Life as We Knew it

In Book Reviews on June 16, 2013 at 6:00 am

Life as we Knew it

This edition by Marion Lloyd Books 2010

This book left me confused as to whether or not I liked it. I’m loving post-apocalyptic books these days and I felt a bit disappointed in this one. It felt decidedly un-apocalyptical. (And yes, I like to make up words.) I never felt like the main character was in peril. Towards the end, they started running out of food and some of her family got sick, but that was it. I cringed (as I do when I read these types of books) waiting for all hell to break loose, riots in the streets, attacks on their house, one of her family members dying, but all of my cringing was for naught.

The writing was excellent, though, which is why I was so torn. And then it hit me. 16-year-old Buffy would have loved this book. It was a very safe end of the world story and I really liked safe back then. My tastes have changed though, and 38-year-old Buffy needs a bit more. I kind of feel that in these types of stories the main character really needs to go through some difficult stuff to become a really interesting main character. This usually involves losing her family or at least the primary caretaker so that she would be forced to figure things out for herself.

I loved the premise of this story. Oh, and I almost forgot my Nutshell blurb: An asteroid has hit the moon and has moved it closer to Earth triggering tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. This is the story of Miranda and her family (told in journal format) and how they try to survive.

I felt that this would have been far more interesting if it was told from the perspective of someone who was trapped on the top floor of a high rise building when a tsunami floods the entire city. Or something similar. That would give me more of a sense of fear than following the lives of a family who are slowly running out of food. I need to feel that all is lost and that the characters are going to somehow rise above it and be better for it. The main character did grow throughout the story which made me very happy as she really got on my nerves in the beginning.

I enjoyed reading this book but I probably won’t read the sequels. I can’t criticise it too much because it was intended for a much younger audience.

  1. As you know, I did like this book — and actually the second book (The Dead and the Gone) addresses some of your issues with this first one, taking place as it does in a city with a main character who is immediately cut off from some important family members and goes through several trials with the ones who remain. But they are ‘disaster-lite’, I agree, which is probably because they’re pitched toward the mid-teens, so there’s rarely a direct feeling of threat. For another disaster-story that had much more immediate danger, there’s also ‘Ashfall’ by Mike Mullin — again, a teen-level book, with a bit of suburban-karate-student empowerment fantasy, but still interesting. About a Yellowstone eruption.

    • I’m having the same problem with the first Harry Potter book. Great story, but I feel that it’s just too young for me. I tend to not mind if a book is general fiction or YA or even children’s because there are many that are written for all audiences. What I dislike is when anything outside of the story is brought to my attention. I was very aware of the fact that I was reading a YA book which is a bit of a turn off.

      I think that Ashfall might be on my TBR list. It sounds familiar. Thanks for the recommendation!

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