Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer


my tbr list 3
My TBR List is a meme brought to us by Because Reading is better than real life! It's a chance for you to vote on what I read next and for me to finally read books that are sitting on my TBR pile collecting dust. This month's theme books on my TBR list that fit my reading challenges  and chose for me to read Life as We Knew It and so here is my review, as promised. :D

First, I want to thank all you who voted for Life as We Knew It to be my TBR read of the month. I completely enjoyed myself and know it would have taken me a lot longer to pick up the book on my own. I really think this review meme is going to help get my TBR cleared off in no time ... If I can stop from purchasing more books. Damn that one click button and a never-ending supply of gift cards for doing my brothers chores!


Since I finished this book in 48 hours, I can guarantee Life As We Knew It has that un-put-down-able quality that we all look for in a novel. While this one unearthed a mixed bag of emotions for me, I would be lying if I said the writing was anything but superb. Thankfully, I picked up the second book in the same library sale that I bought this one and both of them for a buck total! And you can bet my book hoarding obsession that I will be reading the second story just as soon as I can cram it in my daunting to-read schedule.


If you’ve seen other reviews of Life As We Knew It floating about the book community, you’ve probably realized that the book was written in the style of diary entries, from the prospective of sixteen-year-old Miranda. Since it is written in such a subjective point of view, the characters could be described as one dimension, but I disagree. Sure I’m introduced characters colored by the opinions of a teenager who has a pretty damn good excuse to be mad at the world, but Pfeffer (the hardest last name you will ever spell) delivered complex enough characters to entertain me and connect with as a reader. I also liked that the diary entries reminded me a lot of reading The Diary of Ann Frank in the seventh grade. I loved the experience and cannot wait to see what else this author has in store for me.


If you’re like me and love an apocalypse-themed novel, you know most of them weren’t written to be light and fluffy reads (unless they are romance novels disguised as apocalypse themed – that’s a different genre altogether) so I expected some less-than-pleasant emotions to run high. I didn’t expect that I would grow so connected to these characters that it was excruciatingly tough to read about their train-wreck of an existence after the meteor alters the moon’s gravitational pull in such a simple way as to hit it at the wrong angle and tilt the moon just a bit closer to the Earth than necessary.

All the sudden (but at a slower pace than usual when it comes to apocalypse themes fiction) tsunamis are eating away at every coastline in America and all over the world. Smaller countries surrounded by ocean are disappearing, benign volcanoes are suddenly forced into erupting. Some they didn’t even know existed made an appearance thanks to the moon’s stronger-than-normal gravitational pull. People are dying by the thousands and it seems so real and so possible that this could happen, it gave me chills to read about … I think I even dreamed about it last night.

The only thing that bothered me in the way of world building is that it was purposely sketchy. What I mean is, because of all the natural disasters cropping up on every inch of the Earth’s surface, it makes it kind of difficult for the characters to find reputable information. Nobody has any real facts – except that people are dying and everything is chaos. The world is still spinning, but not in the same way it has for thousands of years – or ever again. You expect the power and gas shortages and the food to disappear rapidly, but you’d expect at least one person to know what the hell is going on and how to fix it – right? I mean, every time I read a zombie story, there is either someone at fault or someone working behind the scenes to find a cure, even if nobody knows why it happens, some one knows something, but not in Life As We Knew It. And besides … How do you find a cure for the moon tilting closer to Earth? You don’t.

Generally, I like my endings tidy and happy or at least some closure to satisfy me. Life As We Know It doesn’t have the satisfaction of a tidy ending, no matter how thankful I am that it ended the way it did. So while I cried tears of relief for ending the way it did (you had to be there, quit laughing at me!), I still had a knot in my stomach and I still had a couple unanswered questions that will undoubtedly never be answered in the next book. And you guys know how I like my questions answered!


My tug-of-war feelings for the main characters was my biggest problem with this book. The narrator is a 16-year-old girl stuck in the middle of one older brother and one younger brother, with another sibling on the way from her dad’s new wife. She reminds me a lot of myself – probably why even though I was hard on her and could see why other readers hated her, I could understand her.

For one, she is without a doubt a teenager and therefore ruled by her emotions, not logic. She knows the world will never be the same, but she was in mega denial that everything will be back to normal next year. So did she come off as whiny and spoiled in some parts? Hell, yes! She had a lot of moments that I wanted to deck her, however when I think back to my own awful teenage days (I’m saying this as a borderline 20-year-old, but I’m still a teen until September 13th), I wasn’t always so fun to be around. In fact, there are days my family still has to warn people ahead of time when to stay out of the line of fire. Factor in that Miranda is having to make some god awful choices in the name of survival, well … I don’t hate her for being a whiny brat half the time. Though I wish I could have smacked her around a little!

I had a harder time respecting Miranda’s parents, to be honest. One of them doesn’t even stick around to help raise them in the midst of an apocalypse and the other would sacrifice the others to save just one. Maybe I can’t judge because I’m not a mom, but you’d think for parents who claim they love their kids equally they would fight to keep them all living! I know my mom would.


You guys were so, so right. This book really is one of a kind, even more so than I expected – especially since it was written in 2006, before the dystopian/apocalypse craze! I had a few complaints (mainly about the characters) but I enjoyed myself and would read it again if I had the time and stomach lining to spare. Everybody should try this series, especially those science fiction fans out there!


This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger