Life As We Knew It/The Dead & the Gone

Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
YA fiction. 337 pp.
Harcourt. 2006.

from the flap copy:

When Miranda first hears the warnings that a meteor is headed on a collision path with the moon, they just sound like an excuse for extra homework assignments. but her disbelief turns to fear in a split second as the entire world witnesses a lunar impact that knocks the moon closer in orbit, catastrophically altering the earth's climate.

Everything else in Miranda's life fades away as supermarkets run out of food, gas goes up to more than ten dollars a gallon, and school is closed indefinitely.

But what Miranda and her family don't realize is that the worst is yet to come.

Told in Miranda's diary entries, this is a heart-pounding account of her struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar time.

The Dead & the Gone
by Susan Beth Pfeffer
YA apocalyptic fiction. 308 pp.
Harcourt. 2008.

flap copy:
When life as Alex Morales had known it changed forever, he was working behind the counter at Joey's Pizza. He was worried about getting elected as senior class president and making the grades to land him in a good college. He never expected that an asteroid would hit the moon, knocking it closer in orbit to the earth and catastrophically altering the earth's climate.

He never expected to be fighting just to stay alive.

Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event from a small-town perspective. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of a seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican New Yorker. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland.

With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

As with the Ember series, I'm lumping these two books together, but only because I waited so long to post about the first one.

I find that I'm rather intrigued by apocalyptic fiction (I even have a post in my draft folder about this very thought, believe it or not). What I like about these books in particular is the idea behind them. I read in an interview with Pfeffer that she intentionally wanted to explore how people respond to cataclysmic events but she wanted to do so without the event being the fault of humans. Hence the asteroid pushing the moon closer to earth. And the books are wonderful because of this.

I like how the first one is written in first person, though I initially didn't like that so much because I found that I really didn't like the protagonist. But she eventually grew on me. I like how the second one moves from a rural setting to a metropolis setting. I like how her protagonists rise to meet the challenge of surviving. I like how in the second you already know what's going to happen with the weather, which in some ways made the book even more chilling since you knew what the protagonist and his sisters would soon be coming up against.

Other reviews:
Abby (the) Librarian
Bookfoolery and Babble

Abby (the) Librarian
Presenting Lenore
Book Addiction

1 comment:

Th. said...


Those are among the most intriguing books you've ever posted on. I'm keeping my eyes open at the library.