Saturday, November 10, 2007
Review: Life As We Knew It
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Summary: Sixteen year-old Miranda's normal life of swim team, friends, a crush, and life with her divorced parents and two brothers comes to a halt when a meteor crashes into the moon, throwing the earth's forces of nature off course and causing earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Her diary details her family's struggle to survive.
My thoughts: This one has been getting a fair bit of good press and one of my colleagues is simply crazy about it, so I thought I'd give it a go. Survival stories aren't usually my bag, but this one was really well done. I thought it was a pitch-perfect account of what life would be like - the dwindling food, fear, cabin fever, finding joy in small things, alternating between optimism and despair and between loving and hating the people you were trapped with. School Library Journal rightly describes it as "frighteningly plausible." It also blew my mind that a change in gravity would cause all of those disasters - what do we take for granted more than gravity?
The only off-note for me was a few references to an "idiot President" on his ranch in Texas who, it seemed to me, was obviously meant to be George Bush. I didn't think they were needed and they actually took me out of the book by being references to the present rather than this disaster in the (near) future. I think they might date the book a little in a few years (although there will always be people who think any president is an idiot, I suppose).