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Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (final thoughts)

July 6, 2010

My husband loves End Of The World movies. A lot. For a while it seemed those were the only type of movies we watched. Me, I’m not as big a fan. But my favourite parts of those movies are the tiny little snippets they show of regular people reacting to whatever disaster threatening the earth. I want to see the reactions of people other than the president or the head of national security.

All that to say, why did I wait so long to read this book?

Life As We Knew It is told through 16-year-old Miranda’s diary entries. She starts off talking about the usual teen stuff. Friends who don’t get along, teachers who assign too much homework, the upcoming visit of an older sibling who has gone off to college. But then the unthinkable happens and this regular teenaged girl is faced with the fact that the world might actually really be ending.

There is no hero here who has to battle personal struggles before heading to space to put the moon in its rightful place. Just a regular family in Nowhere, PA trying to survive. There aren’t any big action sequences, only reports of the calamities happening around the world. And after a while those reports stop coming in as well. But the story is gripping. About 40 pages in to the book, I had to peek outside to make sure everything was still okay out there. Unfortunately it was cloudy out, so I couldn’t confirm that the moon was where it was supposed to be. So, I went back to reading.

One criticism I’d heard of the book was its negative portrayal of Christians. Unfortunately, if a disaster like this hit the world, there would be people who would react to it like the church in Miranda’s town. My hope, though, is that there would also be people who would show a little more compassion. Really, do any of us know what we would be like in this kind of situation? It’s something to think about, and hopefully to decide before we’re thrown into disaster.

Life As We Knew It is easily one of my favourite books I’ve read so far this year, and I will definitely be on the hunt for the other two in the Moon Crash Trilogy.

My rating: 9/10

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010 1:25 pm

    I’m so glad to hear you loved it too! It’s definitely my favorite of the series, though the two other ones are good too. What’s great is that the author describes so many different reactions to the event; for instance in the second book, Christians are portrayed mostly in a positive light. It’s like you said : in reality, some people would act selfishly, but surely there would be some to show some compassion, too.

  2. July 6, 2010 3:41 pm

    I agree with you about the portrayal of Christians in this book – it’s not so negative that the author seems to assume all Christians have reacted badly, but it is a bit grim. I was reading an essay lately that said that disasters turn a majority of people very very selfish, and make a few unbelievably sacrificing – it made me think of this book.

  3. July 6, 2010 9:06 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed it – I love the whole trilogy. I really like the way the Catholic community is portrayed in the 2nd book – kind of makes up for the weirdly fanatical and unmerciful Christians in the first one. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the rest of the series.

  4. stacybuckeye permalink
    July 8, 2010 4:58 pm

    This has been on my list for so long and your review made me itch to get my hands on it :)

  5. July 14, 2010 11:16 am

    You definitely sold me on this one. Thanks for the review!

  6. July 15, 2010 12:12 pm

    I must admit, the negative portrayal of Christians has affected me reading this. But now that I hear that the second book is better in that regard, maybe I will try it. Thanks for the review.

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