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Life As We Knew It: 05/22/13

cover art

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is the first of The Last Survivors series in which the moon is knocked closer to Earth, forever changing the environment of the planet through higher, more erratic tides, volcanoes and intense storms.

The first book is told in first person journal entries over the course of a year by a sophomore named Miranda. She lives in semi-rural Pennsylvania, sheltered from the rising seas and raging volcanoes. She does, though, have to contend with a harsh winter, made worse by ash blocking the sun, no electricity, no heating oil and dwindling food supplies.

Miranda's very personal story — that of her family and the growing isolation from the rest of the world, then the country, the state, and finally the town until it seems its just Miranda, her mother and brothers, feels real. There's true human drama here. It does, though, take a sizable suspension of disbelief to accept the reason behind the sudden change in things.

My other small complaint is in the narration. The actress reading the book for the audio puts everything — every event good, bad or indifferent in the same perky voice. It's Miranda's birthday and she's happy! Miranda's life is on the line and by gum she still sounds happy! Miranda is bored out of her mind and yup, she still sounds happy!

Four stars

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