Life As We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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

It could be the event of her lifetime, but Miranda can't see what all the fuss is about. The largest asteroid the world has seen is on course to make impact with the moon, visible to the naked eye. The event is watched by billions around the world, but the historical event is met with screaming, prayer and hysteria. Astronomers have miscalculated.

The moon phases control the tides, and the catastrophic event has caused widespread tsunamis, flooding, twenty feet tidal waves that have pummeled New York, resulting in the Statue of Liberty being washed out to sea. Cape Cod, Staten Island, Nantucket and Rhode Island are completely submerged. The Barrier Islands have vanished and the death toll mounts in Miami. Communication satellites and telephone lines are down. Incomprehensible damage to cities along the eastern seaboard. Holland has been decimated, coastal Australian cities damaged beyond repair. It seems the asteroid was denser than astronomers had anticipated, resulting in the moon being knocked from it's orbit... And pushed closer to earth.

Mass panic ensues, and Miranda's mother begins to stockpile supplies, canned goods, non perishable items, in case of an emergency... But with no electricity, bare supermarkets and fuel at astronomical prices, every passing day begins to feel more dire. As summer approaches, the world is in ruins. The tides are reaching further inland and earthquakes are common place. Miranda now spends her days contemplating if this is now how the world will survive, with food shortages, the threat of mosquito borne viruses, volcanic eruptions, continuing floods and earthquakes, no power, no schooling, and no way of life. 

As the days pass and bleed into one another, everyday is a fight for survival for Miranda and her family. Volcanic ash covers the landscape and the sun has been hidden for months, causing temperatures to plummet below freezing. Blizzards with grey sooty snow and the flu epidemic are slowly killing the earth and it's inhabitants. The family only have a few measly days of rationed food remaining, Miranda comes to the peaceful realization that her time has come to an end, but when the power starts to flicker, emergency broadcasts are filling the void of silence on the airways, perhaps she's not only seen the apocalypse to virtually end the world, but she may have just survived it.

The concept is terrifying. A natural and reoccurring phenomenon such as an asteroid hitting the moon is enough to bring the world to it's knees. The story of death, courage and survival is told from the pages of Miranda's journal, from the few days prior, to the asteroid knocking the moon off orbit, to the horrifying and deadly hell that unleashed over our dying planet. You'll feel every high and low that'll make you appreciate what you have now.

And don't be surprised if next shopping trip, you include a few more non perishable cans to stockpile.

It's simplistic, frightening and unbelievably good.

Life As We Knew It
(Last Survivors: Book One)
Written By Susan Beth Pfeffer
Published 01 / 10 / 2006
353 Pages

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