BookBrowse Reviews Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Life As We Knew It

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer X
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2006, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2008, 360 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A plausible science fiction/coming of age novel for ages 13+

Miranda's diary opens towards the end of her sophomore year at a high school in rural Pennsylvania. The early entries are those of a typical teenager - family fights, prom dates, conversations with friends and just a passing mention of the meteor that's scheduled to hit the moon. On the night, like the rest of her family and neighbors, Miranda sets up her lawn chair to watch the show, and everybody cheers when the impact happens, but the cheers turn to screams as the moon starts to tilt.

The impact pushes the moon off its axis into a closer rotation with the earth causing immediate and massive tsunamis that wipe out millions. Soon after worldwide seismic disturbances cause vast earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. For a few days a sense of normalcy is maintained in Miranda's community - the school sends out notices, the electricity runs intermittently, but before long the structure of society starts to collapse; panic is rife. Miranda's family join others ransacking the local stores for all the supplies they can carry, and soon a devastatingly cold winter closes in brought on by volcanic fallout. Miranda, her two brothers and their mother hunker down to ride it out in the family home; but conditions go from bad to worse and the family are soon faced with tough decisions if they are to survive.

Pfeffer keeps nearly all the death and violence off stage, instead she focuses on the stresses on Miranda and her immediate family as they manage the day-to-day necessities of survival , cutting enough wood to keep themselves warm and rationing the ever decreasing supplies of food, while wondering if there is any point carrying on when they haven't heard sight nor sound from another human in months.

Miranda's diary entries record her changing viewpoint as her perspective shifts from self-centered adolescent angst, through anger and petulance, to eventual resignation in this challenging coming-of-age novel that has drawn comparisons to Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now and The Diary of Anne Frank.

This review was originally published in February 2007, and has been updated for the May 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Ensemble
    The Ensemble
    by Aja Gabel
    In May 1994, the members of the Van Ness String Quartet are completing their final graduate recital ...
  • Book Jacket: The Electric Woman
    The Electric Woman
    by Tessa Fontaine
    In 2010, author Tessa Fontaine's mother had a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke, leaving her with a...
  • Book Jacket: The Female Persuasion
    The Female Persuasion
    by Meg Wolitzer
    A college freshman struggling for identity. A 1960s feminist icon attempting to maintain her ...
  • Book Jacket: A Lucky Man
    A Lucky Man
    by Jamel Brinkley
    If his debut collection of short stories, A Lucky Man is any indicator, Jamel Brinkley is poised on ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd

A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Comedown

The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

A blistering dark comedy that explores delineating lines of race, class, religion, and time.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.