Jul 23, 2007

Life As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time. And I use the word "compelling" on purpose - I read this book as fast as I could once I started, including completely ignoring my friends and staying up until 4 in the morning when I had to be awake early the next day to finish it.

Miranda is a normal 16 year old, it is the spring of her sophomore year in school. She's obsessed with a now-famous ice skater who was originally from her town. She's got an older and younger brother, and a divorced dad who has a new, pregnant wife.

And then an asteroid hits the moon. Scientists knew it was coming, it wasn't a secret or anything, but everyone thought it would just be something cool to look at. Except that the asteroid was a lot denser than anyone thought and so it pushes the moon out of its orbit and a lot closer to the Earth. This throws everything off.

Fortunately, Miranda's mom recognizes this as being the big deal that it is and immediately goes into disaster mode. She hoards tons of food and supplies.

The story is told like Miranda's diary, as so you have her trying to be normal as things slowly fall apart - tsunamis take out the coasts, electricity becomes infrequent then stops, the ground freezes over in August . . . .

You can't help but start to think of some of the parallels to this situation we have seen in real life - people experienced Hurricane Katrina from a disaster viewpoint, terrorist attacks shut down things like food deliveries and could affect things like electricity, and climate change has had/will have some of the same effects on our natural world. It was hard to stay optimistic and not get sucked into fear-thinking when reading this book.

It really was an amazing book -

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