Saturday, January 26, 2013

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.
Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

My take: 5 looks
The reason I am giving this my highest rating is because I was fully invested in this book. I felt panic, dread, hopelessness; I smiled and became teary-eyed at the end. I was completely and totally IN this book, and that doesn't happen very often.

Miranda is 16 and has the usual teen angst that every girl does, but it wasn't off-putting, over done, and I didn't want to slap sense into her once. Matt was an excellent older brother character. I will admit that I wanted to slap the fire out of Jon sometimes, but he is probably a normal, self-absorbed 13-year-old boy.

Miranda's friends are very real people, too. One is a little loose with the boys and one is overly religious, which is just two sides to a coin that claims many teenagers.

The adult characters act like, surprise!, adults. They think of their children first, make hard decisions and sacrifices and still try to maintain some semblance of normalcy in extraordinary circumstances.

Bottom line: this may not be the stuff of science fiction, but a glimpse into our future. Nature and the universe hold together very carefully and specifically, and we all too often take for granted its constant presence. This book proved to be so intense for me that I will have to read a few in between before going to the next one in the series. But I will definitely read the others.

Highly recommended.

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