(YA Member Review of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer)
This is an incredible book that could change the way you look at the moon.
In what is probably the present-day, an asteroid is known to be heading towards the moon. The scientists don't think it's going to be any kind of a problem, but they reveal how conceited they can be when it turns out the asteroid was of sterner stuff then expected. The moon is hit so hard it causes it to move closer to the earth.
The result includes vast tsunamis, major earthquakes, and the eruption of numerous volcanoes. The seashores and their cities are destroyed around the world. A blanket of ash from the volcanoes causes colder weather. The very structure of civilization breaks down as there is no more electricity. No more shipments of food or fuel.
The story is about a girl named Miranda who keeps a diary of what happens. She has two brothers and a mother; the father has divorced the mother and remarried another woman who is now pregnant, but there seem to be no major hard feelings between any of them.
The story becomes one of survival, and what they all must do in order to try to find some way to survive the climate changes and the loss of any kind of “normal” life. They have to find a way to heat the house, get food and water, deal with diseases, and deal with the breakdown of civilization as gangs do what they want, hired thugs guard the hospital, and houses are ransacked on a regular basis.
It's all done very realistically. Miranda not only has to deal with all the changes going on, but her own friends either die, move away, or become religious zealots (or a combination of two or more of those). She has to grow up quickly, and to care for others at an age where she's still used to being cared for herself.
It's a very frightening story, and a very readable story. It's one of the best novels of its type that I have ever read. I put it in the “must read” group.”