Life As We Knew It
Susan Pfeffer
339 pages; published 2006

Sometimes I think about how things used to be. I’d never been anyplace, not really. Florida once and Boston and New York City and Washington and Montreal and that was it. I’d dream of Paris, of London, of Tokyo. I wanted to go to South America, to Africa. I always assumed I could someday.

But my world keeps getting smaller and smaller. No school. No pond. No town. No bedroom. Now I don’t even have the view out the windows.
I feel myself shrivelling along with my world, getting smaller and harder. I’m turning into a rock, and in some ways that’s good, because rocks last for ever.
But if this is how I’m going to last for ever, then I don’t want to. (237)

When astromers start talking excitedly about an asteroid hitting the moon, sixteen-year-old Miranda sees it as little more than an opportunity for her teachers to pile on extra homework. Sure, it's not everyday you can the moon being hit with the naked eye, but at the end of the day she'd much rather be watching TV or reading posts on her favourite online message board.

What the astronomers don't anticipate, however, is that the asteroid is much denser than originally thought, dense enough to actually knock the moon slightly out of orbit. Suddenly the moon is playing havoc with Earth's tides, resulting in wipe-out level tidal waves, and the increase of it's gravitional pull is creating volcanoes where there never was before. Life as everyone knew it is over, and the Earth's population is in serious trouble.

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonalds would still be open. (47)

Chronicling her family's struggles to survive in her diary, Miranda finds her life completely changed. Suddenly no access to internet or television isn't the problem. There is now no heat, no hot water, no phone. There is limited ways of cooking food - and that's if you have food in the first place, and then there's water to consider. Volcanic ash is covering the sky, making it near impossible for any amount of the sun's heat to get through.
Somehow it's harder to focus (though she gives it her all) on the regular teen things like keeping up your grades, dating, and arguing with your mother when you're wondering if you're going to be able to eat tomorrow, or, out of you and your two brothers, which is more likely to survive.
Life As We Knew It was an incredibly moving book; I found myself openly crying in several places, especially towards the end. Miranda's voice was just so real, so completely honest and the things she and the rest of her family have to deal with are just astounding. An excellent read. 4.5/5

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