Thursday, October 14, 2010

YA Review: Life As We Knew It

Perhaps the most frightening thing about this story, as with M.T. Anderson's Feed, is that it could possibly be more accurate than even the author is aware. Chilling.

After the first twenty pages, you will never look at the moon the same again. Author Susan Beth Pfeffer, bravely takes on the topic of environmental apocalypse with a freshness and somehow comfortable humor that is all but infectious upon reading. Set in modern times, seventeen-year-old Miranda is more concerned with the amount of homework she has to complete, not being asked to the prom yet, and the news of her stepmother's pregnancy than the thought of the asteroid that is set to collide with the moon.

Not too long after it does make contact, Miranda, along with the rest of the world realizes all too soon that the crash is more of a tragedy than once believed, as it tilts the moon and leads to cataclysmic events happening worldwide.
Through the strong first-person narrative of the book's journal format, middle and high school readers will find it hard not to begin feeling the intense emotions of fear, hunger, paralyzing cold and longing that Miranda and her family experience as they make their way through the year following the moon's tilt in their small Pennsylvania town. The author also allows the audience to watch and cheer as Miranda's flighty, typical teenage girl personality morphs into that of an engaging and courageous heroine who steps up when her family needs her most. The riveting descriptions and brief episodes of peril will leave lasting impressions and thoughts of "what-if this actually happened" heavy on the reader's mind.

As the text delves headfirst into the topics of loss and fear, Miranda reminds us that in any catastrophe, a sound mind and a loving family can endure. For a change of pace and a different perspective on the same event, interested readers should also read "The Dead and the Gone", a companion novel.

Mrs.Tiye's notes:  Gripping, Intense, Made me pay much closer attention to the Moon/NASA/Environment

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