Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The ninth book I read this year was LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

I think one of the main things that makes this book scarily good is the fact that it's totally relatable.  I mean, Miranda could have very well have been me, and her family very well could have been my family.  Because of this reason, it really puts the whole situation into perspective.  But not only this, for me it made me realize how much I have and how much of my life is considered a 'luxury'.  Fresh food, the computer, chocolate.  They're luxuries - not necessities.

Throughout this book, there's always the overhanging threat of dying.  And I couldn't help but put myself in Miranda's shoes.  There's always a conflict of the pros and cons of death vs life.  And while Miranda never really considered it, it almost seemed like, in that situation, it'd be easier to just die instead of going on living like that.  Not only would you no longer have to worry about yourself or have to deal with the hunger or the cold or the boredom, your family wouldn't have to worry about your safety and your healt or feeding you.  And feeding you would be the hardest thing by far.  One more mouth to feed makes a huge difference in a situation where food is limited.  Honestly, I'm not sure how I could possibly live in this situation.  I have to have fresh food, I can hardly stand to eat frozen things for more than a few days at lunch.  Just the idea of having no fresh fruit or veggies, no milk or meat or anything - I don't know how I'd manage.

To me, it seemed like this book was always set in a time of calmness or panic.  There was really no in between.  Of course, that's understandable when the moon has pretty much collided with the Earth. 

I really loved the characters of this novel - simply because they were relateable.  First lets talk about Miranda's family.  Her brother Johnny could have been my brother.  Johnny's younger than Miranda and he loves baseball.  The whole family worries about Johnny eating more than they worry about themselves eating because he's the youngest and if any of them survive, they want it to be him.  Matt, Miranda's older brother.  I don't know why, but it seems like characters always have a better relationship with their older brothers than any other sibling.  Which is odd to me, but for some reason I always take a special liking to the older siblings.  In this book I really liked Matt because he tried to never keep anything from Miranda - even if their mother did.  Miranda's mom would tell Matt everything, because he was in college and he was the closest to her age.  Miranda's parents got divorced a while back, so Matt is the only 'equal' she has left.  Now, Mom herself kind of bothered me a bit - and I'm not exactly sure why.  It seemed to me a lot of the time she was 'giving up' on herself.  She wouldn't let her children give up, but she pretty much had.  She was eating less and less and everything.  I've heard people argue that it was a sacrifice for her children, but to me if you want your kids to stay strong through something like this, you have to be strong yourself. 

Peter, Mom's boyfriend just kind of rubbed me the wrong way when we first met him.  Although he always brought food, he also brought news of what the lastest disease people were dying from was.  However, at the end seeing how hard he was working to help save people really made me appreciate what doctors do all the more.  Honestly, I don't notice them enough because I simply hate the idea of going to the doctor.  Megan, Miranda's friend, and her Pastor.  Oh my gosh how they irritated me.  It really bothered me that the Pastor was basically telling Megan to starve herself for the Lord.  I mean, finding faith during this situation would be so important, but God would never want you to starve yourself.  And the Pastor himself was eating well when all of his pupils weren't.  Connection there?  Yep.  And then when Megan dies, the Church takes her in and burries her.  But when Megan's mom committs suicide, the Church won't take her because it was an 'unholy' death.  Wasn't Megan doing the same thing?  Killing herself?  It just really bothered me.  Sammi, Miranda's other friend, ran off with a 40-year-old guy in hopes of escaping the disaster, hoping it'd be better somewhere else.  She claimed she loved him, but who knows?  Maybe she just thought he could provide better for her than her parents could.  Finally, Dan, Miranda's boyfriend.  I loved him, and so did Miranda.  And then one day he left for the same reason Sammi did, but he didn't run off with a cougar.  I just think in this situation you'd have to get used to the idea of people leaving you.  Not knowing who your life will consist of day-to-day.  It'd be hard. 

And so I ask myself again, could I survive this?

I give this book 4/5 stars.

1 comment:

jpereztheargus said...

This sounds like a really intense book!!!!!!!!!!

I'll make sure to check it out!