This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Hardcover, 239 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Hardcover, 239 pages
Life As We Knew It Series #3
It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.
The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship.
This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer is the third book in the young adult trilogy that began with Life as We Knew It and was followed by The Dead and the Gone. This World We Live In continues the story of the characters from the first two books, Miranda and Alex. In this third book protagonists Miranda and Alex meet when Alex and his sister are traveling companions who are accompanying her returning father and stepmother. In This World We Live In, Pfeffer returns to the narrative being told through Miranda's journal entries so all the action is filtered through her eyes.
This final installment of the YA series just didn't grab my attention as much as the first two did. Miranda seemed more like a whiny thirteen year old rather than a seventeen year old who has struggled to lived through a world wide disaster. In the end I didn't actually care for any of the characters and finished the book simple for closure to the series. And the romance with Alex was absurd. It didn't even make sense.
If you've read the first two books you will probably want to read This World We Live In. In that regard it is recommended.
(Reading this YA novel after China Miéville's Railsea didn't do it any favors. Railsea is a much better novel.
I’m shivering, and I can’t tell if it’s because something strange is going on or because of the dream I had or just because I’m in the kitchen, away from the warmth of the woodstove. It’s 1:15 a.m., the electricity is on, and I’m writing in my diary for the first time in weeks.
I dreamed about Baby Rachel. I dream about her a lot, the half sister I’ve never met. Not that I know if Lisa had a girl or a boy. We haven’t heard from Dad and Lisa since they stopped here on their way west, except for a couple of letters. Which is more than I got from anyone else who’s left. opening
I told her everything. I explained how in May an asteroid hit the moon and knocked it a little closer to Earth, and how the moon’s gravitational pull got stronger, and everything changed as a result. There were tidal waves that washed away whole cities, and earthquakes that destroyed the highways, and volcanic eruptions that threw ash into the sky, blocking out sunlight, causing famine and epidemics. All because the moon’s gravitational pull was a little bit stronger than before.
"What’s sunlight?" she asked.
That was when the dream turned into a nightmare. pg. 2
I know I should be grateful that we have a warm place to live. I have a lot to be grateful for. We’ve been getting weekly food deliveries for a month now, and Mom’s been letting us eat two meals a day. I’m still hungry, but nothing like I used to be. Matt’s regained the strength he lost from the flu, and I think Jon’s grown a little bit. Mom’s gotten back to being Mom. She insists we clean the house as best we can every day and pretend to do some schoolwork. She listens to the radio every evening so we have some sense of what’s happening in other places. Places I’ll never get to see.
I haven’t written in my diary in a month. I used to write all the time. I stopped because I felt like things were as good as they were ever going to get, that nothing was going to change again.
Only now it’s raining.
And I’m writing again. pg. 4
At some point the two meals a day will become one, the electricity will vanish, and we'll have to leave here just to survive.
When that happens, I know I'll never see Dad again, or Lisa, or Baby Rachel, who may not even exist. Because once we leave here, Dad will never be able to find us, just like we can't find him, or any of my friends who left here hoping things would be better someplace else.
We stayed behind. I tell myself we've made it through the worst and we can face whatever will happen next. I tell myself what Mom always says, that as long as we're alive, hope is alive. pg. 5
There was no food delivery.
We spent the whole day waiting for it. pg. 13
"We wee instructed not to tell," he said. "Just stop the deliveries and whoever shows up gets food."
"What about the people who can't come in?" I asked. "What if they're too weak to or it's too far away?"
"It wasn't my decision," Mr. Danworth replied. pg. 17
It's hard to say what my favorite part of breaking and entering is. I love the adrenaline rush. Will there be someone in the house? Will I get caught? I never used to shoplift, but now I understand why some kids did it. When everything else is boring, there's something to be said for risk. pg. 24
Today's the first anniversary of the asteroid hitting the moon.
A year ago I was sixteen years old, a sophomore in high school. pg. 61