Memphis Reads: LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by S.B. Pfeffer

Sara reviews Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Scholastic Books, 2006.

Being stuck at home, cut off from friends, and forced to hoard toilet paper and groceries definitely sucks—and Miranda Evans is no stranger to that struggle. Prior to the asteroid hitting the moon, she was obsessed with figure skating and a famous skater named Brandon Erlich. But now? Her only obsession is food. Is her mom skipping meals so her little brother can eat more? Is Miranda expected to do the same?
In the early chapters of the book, the Evans family is warned of the upcoming disaster, but no one really understands the severity. Miranda’s teachers are assigning moon-related homework and encouraging students to watch the skies. Some people don’t think it’s a huge deal. Asteroids hit the moon all the time; that’s where craters come from. But this is the largest asteroid to ever hit it—and when it does, everyone knows something is wrong.
The moon is too big.
The asteroid knocked the moon out of its usual orbit, causing massive tides and volcanic eruptions. Miranda’s mother takes action immediately. She rounds up her kids from school and takes them to the grocery store, where she gives each one a cart and a mission. Soon after, the family hunkers down to ride out the apocalypse.
This heart-wrenching YA dystopia makes for a great quarantine-read, if you’re looking for something to pass the time until the end of the pandemic. Unlike a lot of young adult books, this story focuses more on the protagonist’s family than her love life, given that she’s trapped in a house with them. The story is told in well-written diary entries, making it an entertaining and fast-paced read. And if you enjoy it, the series is continued in three more installments. You can find Life as We Knew It and the next two books in our digital collection, as either an ebook or an audiobook.