Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer: Book Review

Title: Life As We Knew It
Series: Last Survivors #1
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publication Details: October 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers

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.

A story of struggle and hope in an unexpectedly changed world.
Written as journal entries, the format makes it easier to read. Though it took me a while to finish the book, it was not boring to read. It actually was quite interesting and I found myself wanting to know how things will end (if only I was not busy lol).

In the realm of possibility, I do not know how realistic it is for the moon to be off its axis. The events following it was also quite difficult to comprehend. But it is a refreshing take to the apocalypse genre, something I haven't read before, making the book an interesting read.

As for the characters, I liked how three-dimensional they all are. I think the author was able to bring a realistic approach to humanity's reaction in such dire situations. I loved the development of the main character/narrator, Miranda, as well as the secondary ones, especially Jonny.

The ending is also fitting. Though it is open-ended, I liked how it has a hint of hope. I am not quite sure if things will indeed get better, but still I liked the hopeful ending.

I definitely want to read the other books in the series, which I believe are companion novels, following different characters. I hope I'll be able to buy them soon.

Susan Beth Pfeffer was born in New York City in 1948. She grew up in the city and its nearby suburbs and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains.

She has won numerous awards and citations for her work, which range from picture books to middle-grade and young-adult novels, and include both contemporary and historical fiction. She is also the author of the popular Portraits of Little Women series for grades 3-6, and has written a book for adults on writing for children.

To date, she has written more than 60 books. About David was awarded the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award. The Year Without Michael is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and winner of the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award; it was also named by the American Library Association as one of the hundred best books for teenagers written between 1968-1993.

Named the American Library Associations Young Adult Library Services Association Best Book for Young Adults 2007 and Teens’ Top Ten Booklist in 2007. Finalist for the Andre Norton Award, Quill Awards, Hal Clement Awards. (GOODREADS)


  1. I loved this novel. It pulled me in and did not let go. It also really got me thinking and I love when a book does that. Great review!

    Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader

    1. Yes, this book is really intriguing. Thank you! :)

  2. Such a good book. I read it years ago when it came out. Still memorable. I have yet to start the next book though and I have it somewhere. Nice review!

    1. Thanks! I hope to start the next book soon. :)


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