I would recommend the book Life as We Knew It written by Susan Beth Pfeffer because it is practical and heavy-hearted. The story begins with a meteor unexpectedly crashing onto the moon and knocking the moon closer to the earth. It might’ve seemed negligible, but according to the book, this caused tsunamis and floods, earthquakes, and volcanoes, which caused the ashes to block the sun. The blazing hot summer suddenly turned to Arctic winter, and people died from freezing temperatures, diseases and starvation. This horrific situation forces Miranda to grow up quickly to save her friends and family, and she inevitably discovers what is truly important in life.
Most of the story was practical because of the procedures they took to survive this disaster, such as gathering as much food and supplies (candles and batteries), filling up the gas, chopping wood and restricting daily spending. This book is heavy-hearted because most of the story is depressing and despairing. The characters had to sacrifice a lot while struggling to physically and mentally keep going and survive to the very end. “Life as We Knew It” is told in a form of journal entries, and I found it a unique way to narrate the story. Since it’s told in a first-person perspective, it is easier to understand and “experience” the story.
The moral of the novel is to appreciate our lives and cherish the important people around us. The main character separates and loses those she loved who couldn’t do anything else other than survive and hope for the best for them. Miranda and her family struggled to hold on to the most important resource of all, hope, in a desperate and unfamiliar new world. She has despised hope several times during her survival period as she complained about her mother saving up the food pointlessly when they were going to end up dying anyway. She stayed in her room to escape reality because she felt depressed about people leaving her. Instead of experiencing her exciting teen life, she had to stay in the house, leaving with hunger and despair. The theme of this story is humanity because humanity was shown to be selfish and careless in the story. Since it seemed to be the end of the world, everyone gathered as many resources as they could and wouldn’t lend anything to others. At one point, people would even start to steal and take supplies from others for their goods. The novel depicted that other than their family, nobody would share their supplies, including their friends.
I would rate this book an 8.5 out of 10 because although the book was engaging, the ending was a little disappointing in the sense that not everything was resolved and settled. Furthermore, the ending didnt feel like the conclusion but rather the falling action. I felt like the author could have done a better job at rapping up the story and extending the story since the transition from the climax to the conclusion was a little too rushed. Nevertheless, “Life as We Knew It” is still a recommended story and is very heart-pounding and engaging!