When the meteor crashed into the moon, pushing it closer into orbit, Miranda’s life changes forever. Miranda is the main character is Susan Beth Pfeffer’s novel, Life As We Knew It. The story takes place in present day and is written all from Miranda’s viewpoint. The entire world goes through tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and blizzards, just to name a few. This novel was chosen as my school’s “One Book, One School” story this year. I definitely enjoyed reading Pfeffer’s novel and I recommend it to any other school participating in this program. Life As We Knew It has a practical plot, more than one genre is shown, and the diary style of her writing creates a strong connection with the reader.
Life As We Knew It is not only a suspenseful novel, that fills the reader with fear with each catastrophic event, but it is also a bit of a romance novel. Miranda begins to go swimming at Miller’s pond almost everyday with her friend Dan and a few other girls. After swimming, Miranda and Dan always spend time alone and begin somewhat of a relationship. She likes to believe that he might have even been her boyfriend if things weren’t so different. “When we’re together like that, I feel as though everything is going to work out.” (pg. 96) The different genres in the story give it more range to the types of people who can read it. Whether you’re into suspense filled dramas or romance novels, this story will fill your needs.
The story is written in the form of a diary. Throughout the novel, Miranda writes some very long diary entries on eventful days and some that are just a few sentences. The brief writings give the book a better flow which makes it easier to read. The diary entries also create a more personal relationship between Miranda and the reader. “August 26 - I write stuff down in here and I don’t read it.Things are bad enough without having to remind myself of just how bad things are.” (pg. 168) The reader gets an idea of what’s going on in Miranda’s mind and it creates a stronger bond with the reader.
There are many critiques that argue the book is too boring. However, the book follows a very realistic storyline. Every event that happens has a plausible reason behind it. The early winter that comes in August is caused by volcanic ash blocking the sunlight. The volcanic ash is from the eruptions that occurred all over the world due to the moon’s changing gravitational pull. The story does start off a little slow, but that is how the world really would end if the moon changed orbit. Too much action and fast paced destruction would not seem realistic for an average teenage girl to go through.
In the end, the book is definitely worth reading. I recommend it as a novel to read for a “One Book, One School” project. It has more than on genre, the diary style gives it a personal feel, and it is very realistic. I am definitely going to read the next books in the series as well because I have to know how things work out with Miranda and her family!