29 November 2011

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Published: 1 October 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 337 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Post-Apocalyptic, Natural Disaster, Young Adult

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

My Thoughts

Amazon has been ‘recommending’ this book to me ever since I brought my first PA title about two years ago – I put it on my wishlist, I took it off my wishlist, I put it on my wishlist, I took it off my wishlist and shook it all about. There were several reasons – 1) it has never been available to me as an e-book and 2) it was kinda expensive for a book I was on the fence about. However, when it came up as a Group Read for a group on Goodreads, I finally had the final push I needed.

Life As We Knew It isn’t exact in its science, and I don’t feel that it was meant to be. The science isn’t necessary, it’s the fall-out and consequences for the family in the book that makes the story. So if you want a book with a good, grounded scientific explanation, stop reading now – this is not the book for you.

However if you want a book that is focused on a family’s fight for survival in a world racked by tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes caused by the moon being knocked out of its orbit, told from the perspective of the teenage daughter, this may be right up your street. It is told in journal style which I know some people (including myself), aren’t the biggest fans of, but if it was written in the third person it may not have worked.

What I did like about this book is the focus on survival, and family. The people of the town don’t make much of an appearance, and there are only fleeting glimpses of not-so-baddies. I did find that to be a little of a fantastical view of the world, but again, this is a YA book so by nature violence should be minimal. None of the characters were particularly abrasive or irritating, nor too sugary-sweet nicey-nicey, and were quite well developed.

And what didn’t I like? For me, I don’t think it was a realistic portrayal of how life would be like in an event of this magnitude. At 19 I probably would have hated this book for being unrealistic and narrow-minded, but at twenty-*cough* I can see why the author wrote Life As We Knew It as she did.

If I had a twelve year old daughter, I’d happily give her this book to read. If I had a friend who loved YA, I’d probably lend it to her. Will I read the next book in the series? Perhaps, because I’m curious as to what happens next.


  1. Both my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this series - I only wish the series hadn't stopped with just three books lol

  2. I have this one sitting on my floor right now in my Library TBR ple...might have to move it to the top.



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