was blown away by this amazing tale of one girl who went from being an ordinary teen, to suddenly one of the few left trying to survive. Miranda’s voice is so relatable throughout her journal entries, and I understood how hard going through all of this was for her at times. Susan Beth Pfeffer did an excellent job weaving this unsettling version of what could happen. Life As We Knew It is a must for teens and pre-teens everywhere, as it will have you thinking about what you would do if your life and the whole world around you changed in just an instant.

Miranda expressed exactly what I would think any teen would feel going through this. Throughout Life As We Knew It, Miranda went through many different emotions and feelings as she tried to decide how she felt about all of this. One thing that stayed the same though, was how genuine Miranda sounded. Miranda was just trying to be a teen even amongst all of the chaos and hardship. She was truly like any teen today, and I was able to relate much, much more with her because of this. This was definitely a plus that added greatly to the story.

Another aspect that helped make Life As We Knew It feel all the more real was the plausibility in all of the natural disasters that were occurring because of the sudden closeness of the moon. The fact that there were suddenly so many catastrophes occurring seemed exactly what might happen if this were to actually take place. Also, as the story progressed, the events that transpired could be real issues that one might face. For example, the eventual shortage of food, the spread of disease, not enough water, lack of medicine, and no heat in the thick of winter are just some of the impending threats that Miranda and her family experienced. Suddenly it was survival of the fittest.

It was also nice that Life As We Knew It was in the format of a journal. It felt much more personal reading Miranda’s thoughts and feelings when she was worried or just needed to vent. However, this also meant that I was only able to read about what was going on around Miranda. This made the story very limited at times. I can’t wait to read the companion novel to Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, which takes place in New York and follows seventeen-year-old Alex.

To put into words just how remarkable Life As We Knew It is, isn’t possible. The only way to understand is to read it yourself, something I highly suggest doing. Join Miranda, as she lives her life in this staggering new world, all the while toiling with her emotions in, Life As We Knew It!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Life As We Knew It website at
Life As We Knew It is available from Amazon here.


  1. Awesome review! This book totally gave me goosebumps, especially in the opening pages as it's described how the moon moved. Scary!
    Miranda is such a good narrator and I loved how we get to see all the hardships her family has to go through. It's like you're there with her.
    I didn't like the second book as much with the change in narration but it does let you see the disaster from a different point of view. And it's worse. Hope you like it :]

  2. I loved reading your review! I'd been wondering about this series. I didn't realize they were companion books, but that's good to know. Thanks for your review! I feel like I have a much better handle on the book and, especially, the main character.

  3. Laura (All of Everything)- Thanks so much! I agree, the opening with the moon was intense and really set the tone of the book. I can't wait to read the companion novel, and I wonder how it will be like since Miranda won't be the one doing the narrating.

    Small Review- I didn't know too much about this series either, but I had heard so much about it that I finally picked it up. I'm glad I did! I hope you enjoy the series as well!

  4. I've been looking at this book for a possible next-on-the-list. Thanks for this great recommendation.

  5. This one is definitely worth it, and I'm sure you'll love it as your next read!


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