Sunday, February 1, 2009

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Here's a review I just wrote for my Children's Lit class.

Miranda lives in small-town Pennsylvania. She’s a high school student who loves her family and ice skating and worries about how she’s growing apart from her two childhood friends. These worries are nothing though compared to those she will soon face. An asteroid has hit the moon sending it out of its orbit and closer to earth. At first everyone marvels at this new look at the moon, up close and personal, but soon events take a turn for the worse and Miranda’s story becomes one of survival.

I had read this book when it first came out, about two years ago. When I saw I was assigned this title I picked it up again and gave it another read. It was just as powerful a read for me as it was the first time. Miranda’s story, which is written as her journal entries, is scary and yet fascinating. No one really knows how they will react in a crisis until faced with one, and it’s compelling reading to see a teenager faced with the need to find some freedom and yet the responsibility to keep your family alive and together.

Emotionally it was little harder for me this time. I don't remember being as affected by the story as I was this time. Since the first time I read it, though, I've lost two people who I was very close to. I think it goes to show how your life events can affect how you read. It would be interesting to me to take a look at other books I've read and see how my reaction to them has changed.

I highly recommend picking this one up. Even though it made more of an impact this time, I have a feeling I will pick it up and read it a third time in the future. I’ve never read anything quite like it, at least not in the YA section.

The sequel The Dead and the Gone, is equally as good, and yet slightly more brutal. It is the story of the same time and events seen through the eyes of a teen living in New York City. Pfeffer is also working on a third book in the series, which I look forward to reading.

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