Saturday, July 19, 2008

Book Review: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Apocalyptic stories like this one always get me thinking about which modern convenience I would miss the most. While Internet access would certainly be up there, I shudder to think about having to live without long, hot showers. How about you? What would you miss the most?

After an asteroid hits the moon, knocking it out of its orbit and causing catastrophic tsunamis and volcano eruptions, Miranda most misses just living a normal teenage life - one in which she’d have swim practice after school, could have a real romance with classmate Dan, and could go to McDonald’s whenever she wanted. As conditions get worse, Miranda sees her world shrink ever smaller until eventually she’s huddled around a wood stove with her mother and two brothers, completely snowed in and slowly running out of supplies.

Survival stories are inherently interesting, but as a seasoned reader of these types of books, I found this to be particularly benign. The only semi-shocking revelation was that a pastor was letting his congregation starve to death by telling them that God wanted them to give their food supplies to him. It would be a excellent book to ease into the genre – a sort of apocalyptic 101 if you will – especially since it ends on a note of hope. Rabid fans might want to look elsewhere.

I’d be interested to see how the sequel “The Dead and the Gone” deals with the same subject from the point of view of someone in one of the more drastically affected regions. From the title, it looks like there might in fact be a bit more at stake.


Anonymous said...

I read this book not too long ago and it stayed with me for days. Great book! I wasn't interested in reading book two until I read Linda J.'s review. Now I want! I am hoping our library is getting it in. If not, I'll get one from Amazon.

Anonymous said...

I know I just commented, but after I did I went to double check to see if our library had the second book in their system. They do! It's still in processing, but still this is an OMG moment for me. :)

So glad you posted about this book. If you didn't, I wouldn't have checked!

Ruth King said...

Every time our power goes out (which happens a lot during the summer), I always think about what I would miss the most. The time we didn't have power for five days, it was definitely warm showers. But I think the feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world is the scariest thing for me. I get my news from the Internet or TV and I have friends and family that I can only contact via e-mail. I probably rely on the Internet a bit too much. I love that feeling of having the world at my fingertips and I would really miss that. I could survive without it, but I would miss it.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

oh gosh, showers would be a must. that would be so nasty to not have hot showers...for me at least. the internet though is a big thing. it connects me to a ton, so it would be hard to adjust without it.

good review. i think the book sounds interesting, and i haven't read anything like it, so i suppose like you's a good book for me to start with then. i might have to give it a look sometime.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of this one either. The last book on this subject I read was The Road by Cormac McCarthy and I loved it! I read it will be a movie soon too.