This is, hands-down, the best book I have read so far this year.
When things aren't coming up roses in my own life, sometimes it helps to read something to put things in perspective and remind me that, no matter how bad things seem, they could be worse. Much, much worse.
Life As We Knew it follows the story of a 16-year-old girl, her two brothers and her mother as they deal with the aftermath of a global environmental disaster. An asteroid has hit the moon, and thrown off the gravitational pull. The main characters in the book go quickly from enjoying meteor-watching block parties to trying to learn how to live in the new world that results from the impact.
I most enjoy young adult books with a strong central adult figure, and Pfeffer didn't disappoint. Reading this book through the filter of a parent was nothing short of terrifying. As tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanoes and a sunlight-choking global dust cloud threaten society on every continent, it was gripping to follow the mother along her journey to keep her kids safe -- and fed. Hunger becomes the real threat all too quickly. And I'll fess up -- I found myself neurotically checking my pantry stock at odd times as I made my way through this book. Books like these force you to think about what you'd do if faced with the same situation, and I only hope I would deal with the crisis with the level-head that the mother in Pfeffer's story did.
The book showed the crisis through the eyes of the 16-year-old narrator, meaning that readers are deprived all the details of the crisis, both because of the worldwide information blackout that occurs and because of the narrator's typical teenage "I'm-the-center-of-the-universe" attitude. I would have liked to know more about exactly what was happening in other parts of the world as a result of the asteroid, but we're treated to the same information vacuum as the characters as communications, media transmissions and even the mail eventually cease.
Overall, a fantastic read that I'd recommend to almost anyone. But I have to admit, after reading Life As We Knew It, I'll never gaze romantically up at the moon in quite the same way again....
Wow...I love this book! The main character is wonderfully written. It is a beautiful tale of family. Not the depressing apocalyptic horror story-though an underlying element of stark and frightening realities. But this is a young girl's journal that is filled with love, strength, and hope. This book will cause you to think of every little thing you have to be thankful for and appreciate what is truly important. I was in tears at her writing of Christmas and I loved the ending. I will definitely be reading the books to follow. Again, Wow! I love this book!
As soon as I picked up this book and saw it was in journal style, I was like "crap". I don't do books that are journal style or poetry style. My problem, I already had all three of the books in this series. So I decide, I'll give it a try, I can always find something else to read, although it was highly recommended by a blogger that I had found very reliable in the past. Within a few chapters, I was totally captivated and totally unaware that it was written journal style. Even though, I quickly got tired of Amanda's bratty, poor me attitude (she was a teen after all) I continued on with this wonderful novel. The twists and turns come at you very quickly and while earth as we knew it, was changing very,very quickly, Amanda matured at a much slower rate. You will cry with her and get angry at her but still rejoice in the small day to day victories. This book stayed with me much longer than I would have thought which is why I've resisted writing the review to this awesome series. I was afraid that with time it would not be both horrifying and hopeful all at the same time. I was wrong. Though it has been months, this book has resonated with me like no other. Every time, I check my pantry before going grocery shopping, this little mental bell goes off that makes me extra vigilant that I am well stocked.
I could not put this book down and ended up staying up most of the night to find out the fates of Miranda and her family, who you will come to admire and root for, even as things get worse for them. Memorable characters navigate devastating world events in a totally believable, and at times heart-breaking, way. A riveting book that will have you pondering your own survival strategies. My only quibble is the lack of an epilogue.
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT hooks you and doesn't let you go. Every time I had to take a break from reading, I stumbled out into the real world, where I was amazed to find that there was still plenty of food, water, electricity, and heat. Miranda's simple, diary-like language thus makes her story all that more believable. This novel is an incredible achievement.