Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer

How the world ends: A meteor hits the moon, knocking it into an orbit closer than earth; tidal waves, earthquakes, and mass volcanic eruptions result from the moon’s increased gravitational pull.

A decade back, I published a scary short story, “Drawing the Moon,” that resulted in letters from readers telling me how I’d made them afraid of moonlight. I suppose it’s only fair that now someone has written a story now that makes me a little uneasy when I look at the night sky, in turn. 🙂

cedarlibrarian and literaticat were right: once I started reading this one, I couldn’t put it down. I did stop to sleep last night — and had some very uneasy dreams when I did — and had some obligations today that kept me from it as well, but pretty much every spare moment this weekend, this book was in my hands.

Harrowing, gripping, quietly intense–grounded in all the small details of daily life from the point of view of a teen in one of the less affected (there are no unaffected) areas.

The book pretty much had me from this description of a news broadcast after the meteor hits, when massive tidal waves begin devouring the U.S. coastline:

It was like one of those lists on the radio to let you know which schools were having snow days. Only instead of it being school districts in the area, it was whole cities, and it wasn’t just snow.

But even when the world ends, it doesn’t end all at once; part of what makes the book harrowing and gripping is the way everyday life gets chipped away at one piece at a time.

I’m still thinking about this book, and suspect I will be for a while.

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