5 out of 5 stars.
Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It was a read-in-one-sitting, stay-up-until-3-AM book. Though it’s classified as science fiction, it’s more a survival tale than anything else. A survival tale where I really didn’t know if the main character and her family would live or die.
It’s a typical spring for Miranda — school, boys, arguments with her Mom, etc. But then an asteroid hits the moon, and it throws the moon closer to the earth. This affects the gravitational pull typically yielded by the moon, and as a result, our tides are thrown off. Every coastal city everywhere is flooded after the moon gets hit.
Lots of people die; everyone panics; Miranda’s mom pulls her kids out of school so they can load up on every single canned food possible. Miranda thinks her mom is overreacting.
But then all the volcanos around the planet erupt — dormant ones too. Within a few days, the sun is blocked out by a haze of clouds. The weather cools off. Things stop growing, and the temperature keeps dropping.
Miranda’s family slowly deteriorates with the rest of the world. Diseases spread, the air is too filthy to breathe, water is dangerous and dirty to drink, the ground is layered in snow too high to cross, and there is no more food. People die all across the globe and all across Miranda’s neighborhood, but it doesn’t even matter because all Miranda wants is her own family’s survival — and as I read the novel, that was all I wanted too.
Even though the first chapters were just the babbling intro of a 16-year-old, the tension on each page was heaped high. Why? Because I knew what was about to happen! I knew the moon was gonna eff everything up, but I had no idea when or how. And when the asteroid finally hit, I understood Miranda’s character and cared about her.
This book will make you appreciate what you have. This book will make you care about Miranda’s family. This book will keep you 100% entertained. And this book will make you think, and you’ll keep thinking long after you close its cover.
It’s a powerful tale.