Review 208: Life as We Knew It (Susan Beth Pfeffer)

Posted March 22, 2016 by Ana in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review 208: Life as We Knew It (Susan Beth Pfeffer)Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series: Last Survivors #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 337
Source: Library
Goodreads
3 Stars

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.

What’s great about this book is the character development: a protagonist who starts out making me want to chuck the book but develops into someone more caring and selfless WITH some stumbling and falling along the way. Miranda doesn’t automatically become caring once the disaster hits. Along the way, she has selfish moments and makes stupid decisions, which I appreciated in the narrative. It shows the effect that this kind of disaster can have on someone when their world is turned upside-down and everything changes.

Aside from the main character, I really liked her immediate family (aka the ones we get to spend the most time with in the story). Like Miranda, they manage to grow and change as characters, but not in a perfect way. They’ll fight, argue, make the wrong choices, but they ultimately learn and I enjoyed seeing their growth. Sure, there were times when I was rolling my eyes with a “oh, not this again” but I still kept reading until I finished it all in one setting.

So what didn’t I like? I guess I wasn’t feeling the other supporting characters that much, maybe because we don’t get a lot of time with them? Maybe that was on purpose. Maybe to show us how cruel this new reality is or how abruptly things can change?

Another thing I didn’t like was that it did tend to drag on a bit. I mean, it tends to follow this cycle: things are okay, JUST KIDDING HERE’S SOMETHING BAD, fighting about things, trying out a new solution with some more fighting, then things are okay. Rinse and repeat, with the something bad ramping up.

Overall: I liked this book for the character development, but it did tend to be slow/repetitive sometimes. Another thing I did like was the book is right at the start of the dystopian, as in it shows the Big Devastating Event and the immediate reactions to it, which I found interesting.

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One response to “Review 208: Life as We Knew It (Susan Beth Pfeffer)

  1. Great review! I read this a really long time ago and it was right when I was getting into YA and dystopian. When I tried reading the third book, I just couldn’t get into it because of the repetive-ness of it.