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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2006 Susan Beth Pfeffer (P)2006 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What listeners say about Life as We Knew It

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A very G-rated apocalyptic tale

Hunger Games this is not. It is far more family-friendly is every way. That was my reason for picking this book - and if you have kids ages 9-14 and a long road trip, this may be a good pick for your family too - sure to lead to some interesting conversations.

But for the adults in the car BEWARE. The teen narrator will grate on your last nerve. For a good portion of the book I blamed the narrator - Emily Bauer - for the childish, whiny protagonist. But a bit more than halfway though, I realized that it was not how the words were read that was the problem - its the words themselves. The protagonist is supposedly 16 years old, but she sounds very much like she is 12. Her focus throughout the story (until the last 2 hours) is so vapid, whiny and self-obsessed that I had a hard time cheering for her survival. Oh how much better it could have been if the author had decided to give our young heroine some maturity, spunk, and/or intelligence from the get-go.

As far as end of the world survival - the family relies on a coincidence of good fortune that removes them from the true life or death struggle that the story attempts to portray. Apparently in this part of Pennsylvania looters and bandits do not exist, so the breakdown of civilization is downright Norman-Rockwellian. That being said, the author does an good job building on the tension of isolation and the claustrophobia that would grow as communication with the outside world is severed.

All in all - a very G-rated apocalyptic tale.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book

This is a good book, well written with characters that are very believable that you can sympathize with. Not Ann Frank, but not grossly far off. Others have written that politics and religion should have been left out of the book, but I think that these references certainly belong. One of the characters is expressing her opinion...isn't that normal? Don't people do that all of the time? As for the religious references...isn't that believable too? One of the characters uses the shade of religion to fleece the sheep of his congregation. What is the difference between that and television evangelist and others who continue to live the high life on the contributions of their congregations, contributions that they continue to elicit even now as the economy crumbles?

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Almost gave up

I almost gave up on this story that I bought for a family car ride. The beginning was terrible, but in the end, it was a pretty good book. Especially for my spoiled rotten preteen who lives for food and has never missed a meal.

The jabs at incompetent leaders and corrupt church officials are brief and I didn't feel like she was pushing politics.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Leave out the politics

While an outstanding disaster novel the story suffers from the author's need to inject her political views into the narrative. Referring to the President as an "idiot" and "evil jerk" and portraying the only Christian in the story as menally imablanced is quite distracting. Indeed it seemed to me the author was going to great lengths to imbue her main characters with liberal attitudes (and no I am not a rabid conservative) which took away from the core of her narrative, which is quite entertaining and thought provoking. Do not listen to this book if you are easily offended politicaly.

9 people found this helpful

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Makes You Wonder...

I have to agree that the beginning of this recording is hard to sit through. The narrator is whiny and annoying. I think she is trying to make the character sound like your average "not a real care in the world before the disaster" teenager, but it grated on my nerves. Once the story gets going, the narration is much better. I liked that the author took her time showing us what a typical family might endure if something like this were ever to happen.

I didn't mind the references to the president. I myself have mumbled gripes during certain presidential addresses. However, I do wish the mother had expressed herself a bit more than just saying "jerk" or "idiot". Without more explanation, the anger seemed displaced.

I didn't mind the religious references at all. I don't think the author was making a judgement call on ALL Christians...just those her character came in contact with.

Overall, I was pretty invested in the story. I found myself caring for the characters...all of whom are a little flawed...which I loved.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A gripping story

This is a gripping story of a family struggling to stay together as everything around them - the entire world - is being torn apart around them.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

he said, she said, I said

I wanted to read this because my 13 old was reading it. The girls were passing it around school bc they all enjoyed it. I went crazy listening to that voice, who talks like that? If I heard another, I said, when she really asked, I was going to throw this recording out the window. I think you've got to be 13 to enjoy this, maybe it's better in book form.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The authors political agenda is beyond obvious.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I got this book to listen along with my 13 year old niece who is reading the book. And end of the world style book does not need the authors political views boldly shown to tell the story . The jabs at Fox News, George Bush and Christians felt like a petulant child had written them during a temper tantrum .

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not the best

Ok, I'm not a doomsday prepper by any means but these people are destitute in a matter of days after the cataclysm of the story. Like fully saying they are starving less than a week after the moon is struck. This just make me hate them for not having more than a half days worth of food in there home.
The author dosnt have a clear understanding of the food chain in our country if she thinks stores will be empty due to extream tides. Even if the coast were gone and trade was halted there is over 10,000 mile of coast to coast railroads that can move food and fuel to last more than a freaking DAY! Seriously, fuel was critical within 24 hours....that's freaking insane.
The mother is very hypocritical and dosnt come across as anything other than bitchy about anything her daughter does while her sons have free rein to do what the f*** ever.
I didnt care for the narrating style , it made the main character hard to listen to.
The effects of the moon being pushed closer to the earth is a great concept and I wish this story and writing were better.
Also, of you starve to death in Pennsylvania that craps on your stupid ass. 99% of the state is agriculture. These people are stupid.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I thought i was going to hate it!

I had to read it for school over the summer. But like most teens, didn't do anything till' the final week. I ended up loving this book way more than I first expected. Such a beautiful story that audible enhanced by making me feel like I was experiencing it. Speechless

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • caroline davey
  • 11-06-07

Thought provoking and not a littte scary

This book is absorbing and very thought provoking. I am listening avidly but will not let my ten year old hear it yet. I think young adult is definitely the category here. The book is well written and the narration is excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pola
  • 01-14-22

Well... that was depressing

Yeah, it should definitely go with warning. Starving children, not something my parents' brains can handle. I have a strong urge to become prepper. Start hoarding toilet paper, batteries, purchase alternator, and sun panels.
It was all described in the lightest way possible but still made me tear up. I am glad I made it through, it was valuable read, but I won't continue the series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Frances McHugh
  • 01-14-22

Really wanted to like this!

Liked the idea of the story, but there was too many 'he said, she said, I said' etc became irritating

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Audiobooks Nest Reviews
  • 01-09-22

Sweet Coming of Age Apocalypse

🧡 This is a YA-type apocalypse, and sometimes it feels young. But mostly it’s an endearing tale of a family’s experience of a drastic natural event and its immense consequences. So basically, a family listen.

💚 There’s a real sense of the upturning of everyday life, which was strangely comforting at the time I read it in 2020. I mean, I’m not sure what would actually happen if the moon was knocked out of kilter, but this seemed very realistic, dramatic and ultimately, fascinating. There’s so much I hadn’t considered would be affected.

💜 My only major critique is that the writing is clunky at times. I’m putting it as a spoiler not because it will ruin any plot points, but as you might not notice it. But once you know, you KNOW. And then it’s irritating. There’s a major overuse of “he said” and “she said”. It’s really distracting. But hey, I enjoyed the story in spite of this.
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SOUNDBITE

🎧 For a world-ending scenario, i found this exceptionally soothing to listen to. And that’s thanks in large part to Emily Bauer’s sweet performance. BUT a note of warning. I’ve read other reviews where people hated the narration so listen to a sample beforehand.
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SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO...

This is to the apocalypse genre what Harry Potter is to fantasy. It has dark moments and people do die, but there’s nothing graphic or scary.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 12-23-17

I enjoyed listening to this story!

Being a 62 year old women this story was good to listen to.. makes you think how lucky we are to have the moon in perfect alignment with the earth and sun.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cliff
  • 09-18-16

Surprisingly good.

A real thought provoking story, well read and just the right length of time. Liked it a lot.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 08-19-16

refreshing I think my 16 year old daughter like

she will not find it too depressing lots of love.
words to make the count up as I am on a bike.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TheBoys
  • 04-05-14

A must read for everyone

If you could sum up Life as We Knew It in three words, what would they be?

Could it happen?

Any additional comments?

This is a fantastic series of books, but I actually preferred to read these rather than listen to them.