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Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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Life As We Knew It (edition 2008)

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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3,5043361,514 (4.07)1 / 215
Member:kare8456
Title:Life As We Knew It
Authors:Susan Beth Pfeffer
Info:Graphia (2008), Edition: 1, Paperback, 360 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

  1. 71
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    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (BrynDahlquis)
    BrynDahlquis: The apocalyptic/tragic plot is quite similar, though one has zombies and the other has a homicidal moon.
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English (331)  German (4)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (337)
Showing 1-5 of 331 (next | show all)
I did like this book, I would have liked to hear more about what happened outside of their world. ( )
  nancymyers | Dec 18, 2014 |
This book lives up to the expectations set by its summary, offering a fun journal entry take on a natural disaster that turns into a dystopia.

Miranda, who lives in semi-suburban Pennsylvania, starts out the journal as a very average teenage girl, adapting to her parents’ divorce and father’s subsequent re-marriage, her older brother being away for his first year of college, and hoping to convince her mother to let her take up ice skating again. The book clearly yet subtly shows her development from this young, carefree teenager through angst and denial and selfishness in the face of the disaster to finally being a young woman willing to make sacrifices for her family. Miranda is written quite three-dimensionally. She neither handles the disaster perfectly nor acts too young for her age. While she sometimes is mature and sees the bigger picture at other times she simply wants her own room and doesn’t understand why she can’t have that. Pfeffer eloquently shows how the changes force Miranda to grow up quickly, and this is neither demonized nor elevated on a pedestal. Miranda’s character development is the best part of the book, whether the reader likes her the best at the beginning, middle or end, it’s still fascinating to read and watch.

Miranda also doesn’t have the perfect family or the perfect parents, which is nice to see a piece of young adult literature. Her parents try, but they make a lot of mistakes. Miranda’s mother becomes so pessimistic about everything that she starts to hone in on the idea of only one of them surviving, being therefore tougher on Miranda and her older brother than on the youngest one. Miranda’s father chooses to leave with his new wife to go find her parents, a decision that is perhaps understandable but still feels like total abandonment to Miranda. Since Miranda is the middle child, she also has a lot of conflict between being not the youngest and so sheltered from as much as possible and also not the oldest so not treated as a semi-equal by her mother like her oldest brother is. This imperfect family will be relatable to many readers.

Miranda’s mother is staunchly atheist/agnostic/humanist and liberal, and this seeps into Miranda’s journal. For those looking for a non-religious take on disaster to give to a non-religious reader or a religious reader looking for another perspective on how to handle disasters, this is a wonderful addition to the YA dystopian set. However, if a reader has the potential to be offended by a disaster without any reliance on god or liberal leanings spelled out in the text, they may want to look elsewhere.

I know much more about medical science than Earth science or astronomy, but I will say that when I was reading this book, the science of it seemed a bit ridiculous. An asteroid knocks the moon out of orbit (maybe) so the tides rise (that makes sense) and magma gets pulled out of the Earth causing volcanoes and volcanic ash leading to temperature drops Earth-wide (whaaaat). So I looked it up, and according to astronomers, an asteroid is too small to hit the moon out of orbit. If it was large enough to, it would destroy the moon in the process. Even if for some reason scientists were wrong and the moon could be knocked out of orbit, even in that scenario, the only thing that would happen would be the tides would be higher. (source 1, source 2) I know dystopian lit is entirely what if scenarios, but I do generally prefer them to be based a bit more strongly in science. I would recommend that reading this book thus be accompanied by some non-fiction reading on astronomy and volcanology. At the very least, it’s good to know that you can safely tell young readers that this most likely would not happen precisely this way, and this book is a great opening dialogue on disasters and disaster preparedness.

Overall, this is a fun take on the dystopian YA genre, featuring the journal of the protagonist and dystopia caused primarily by nature rather than humans. Potential readers should be aware that the science of this disaster is a bit shaky. The story featuring an agnostic humanist post-divorce family makes it a welcome diversifying addition to this area of YA lit.

Check out my full review. ( )
  gaialover | Nov 25, 2014 |
Couldn't stand the writing style. The voice was too insipid. I couldn't give 2 fucks about the main character. Also. God. ( )
  ariel.kirst | Nov 14, 2014 |
This novel gives account to the worldwide catastrophe that begins after a meteor hits the moon. Miranda and her family in rural Pennsylvania are struggling, as everyone is, for survival. Written in the form of Miranda's diary, the book details the family's struggles with staying warm, fed, and alive through the natural disasters, sickness, and other trials faced. Loyalty to family is one thing they have; will it be enough?

Lexile: 770
AR BL: 4.7 MG+
Recommended for: teens, tweens ( )
  liblb | Nov 2, 2014 |
Life As We Knew It centers around Miranda as she is telling the before and after of a catastrophe through her journal. In the beginning it was so cool. An asteroid was going to hit the moon and you would be able to see it all happen. But there was a miscalculation by the scientists. The asteroid hit the moon too hard, knocking it of it's course, closer to Earth. With the moon closer the gravitational pull is stronger, casing Tsunamis, volcanoes erupting,and the ash from the volcanoes turning the sky a polluted gray color.
This book follows Miranda through this new, scary world as she faces many problems but always comes through. Miranda is always dreaming about simple things that we take for granted, like food, electricity, heat, friends, family, even chocolate. Miranda has to solve problems for her family when she barley has time to do anything for herself. If you're looking for a great book that paints a terrifying picture of what could be, you need to read Life As We Knew It. ( )
  aubreya.g1 | Oct 22, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Beth Pfefferprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bauer, EmilyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Marci Hanners and Carol Pierpoint
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May 7

Lisa is pregnant.
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It was like one of those lists on the radio to let you know which schools were having snow days. Only instead of it being school districts in the area, it was whole cities, and it wasn't just snow. (24)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
No shops. No TV. No Electricity. No Daylight. No idea if your family is alive or dead. Could you survive? When a freak asteroid knocks the moon from its orbit, horrific tides engulf parts of the globe, and life on earth changes overnight. For 15-year-old Miranda, a desperate battle for her family's survival begins.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0152061541, Paperback)

It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

Veteran author Susan Beth Pfeffer, who penned the young adult classic The Year Without Michael over twenty years ago, makes a stunning comeback with this haunting book that documents one adolescent's journey from self-absorbed child to selfless young woman. Teen readers won't soon forget this intimate story of survival and its subtle message about the treasuring the things that matter most—-family, friendship, and hope.--Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:02 -0400)

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Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

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