Life As We Knew It: Life As We Knew It Series, Book 1

Paperback | April 9, 2008

bySusan Beth Pfeffer

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I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's still would be open. High school sophomore Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, like one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintery in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safehaven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.Told in a year's worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Miranda's struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all-hope-in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. An extraordinary series debut!Susan Beth Pfeffer has written three companion novels to Life As We Knew It, including The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In, and The Shade of the Moon. "

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From the Publisher

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's still would be open. High school sophomore Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, like one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis ...

Susan Beth Pfeffer is the author of many books for teens, including the New York Times best-selling novel Life As We Knew It , which was nominated for several state awards, and its companion books, The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In, and The Shade of the Moon . She lives in Middletown, New York.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 7.01 × 7.64 × 0.94 inPublished:April 9, 2008Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0152061541

ISBN - 13:9780152061548

Appropriate for ages: 12

Customer Reviews of Life As We Knew It: Life As We Knew It Series, Book 1

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Series This is the first book of a 4 book series and it is excellent. It is dark and telling about human nature. I wish it wasn't from a first person point of view, but the story would be very different in this case.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay closing novel This story closes out the 4 book series. It was an okay story but lacks the urgency and drama of the other books.
Date published: 2015-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The dead and the gone. 2 Another good one
Date published: 2014-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read - one of my top favourites! OMG! This book!!! I have been waiting for the library to actually have this book available for me FOREVER and now I've finally read it and... just... OMG! I absolutely loved this book. You know when you really get into a book and you can't put it down, but you have to, and then once you do you don't want to pick it up again just because you want it to last forever, but then you pick it up and then it's all over!?!? Well that's how I felt with this book. I wanted to know what happened but I didn't want it to end - even though I knew that I would have 3 more books to read after this one. I loved the characters! They were realistic and heart-warming and believable! Miranda is so strong for only being 16 years old. Jonny, the younger brother, acts like a boy his age (14 years old) until tragedy happens and he is forced to grow up - he does so in such a realistic manner that I couldn't help but love him and respect him. Matt, the older brother, is forced into a co-parenthood with his mother to help hold the family together - once again a very loving and believable character. And the mother - just love her to pieces! While reading this story I felt like I was living with them and experiencing what they were experiencing. There were times, and I know it's silly, that after reading for a long period I would stop and have to remind myself that it was a different world - not mine - and it would take a couple seconds of adjustment and worry before I got a grip. I haven't had that kind of experience - not that I remember. Yes I've loved books before, but never have I been so engrossed in the events and the realism that I was temporarily transported there to such an extent. Pfeffer has such an amazing skill in being able to create such a realistic environment and make the reader believe it whole-heartedly. This book made me feel so many different emotions - like I haven't felt in a while - sadness, happiness, surprise, bafflement! If you haven't started this series, it is a MUST! If you like reading I suggest you run out and read it. It doesn't matter if you don`t like science fiction, or if you`re sick of dystopians, or if you're not a big fan of young adult - all that matters is you like to read! It has been a long time since I have loved a book as much as this one and it's on a short list of my must haves and my even shorter list of most favourites!
Date published: 2014-07-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Life As We Knew It - 2 I hate it when an Author rehashes the same story from a different viewpoint. This was a waste of time and money. Write a new story instead of trying to make money without effort or creativity.
Date published: 2014-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing. Wasn't what I was expecting at all, but I am pleasantly surprised by that. Finished it in a day and a half. Just couldn't put it down. I hope there is a fifth. :)
Date published: 2013-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing. Wasn't what I was expecting at all, but I am pleasantly surprised by that. Finished it in a day and a half. Just couldn't put it down. I hope there is a fifth. :)
Date published: 2013-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I hope there is a 5th book. I have loved all of them!
Date published: 2013-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but abrupt ending I love this series but I'm really disappointed with the ending, I really wish it was more positive
Date published: 2013-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Life As We Knew it is one of my favourite books. It has a great plot, with a great beginning, middle, and ending. Its written in "journal form", meaning it is told through the eyes of Miranda, a teen struggleing to, well, live. I love this book so much because ive never read anything like it. Sure, ive read about the world ending and a group of people trying to stay alive out in the open. There are no buildings, and hardley any food. But thats not what Life As We Knew It is like. miranda is with her family, and readers are by her side constantly throughout her life. She is not just trying to live physially, but emotionally. This book will open your eyes and show you to be greatful for everything you have, even something as simple as a blanket.
Date published: 2012-09-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique and interesting plot I really liked the concept of this novel; it made so much sense and it almost seems plausible to occur. This book made me appreciate the simple things I have (food, shelter, water, cleanliness, etc) and not take anything for granted. However, it was a bit repetitive at times. There were many "as long as we have each other, we'll be okay" moments. In my opinion, it did not get very climactic, and although it was interesting, I found that I was still able to put the book down. I am completely intrigued by environmental-related storylines, but this book was kind of dull for me. Honestly, I do like this book, but it was not as good as I hoped it to be.
Date published: 2012-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different than anything I've read I'm actually surprised I liked this book so much. The base plot was simple; one families struggle to survive when the whole world enters a troubling time. A lot of it had to do with not having enough food or how to function without electricity. However, it was so richly told through Miranda, in the form of her diary, that I couldn't put it down. It really hit home regarding just how much we take for granted in our daily lives. I definitely reccomend it!
Date published: 2012-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read, post apocalyptic book for younger readers. No matter how much of this type of book I’ve read in the past another one comes along and it instantly becomes a favorite, replacing the previous one. This one take a little more of a realistic turn (sans aliens and zombies) and goes for what would happen if the moon is knocked closer to earth. Major natural disasters occur, and the weather changes drastically. I admired Miranda’s mom. A lot. She was strong and held her family together, preparing everything in advance when things get worse later. It was as if she had everything under control - something extremely difficult to do especially when the majority of the public are probably panicking and running amok. I also liked Matt who also was strong and acted like the backbone of Miranda’s family too. It did take me a while to like Miranda. There were times when she acted like a spoiled self centered selfish brat, but then there were other times where she would sacrifice anything to help her family. You do tend to forget that she’s just a sixteen year old girl because of her behavior. She acts like an adult at times, but then reverts to her age the next. It’s the same with Johnny too, and he’s younger than Miranda. It’s in crisis situations like these where you see children literally grow up when they should be having fun at their age. The story is told in a diary format, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Miranda doesn’t fill her entries with flowery writing, at times it can get a little whiny and her priorities get a little mixed but her descriptions of what’s going on and how the world is during this crisis is cut and clear. It may not be as graphic as some other post apocalyptic books are, but since this is meant for younger readers, the amount of details is just right. It’s a great post apocalyptic book for younger readers, and I think it’s also a great ‘starter’ book for those that just want a taste of these kinds of books. It’s not over the top graphic detail, but just enough to know that the world Miranda lives in, is filled with a lot of difficulties and hardship. Yet it outlines the importance of family togetherness to survive through the ordeal. This was a great read, and I do recommend this book for readers of any age.
Date published: 2012-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from There isn't a better book! Fantastic! Not reading this book is a crime!
Date published: 2011-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievable Impossible to put down. Impossible not to feel the dangers around you, the blood roaring in your ears, the chills. Absolutely fantastic.
Date published: 2010-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mesmerizing After a asteroid hits and changes the position of the moon, the catastrophic results are felt all over the world: volcanoes, floods, tsunamis, blizzards, death. Miranda and her loved ones struggle to survive as food becomes scarce, sickness spreads and winter threatens everyone. This book was quite the page turner. I literally had goosebumps as the events unfolded after the asteroid hit. It's a heart wrenching story of love, loss and especially survival as everything Miranda has come to know changes very quickly and sacrifices have to be made. Definitely had me hooked :D
Date published: 2010-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's Terrifying To Think How Easily This Book Could Be Non-Fiction. "When a meteor hits the moon and knowcks it closer in orbit to the earth, nothing will ever be the same. Worldwide tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.. and that's just the beginning." I could not put this book down. Realistic characters in a horrific situation of just trying to stay alive. Can't wait to read book two and three of the trilogy.
Date published: 2010-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very satisfying read - couldn't put it down. I love 'end of the world' stories, and this was a great one. I couldn't help but read this story in one sitting. You just can't wait to find out how it ends! The characters were great and the science was believable. I hope Ms. Pfeffer writes more, because I think she's an amazing author.
Date published: 2010-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What if? What if an asteroid hit the moon and knocked it closer into orbit, causing worldwide tidal waves, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions? What if all the water supply ran out? What if the ashes from the volcanic activity blocked out the sun, causing droughts throughout the world? What if diseases started to spread like fire, and there was no more medicine to revive us? This is what Miranda has to go through with her family. There is limited amount of food and water left, and people are starting to lose faith. Many have already abondoned their homes and left for the south, where things seem to be better. But they're not. It's all the same throughout the world. Disasters strike everywhere, and it's every man for himself. Life As We Knew It is told through Miranda's journal entries of the days that go by. Her family of four are slowly starving themselves to death, and there's nothing they can do about it because it's all the same for the other families. Power has run out and there's no way of knowing if you'll survive the next day. Life As We Knew It was a beautifully written story of hope and courage from a 16 year old girl who has to step up and take responsibility when her family goes ill. People die, but you can't stop, because once you lose hope, there's nothing left to keep you alive. The only thing about this book that bugs me is the unrealistic ending. I'm not going to say what happens, but the chances of that actually happening are very slim. Though it might explain more in the next novel. The Dead and the Gone is not the sequel to Life As We Knew It, but another story told by a boy named Alex living in NYC facing the same challenges as him and his sisters try to survive the new events. A stunning novel; can't wait for the next book.
Date published: 2009-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure genius This book is simply amazing. Just the concept of an asteroid hitting the moon and affecting the Earth in so many ways is enough. It almost makes me think...maybe an asteroid hitting the moon to the position it is at now lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs. I am also a writer, and honestly, im jealous of this author because i wish i thought of the amazing concept first. This novel is so sad yet so entrancing. You honestly wont be able to put it down. The only bad thing i have to say about it is that the ending was a little bit disatisfying...but perhaps that will be fixed with the sequal. Last word: DEFINATLY a must read. Worth your time and money!
Date published: 2008-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderfully Entrancing Novel! As it all starts out; it's like a regular school week. This whole moon excitement seems to Miranda just another reason to get more homework, but she is deadly wrong. After many trails and hardships, Miranda learns how close family is and that even if the earth was ending she would always be closest to them, no matter what happens. Read through Miranda's diary entries through their year of pain and heartbreak, illness and heart-wrenching terror, tinged with the slightest bit of hope to keep them hanging on 'til the end. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was the only book, out of very many books ever, to completely entrance me into subconsciously thinking what was happening in the book was actually happening in real life. One recommendation: Don't put the book down, but don't read it in a dimly lit room at three in the morning; the subconscious effect is almost terrifying. My thinking is that is that because it is written completely in first person, your mind thinks that the unimaginable is happening. If this author ever wrote anything else, I would definitly pick it up straightaway, I would love to embrace that kind of possessing action and drama, five stars!
Date published: 2008-04-05

Extra Content

Read from the Book

one May 7   Lisa is pregnant.   Dad called around 11 o’clock to let us know. Only Mom had already taken Jonny to his baseball practice and of course Matt isn’t home from college yet, so I was alone to get the big news.   “The baby is due in December,” Dad crowed, like he was the first guy in the history of the world with a younger second wife about to have a baby. “Isn’t that great! You’re going to have a little brother or sister. Of course it’s too soon to tell what it’s going to be, but as soon as we know, we’ll tell you. I wouldn’t mind another daughter myself. The first one I had turned out so wonderfully. How’d you like a baby sister?”   I had no idea. “When did you find out?” I asked.   “Yesterday afternoon,” Dad said. “I would have called you right away but, well, we celebrated. You can understand that, can’t you, honey? A little private time for Lisa and me before letting the world know.”   “Of course, Daddy,” I said. “Has Lisa told her family?”   “First thing this morning,” he replied. “Her parents are thrilled. Their first grandchild. They’re coming for a couple of weeks in July, before you and Jonny visit.”   “Are you going to call Matt and tell him?” I asked. “Or do you want me to?”   “Oh no, I’ll call,” Dad said. “He’s busy studying for his finals. He’ll be glad for the interruption.”   “It’s great news, Dad,” I said, because I knew I was supposed to. “Be sure to tell Lisa how happy I am for her. And you, too. For both of you.”   “You tell her yourself,” Dad said. “Here she is.”   Dad muffled the phone for a second so he could whisper something to Lisa and then she took the phone. “Miranda,” she said. “Isn’t it exciting!”   “Very,” I said. “It’s wonderful news. I’m really happy for you and Dad.”   “I was thinking,” she said. “Well, I know it’s way too soon and I haven’t even discussed this with your father yet, but would you like to be the baby’s godmother? You don’t have to answer right away, but do think about it, all right?”   That’s the problem I have with Lisa. Whenever I want to get mad at her, or just irritated because she really can be immensely irritating, she goes and does something nice. And then I can understand why Daddy married her.   “Of course I’ll think about it,” I said. “You and Daddy think about it also.”   “We don’t have to give it any more thought,” she said. “You should see the glow on your father’s face. I don’t think he could be any happier.”   “I couldn’t,” Dad said, and I could tell from his laughter that he’d grabbed the phone away from Lisa. “Miranda, please say yes. It would mean so much to us for you to be the baby’s godmother.”   So I said yes. I couldn’t exactly say no.   After that we chatted for a while. I told Dad about my last swim meet and how I was doing in school. Mom still hadn’t come back by the time I finally got off the phone, so I went online to see what’s new with figure skating. The hot topic at Brandon Erlich’s fan site is how good his chances are to win Olympic gold. Most people think not very, but a lot of us think he has a real shot at medaling and ice is slippery and you never know.   I think I’d like to take skating lessons again. I’ve missed it the past couple of years and besides, it’ll give me a chance to pick up news about Brandon. He isn’t being coached by Mrs. Daley anymore, but I bet she still hears stuff. And maybe Brandon’s mother would show up at the rink.   When Mom got in, I had to tell her about Lisa. She just said that was nice and that she knew the two of them wanted children. She and Dad have worked really hard on making it a “good divorce.” Matt says if they’d worked half as hard on their marriage, they’d still be married. I didn’t tell her about how I’m going to be the godmother (assuming Lisa doesn’t change her mind, which she’s more than capable of doing). I feel kind of bad that I’m going to be the godmother but no one said anything about Matt or Jonny being godfathers. Of course Lisa and Matt don’t get along very well, and maybe 13 is too young to be a godfather.   I hope Lisa changes her mind and I won’t have to deal with it. May 8   Not the greatest Mother’s Day ever.   I’d told Mom a while ago that I’d make dinner and she decided to invite Mrs. Nesbitt. I can’t say I was surprised, but I figured if Mom was having Mrs. Nesbitt over I could ask Megan and her mom, too. Only when Jonny found out it was going to be me and Mom and Mrs. Nesbitt and Megan and Mrs. Wayne, he said that was too many females in one room for him and he was going to have dinner at Tim’s instead.   Mom always thinks it’s a good idea for Jonny to spend time with Tim and his family because there are three boys and Tim’s father is around a lot. She said if it was okay with Tim’s folks it was okay with her.   I called Megan and told her to bring her history notes with her and we’d study for the test together, and she agreed.   Which is why I’m so mad at her. If she hadn’t said yes, it would be one thing. But she did and I made enough meatloaf for five and salad and then right before I started setting the table, Megan called and said she had decided to stay on at her church and do something with the youth group. She’d gotten the dates mixed up. And her mother didn’t feel like coming without her, so it was going to be two less for Sunday dinner and she hoped I didn’t mind.   Well, I do mind. I mind because I’d been looking forward to all of us having dinner together and to studying with Megan. I also figured Mrs. Nesbitt and Mrs. Wayne would be good people for Mom to talk to about Lisa’s baby. Mom may not be best friends with Mrs. Wayne, but she’s funny and she would have gotten Mom laughing.   Megan is spending so much time at her church. She goes to services every Sunday and she never used to and she does stuff with the youth group at least twice a week and sometimes more and for all her talking about how she’s found God, I think all she’s found is Reverend Marshall. She talks about him like he’s a movie star. I even told her that once and she said that’s how I talk about Brandon, like it was the same thing, which it isn’t at all. Lots of people think Brandon is the best skater in the U.S. right now and besides it isn’t like I talk about him all the time and act like he’s my salvation.   Dinner was okay except I overcooked the meatloaf so it was a little dry. But Mrs. Nesbitt’s never been shy with the ketchup bottle. After a while I left her and Mom alone and I guess they talked about Lisa and the baby. I wish it was summer already. I can’t wait to get my driver’s license.   I also wish I was through studying for my history exam. BORING!   But I’d better get back to it. Bad grades, no license. The Rules According to Mom. Copyright © 2006 by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Editorial Reviews

An ALA Best Book for Young AdultsA 2011 ALA Popular Paperbacks TitleA CCBC ChoiceA Junior Library Guild Premier SelectionA Listening Library SelectionAn Amazon.com Best Book of the Year* Absorbing from first page to last."- Publishers Weekly, starred review "Riveting and deeply frightening."- The Bulletin "You will read it in one sitting, fighting back tears as you bite your nails."- Teenreads.com "