Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Mar 10, 2011

Life As We Knew It is the first book in Last Survivor trilogy. In my opinion, it is also the best book in the series and it can definitely be read as a standalone book. Susan Beth Pfeffer did an excellent job creating a powerful and realistic story about surviving a natural disaster.  

This fast paced, thoughtful story is told in a diary format by the main character, sixteen-year-old Miranda. After an asteroid hits the Moon and pushes it closer to the Earth, the Earth’s climate alters. Inevitably, worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes change “life as we knew it”.  Due to the climate change, summer quickly turns into bitter winter. Miranda, her two brothers and their mother struggle for survival on the decreasing stockpiles of canned food and limited water supply. Their only heat source is a wood-burning stove in their sunroom. Her family and hope are the most important things that Miranda has. Even though the story line is centered on Miranda’s family, the reader also learns how other people in Miranda’s small town cope with the new, unfamiliar world.  This makes the book even more interesting. 

Life As We Knew It is an engaging read with great character development. I found the diary format very effective. I got emotionally involved in the story. I could picture myself in a similar situation. It made me think what I would do if I were in Miranda’s place. Would I be resourceful and strong enough to survive? How would I face her everyday challenges? Life As We Knew It with its twists and turns held my attention to the last word of the book. I believe that this book would be a great pick for everybody, especially for book groups.

Written by Library Staff