Life as We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is what my YA book club is reading this month. Life as We Knew It is a harrowing and gripping story that details one family’s life after a meteor collides with the moon. It is written in diary format, as Miranda chronicles her daily life at school where everyone is dimly aware of the impending collision. After the meteor hits, the effects are worse than predicted, with tsunamis and volcanic activity destabilizing the Earth’s climate. Miranda’s mother does her best to hold the family together by hording food and rationing meals. Her brothers help out with the house, and while a semblance of normal life continues for a time as winter sets in the conditions grow worse and worse, and it is clear that the family is slowly dying of starvation.

Miranda’s normal concerns of high school friendship, sports, and boys continue while her family struggles to stockpile wood for the winter, but as people in her town die off or move to warmer locations in the hope of finding more food her world grows smaller and smaller until she’s left with only the room with a wood burning stove where her family sleeps on mattresses. The book ends on a slight note of hope, but the impact of the disaster on Miranda and the world in general isn’t minimized. I finished this book in a day, and it is definitely worth reading if you enjoy well-written YA speculative fiction.