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
Never an easy read, Post-Apocalyptic dramas are something you should mentally prepare for. Yet, I could have never prepared myself for Pfeffer's LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. Pfeffer's first Survivor's Novel was a heart-wrenching look into one families decent into their own private Hell. The POV is from Miranda, a sixteen year old girl as if she is writing in her diary, at no point throughout the story did I doubt I was reading Miranda's words. Pfeffer's unique storytelling ability and her gift of portraying real family drama makes LAWKI a tale that resonates in me. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time, in fact I think I might have to listen again. Pfeffer captured the essence of what life would be like in these circumstances and rubbed my nose it, no matter the consequences. I experienced the traumatic experiences with Miranda and hoped that if I was ever faced with trials such as these, that I would respond with as much courage as Miranda and her family did. The novel was touching, full of hope and yet heart-breaking. It hit so close to home as if it could be reality that I truly believed it could be happening. I learned some great life-lessons from this one, definitely put things in perspective. And, I also have to mention, that I listen to these audio books at work and I was literally sobbing at my desk. Made for some awkward at-work moments. After reading LAWKI I immediately downloaded The Dead and the Gone because I couldn't leave this world behind.
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?
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.
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.
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.
EOD wife and loving mother!!!
This is my second time listening to this book. The first time I was frustrated with it and kept on waiting for something to happen. This time I listened with more of an open mind and enjoyed it more. There are certain things is like to change, but I've decided to give the 2nd book a try.
Not going to lie, it took me a few chapter for be to get hooked to this book, but when I did, I couldn't stop. I really like the narrators performance, it gave me chills!
Although I can see the scientific flaws with this plot, it was just was exciting anyway!
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.
"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.
"A must read for everyone"
Could it happen?
This is a fantastic series of books, but I actually preferred to read these rather than listen to them.
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