Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In Case You Missed It - Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)
Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)

                        The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2)

Published: October 2006; June 2008; April 2010
Publisher: Harcourt Children's
Copies: From Library
Summaries: Goodreads

Life As We Knew It:   Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

The Dead and The Gone:  Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event--an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.

With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

This World We Live In:  It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. Miranda and her two brothers spend their days scavenging for food and household items, while their mother stays at home and desperately tries to hold on to the ordinary activities of their previous life. But they all know that nothing is truly normal in this surreal new world they live in.

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. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

 I think I read Life As We Knew It in early 2010 and I really hadn't heard anything about it before that point.  It surprised me very much when I read it with its powerful story line and strong characters.  I quickly followed it up with The Dead and The Gone which was just as compelling as the first, although it was written with different characters in a different town.  I remember  thinking how I couldn't wait for the third novel to come out in a couple of months so I could finish the series - and then I forgot about it for some reason.  I guess there was always something else for me to read.

So when I started This World We Live In this morning I didn't realize that it had been published over a year ago. It is a heartwrenching book.  Full of despair and hardship.  But at its core it really is a story about hope and survival - of the fittest maybe, but survival none-the-less. 

Miranda's growth throughout the story is superb.  She basically turns from a spoilt teenager into a strong young woman capable of making life-changing decisions, whether good or bad.  When Alex, the main protagonist of the second book arrives at Miranda's door with members of her family long thought lost, we are almost sure of a love story - but it's not the kind of love story that's full of roses. Circumstances dictate actions that we would never normally think of taking, but they never seem forced or unnatural.

This Last Survivors series is really a story about a giant 'What If' and it seems incredibly plausible and extremely frightening.  A wonderful, thought-provoking read, full of believable characters and heart-pounding situations, Well worth looking for if you haven't already read it.

1 comment:

  1. I bought the first one in this series at a Borders closing sale - it's been on my TBR for a while, glad you liked it!