Wednesday, July 2, 2008
After reading so many wonderful things about this book, I choose to read Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (337 pgs, Harcourt) for the It's the End of the World as We Know it Challenge.
For Miranda, your typical 16 year-old-problems exist: changes in her best friends, too much homework, an annoying little brother, will she get asked to the prom. So the whole "moon" thing was never really an issue to her. An asteroid was going to hit the moon, and all it was causing Miranda was a lot of homework!!
But the astronomers predictions were wrong, and when the asteroid hits, it causes the moon to shift closer into our orbit. Miranda's thoughts undergo a radical change. Since the moon causes tidal changes, great tsunamis occur almost instantly, wiping out most of both coasts in the US. But it's more than that. Volcanoes become active, earthquakes occur and shifts in the weather patterns start to happen. All of this instantly changes Miranda's life. Instead of worrying about a date for the prom, Miranda is now forced to concentrate on survival in a world gone mad.
Told in journal form, the changes that Miranda goes through are subtle at first. She thinks her mom is crazy to have gone to the stores and bought out all the canned food, batteries and candles she could find. Surely things would get back to normal soon. But Miranda goes along with it, in the beginning just to not make waves. But as the months progress, and the situation gets worse, and it's obvious that things WON'T be getting back to normal soon. Family quickly becomes the only thing in Miranda's life.
This book is actually quite scary. I thought the actual plot was a little contrived, mostly because I'd like to think our scientists would have known the possibility that complete climate changes could occur and we would be a little better prepared. But overall, this book isn't so much about the conditions the world are in, but about the after-effects of a tragedy on this family. The way Miranda's mom holds her family together is honestly stuff heroes are made of. I kept thinking each time she did something, "Would I be smart enough to think of that?" It shows that family is truly the most important thing in the world.
This book is about love, family, and self-sacrifice. There are no fairy-tale endings with this one. But maybe a little sliver of hope. A very good, thought-provoking book. I just wished I had read it at a different time. Coming off such a high with The Host, I'm kind of afraid I didn't give this book it's due. Have you ever felt that the TIMING of reading a book affects the way you feel about it? For me, this was a very good book, but I wasn't completely blown away in the way I had hoped I would be. Still, this book is definitely worth reading. 4/5