Book Review: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer


After reading this book I know exactly why it was nominated for an award, however I start to wonder why it didn’t win the award it was nominated for. I haven’t read everything from my list yet, but this novel is fantastic. It is as gripping as it is emotional, as enthralling as it is thoughtful.
The story takes place in a tomorrow that very well could exist. It’s a world exactly like our own. Miranda is a sixteen year old High School student and the world is suddenly buzzing with activity because scientists have found out that an asteroid is going to strike the moon. It’s excitement for the research and the amazing opportunities this might present, not fear. But something goes terribly wrong. The asteroid pushed the moon into a closer orbit, throwing of the tides causing mass floods across the world, destroying entire cities. The sudden change of gravity ignites active volcanoes like never before, reignites dormant volcanoes, and opens up entirely new ones. Earthquakes and storms strike the Earth everywhere. Miranda and her family–her Mother and two brothers Jon and Matt–must fight to survive and hang on to what little hope they have of living through the worst catastrophe in human history.
The novel is told in diary entries, as if Miranda were a real person, and this were a real event. It adds delicate reality to the already realistic world Pfeffer has created. Miranda narrates the events as they take place–the cold, the snow, the ash, and the deaths and chaos. Despair seems to creep in everywhere. You get a clear picture immediately of just how terrifying this experience must be and then an idea of just how strong a family relationship must be to allow them to survive.
It’s a rich tale, very rich, and one that I am so happy to have read. It’s not even really SF. It very well could be a reality. Tomorrow this could happen to our world. Who knows. There isn’t some grand scale of technology here. It’s reality in a fictional sense. This is a must read novel of suspense, danger, and the power of hope. Pick it up. You won’t be disappointed!

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

  1. A well written book filled with dispair, gloom, ratical religion, selfishness ( based on desperation) etc. If you like the feeling of wanting to hang yourself, than this is the book for you. Personally, I prefer my children to read uplifting inspirational books . Positive books that will benefit their mind and soul, while incouraging them to help others at food pantries etc.
    while thought provoking books are great to stimulate deeper thought, this one is reflects a very left wing author.

  2. How exactly does this book reflect a very left wing author? The book has nothing to do with politics whatsoever. Did you even read it? It’s gloomy until the end. There is no radical religion in the book (almost no religion at all, actually).
    If anything, if you wanted to make some weird political point about it, you would have to say it’s the mark of a very conservative offer, since selfishness really doesn’t fit into the left wing ideology…
    What a strange comment…

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