Life As We Knew It, Susan Pfeffer: two challenges ticked

the-dystopia-challenge-badgeLife as we Knew it by Susan Pfeffer


This was one of the first YA books this old lady tried. It is the first in a series, The Last Survivors Triology although I had not realised that when I picked it up to read. This time the disaster is not man made but the result of a comet hitting the moon and just shifting it a wee bit closer to earth. This appealed I have to say to an old lady who wonders how life will cope when the connivances of modern life vanish.


This is the account of your ordinary self centred teenage girl – and before the howls of protest children are self centred it is how the progress from childhood to adulthood. Miranda is average, her main concerns in life are fights among her friends, the schisms and tensions due to divorced parents, her homework and rows with her mother. Sounds familiar?


When disaster strikes it is Miranda’s mother who reacts the fastest and organises the supplies which will hopefully keep the family alive. She is the rock the children tie their lives to in the storm that overtakes them. Miranda’s journey from self centred ordinary teenager to caring responsible heroine is detailed in her diary.


If a catastrophe hits civilisation, or indeed when it does now in localised events, it is often the children who suffer the most. When everything which represents security vanishes they are left adrift and if the adults around them are struggling as well there will be no calm therapy for them. It is grow up or go under.


Miranda’s luck was her mother, who provided the tough love needed to maintain spirits and keep the family sane through the grim months that follow. Her sacrifices for the family and her stratagems to outwit fate are Miranda’s touchstone to survival. We mustn’t forget the genetic links as well as the nurturing ones, like mother, like daughter. I think Susan Pfeffer depicts this very well indeed.


I found myself enjoying this book despite misgivings about the genre. This old lady doesn’t mind admitting mistakes:)

I liked Miranda very much by the end of the book, she still has some growing to do but she is well on the way, it would be interesting to know how she gets along. I think I will try the next two in the series and see how she gets along.


                                     angler fish by Vlad Gerasimov

This book ticks a box both for the dystopian and the new author challenges




2 thoughts on “Life As We Knew It, Susan Pfeffer: two challenges ticked

  1. mrsbongle says:

    Good and interesting post but there’s a spelling mistake/typo in the last sentence of the third paragraph. ‘Heroin’ should be ‘Heroine’; apart from that, it’s fine!


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