I wasn’t sure whether to leave this one until Halloween as this is an end-of-the-world/horror kind of book, but Life As We Knew It has been on my wishlist a while, so when I got it as a gift at Christmas I just couldn’t wait any longer!
Life As We Knew It centres around Miranda Evans, her mother, and two brothers as they try and come to terms with their new world. In seemingly tranquil small-town Pennsylvania, the community is quite literally brought to the ground when they discover an asteroid has hit the moon, moving the moon’s center of gravity closer to earth causing all manner of natural disasters from floods and tsunamis to earthquakes and droughts. At the age of only sixteen and armed with her trusty diary (which is how the book is formatted, in various diary entries), Miranda has to become the leader in aspects of her family life; going out to scavenge for food in empty houses, helping her younger brother with his schooling and being emotional support for her mother who is struggling to keep everybody safe, healthy and fed.
Whilst all of that is going on, Miranda still dreams of achieving her Olympic figure skating goals and finally meeting the dreamboat Olympic figure skating hopeful who went to the same school as her.
I thought this story was very different from your usual Armageddon/horror, this is frighteningly realistic, as you watch all the characters deteriorate by the page you have to keep reminding yourself that it’s only a story. I found myself thinking about this book and its characters for days after I finished reading it, thankfully this is the first book in a 4-part series called The Last Survivors Series, so there are plenty more books with these same characters and mystifying storyline for us to delve into all over again!
This is one of those books that’s gonna chill you to the bone as Pfeffer describes the dire situation the characters find themselves in towards the end of the book, but it also made me think about the situation we’re in at the moment, at times the characters talk about how they couldn’t leave their house, go out and visit family or are just trapped in their hometown and they didn't know when things were going to get better…it got a bit too real at some points! But, Life As We Knew It also made me think how different this situation is from what we’re living through now, these characters have far worse going on and their society completely collapses far quicker than (I hope) ours would in the same situation, so try and take some comfort in that!
As I said at the start, this book was a gift and bought brand new, but I have seen it available online in a used condition for approx. £6.00 and the whole 4-part series for around £14! If reading has become your new thing and, like me, you enjoy escaping the scary world outside by reading about an even scarier world in this book then I know you’ll absolutely love Life As We Knew It and the rest of The Last Survivor Series.