Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1)
Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1)

Audio Book: Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre/s: Young Adult, Apocalyptic

Life As We Knew It is a young adult science fiction novel by American author Susan Beth Pfeffer, first published in 2006 by Harcourt Books. It is the first book in the “Last Survivors Trilogy”, followed by The Dead and the Gone. When an asteroid hits the moon and brings it closer to Earth, life in Northeastern Pennsylvania will never be the same again for Miranda and her family, with the lack of food and extreme cold major threats to their survival.
I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s still would be open.
High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, the way “one marble hits another.” The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintry in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.
Told in a year’s worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. An extraordinary series debut!Susan Beth Pfeffer has written three companion novels to Life As We Knew It, including The Dead and the Gone,  This World We Live In, and  The Shade of the Moon. Review

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 –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-8–Pfeffer tones down the terror, but otherwise crafts a frighteningly plausible account of the local effects of a near-future worldwide catastrophe. The prospect of an asteroid hitting the Moon is just a mildly interesting news item to Pennsylvania teenager Miranda, for whom a date for the prom and the personality changes in her born-again friend, Megan, are more immediate concerns. Her priorities undergo a radical change, however, when that collision shifts the Moon into a closer orbit, causing violent earthquakes, massive tsunamis, millions of deaths, and an upsurge in volcanism. Thanks to frantic preparations by her quick-thinking mother, Miranda’s family is in better shape than many as utilities and public services break down in stages, wild storms bring extremes of temperature, and outbreaks of disease turn the hospital into a dead zone. In Miranda’s day-by-day journal entries, however, Pfeffer keeps nearly all of the death and explicit violence offstage, focusing instead on the stresses of spending months huddled in increasingly confined quarters, watching supplies dwindle, and wondering whether there will be any future to make the effort worthwhile. The author provides a glimmer of hope at the end, but readers will still be left stunned and thoughtful.–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Reviews of Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

It is so refreshing to read something like this. An apocalyptic novel who focused on just being an end-of-the-world story. The characters encountered harrowing experiences and their lives were complicated because of what’s happening around them, a completely plausible scenario that could happen anytime from now or in the near future. It wasn’t fascinating because of the love story, or because there are zombies or robots out there, or because the government is acting all crazy to have power and control over society. It was just because the asteroid hit the moon, the moon got closer to Earth, then all hell broke loose. 
I’m the one not caring. I’m the one pretending the earth isn’t shattering all around me because I don’t want it to be…I don’t want to have anything more to be afraid of…I didn’t start this diary for it be a record of death. 
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out audio book. Life As We Know It was written like a journal. It made the book all the more gripping, realistic and I get to know and care for the characters. I kept listening everywhere. At the Mcdonald’s for about 2 1/2 hours (No kidding!), at our field trip, at class, at lunch. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I might sound heartless but I almost wish I hadn’t finish it so soon because I enjoyed reading Miranda’s POV and the thrill of the unexpected was indeed riveting.
The atmosphere of the book was splendidly done, too. You almost feel claustrophobic as well because the setting is just in one place. You are cut off from the civilization and the only form of connection from others are late letters, static radios and dwindling neighbors.
The feeling of living day by day with no certain future to look forward to scares me. You don’t know if dying the instant the world went wrong was better than living in the aftermath of it. Of making do with what little you have and finding the most happiness in things you wouldn’t even appreciate before. If anything, Life As We Know It audio book made me think.
I’ve yet to process the whole religion thing. Not that I thought it was badly handled. It’s just that I felt like it was glossed over or shoved in the corner. Or maybe I just thought I would have gotten something out of it.
Life As We Knew It portrayed survival, sacrifices, and realizing that life is full of uncertainty. But Life As We Knew It also represented the true of being a family. That you could get through the toughest of times with them. That with family you would do anything just to survive. That being with each other builds hope. I am positive they would not survive if they weren’t part of each others lives.
What am I doing with my life last 2008 that I haven’t even heard of this book? I do not know. I am so lucky the world didn’t end back then or else I would’ve missed this solid apocalyptic novel.

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Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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