Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: Life as we knew it by Susan Pfeffer

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, 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 journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

This book for me was easy to sink into and climb into the world of the characters, the world in where world is ending. This was because of how the story was told, through the viewpoint of a sixteen-year-old girl/daughter and sister in her diary entries which allows the time span of the story to become a main element. 

Life as we knew it teaches us the readers a lot, or rather reminds us of things we know but let slip, like how we should value shelter and the food we eat and the family we live with. As Miranda's character becomes aware of all these things, she evolves from a selfish teen into a someone who would give their life for the life of others. She learns that to love someone is to let them go, let them do what they need to do or go where then need to be, she learns that the best friends she could have were in her home all along. It is not a love story but a life lesson. There are a range of characters that flitter around the edges of Miranda's world which shows how diverse and different people can be and how something devastating like the death of a friend can completely change a person but also how devastation can hold families together tighter than they've ever been. 

Suspension runs from season to season, month to month, day to day as there is no telling what will happen next, what causes the moons altered orbit is having on the world and if and when the world will end. There isn't really a single point in the book where you want to put this book down and go back to later because the events flow and the problems they face are so constant there is a need to know what is on that next page. As the days go by, conditions become increasingly worse but there are days when their is joy found in their situation and within eachother.

Whist I was right in the middle of the book on one particular night the world which I came to become absorbed in seemed to leak into my reality, there was a black out for a minute or so, I just sat there with my book in my hand waiting and listening, luckily I had a candle going right next to me so I wasn’t freaked out. This night we had a storm, the rain and wind was all I could hear and when I put my book down for the night and checked facebook, I saw someone’s house has flooded and they were struggling to keep water out. It’s kind of funny, not like hysterical funny but weird funny… I’ve always had this really strong feeling that within my life time something terrible like a war or a natural disaster is going to happen (Ice age is what I’ve been betting on if you’re wondering) and there’s all this talk about 2012 (the film which I haven’t actually seen and something about a calendar ending) and I know that’s all spoof and what not.. but maybe there is something behind it all.. maybe there is an end and maybe it’s soon. Funny how a book can get you thinking about so much or rather just provoke the thoughts you already had and push them to the surface. 

It will make you smile and cry and feel things you might have not felt for a while. Life as we knew it shows how many people in our life we will lose along the way and how to deal with their moving away, not knowing where they are now, and even their deaths. It's an emotional one and it's so much more than a story.

Think, how brave would you be in a situation like that? Have you told your loves ones what they mean to you lately? Have you treated them the way they deserve to be treated? Do you value everything you have?

Highly recommended, 5/5!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy it in the company of your love ones.

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