Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
What would it take to end life as we know it? Would it require all-out nuclear war? Virulent viruses that cause zombies to walk the earth? Alien invaders from far-off spiral arms of the galaxy? Or maybe something a little more close to earth: the Moon. How exactly can the Moon bring about the end of civilization, you ask? Well it turns out that Susan Beth Pfeffer has explored exactly that idea in her excellent novel Life as We Knew It.
Life as We Knew It is told in the manner of a diary, written by a sixteen year old girl named Miranda living in Pennsylvania. It begins like any other young adult novel, with a teenager girl and her problems with friends, family, school, and her hopes and dreams for the future. Yet something different is happening, not that Miranda pays too much attention. A meteor is going to hit the Moon, so big that it will be visible on the Earth. Miranda isn't too excited for the event, indeed she complains because all of her teachers are giving her extra homework based around the event.
Then, when the event occurs, everything changes. The moon's orbit shifts, ending up closer to the Earth. This, however, proves almost as disastrous as if it crashed into the Earth itself. Weather patterns change, tides surging, terrible floods, typhoons and tornadoes and tempests raging across the world. Panic ensues, but Miranda is very lucky that her mother is not only level-headed but resourceful. Miranda's family stocks up on food and other supplies, trying to prepare for what comes next. But there was no way any of them could be prepared for what comes next.
Life as We Knew It is a tremendous, gripping book about the struggle to survive in circumstances that are simultaneously apocalyptic and realistic. Pfeffer writes Miranda as utterly human, vulnerability tempered by a growing strength in the face of horrific circumstances. Once you pick this book up, you'll find it very hard to put down. You'll turn each page, following Miranda and her family utterly absorbed. Definitely check this book out as soon as possible, as you'll never know when life as we know it might end.