Synopsis according to GoodReads:
"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."
Life As We Knew It is very much a YA book, in that it's both narrated by a teen and absolutely for teens. It wasn't an unenjoyable read, but I found myself getting annoyed at how juvenile the....well, juvenile was.
The high points:
- The apocalypse isn't outlandish, it's a relatively plausible concept.
- The narrative voice is spot-on for the age category- Miranda is more worried about getting a date for prom than how the moon incident will affect crops.
- A realistic spread of human response to worldwide tragedy, good and bad.
- The author clearly thought out what things would be affected by the apocalyptic incident, and how that would ripple through a year of contemporary US life.
The low points:
- Redundant, in the way that teen voices can be.
- No one thought of hunting, fishing, or foraging for fresh food when the disaster occurred, or for months afterward, despite the fact that they live in the woods. That drove me nuts.
- There wasn't really a mounting tension, or climax in the plot- everything stayed the same level after the incident until the end.
- The end was lackluster, and a little bit saccharine.
- Nobody died. Well, OK, people died, but not in a way that affected Miranda for more than a day or a passing journal note. This seems a bit unrealistic to me.
Overall, the book was a bit of fluff, based on a good concept but lacking the depth or dark tones that usually pull me into survival-themed tales. I'd recommend it for teenagers wondering "what if", anyone interested in how modern suburbia families might live as pioneers did, and people with a lot of time on their hands who don't mind novel-as-diary-entry stories.
Labels: apocalypse, book review, contemporary, female protagonist, journal, life as we knew it, novels in november, susan beth pfeffer, YA