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Life as We Knew Itby Susan Beth Pfeffer
Synopses & Reviews
Set in the very near future, a wounded New York struggles with the aftermath of a power plant explosion that plunged the city into fourteen days of violence and darkness. Christened "Big Black" by the media, the presumed terrorist attack accomplished what 9/11 couldn't: killing the city's spirit and draining it of its life force. An enormous bug-like dome hastily constructed to keep toxic gases from escaping the site casts a gloomy pall over the city and serves as a bleak reminder of the tragedy. Deprived of all reason for optimism, New York's inhabitants slowly withdraw from human interaction and into the cold comfort of technology.
Seventeen-year-old Mal returns to the Brooklyn home of his foster parents one night to discover that his older brother, Tommy, has vanished after leaving a strange message on his phone. Mal launches a search for his brother that leads to a foreboding, seemingly unoccupied Manhattan skyscraper; once inside, he makes a careless mistake that reveals hidden cracks in the surface of the world he knows. Meanwhile, Laura, a high school senior is shaken from her quiet suburban life when her parents inexplicably abandon her and two agents from Homeland Security armed with a hypodermic needle show up at her home.
The two teenagers are thrown together with a cynical and bitter highschool teacher named Mike, and Jon Remak, a covert agent for a shadowy cooperative. The strangers share little in common, save for one terrifying fact: someone or something has wiped them from the memories of every single person the four have ever known. Only by working together can Mal and Laura hope to reclaim a past that was stolen from them--and start a future no one can take away.
"When an asteroid collides with the moon, causing natural disasters — tidal waves, volcanoes, earthquakes and climate changes — on Earth, life as 16-year-old Miranda knows it will never be the same. Suddenly, things she has taken for granted — electricity, news from the outside world and three square meals a day — are a thing of the past. Thanks to her mother's foresight and preparedness, Miranda and her two brothers are better off than many families in their Pennsylvania community. They have a pantry filled with canned goods and plenty of logs to fuel their wood-burning stove. Yet their situation becomes more critical as other unexpected disasters arise. The book may be lengthy, but most readers will find it absorbing from first page to last. This survival tale by the author of The Year Without Michael celebrates the fortitude and resourcefulness of human beings during critical times. The story unfolds through Miranda's journal entries, from May, when the asteroid strikes, to the following March. Though the entries paint a grim picture of a rapidly shrinking civilization ('I write stuff down in here and I don't read it. Things are bad enough without having to remind myself of just how bad things are,' she explains), her words also evoke a strain of hope which proves to be her most essential survival tool. Miranda's changing priorities, undying love for her family and heightened appreciation of simple pleasures will likely provoke discussion and inspire gratitude for life as we know it now. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When a meteor hits the moon, Miranda must learn to survive the unimaginable . . .
First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonalds still would be open. High school sophomore Mirandas disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, like "one marble hits another." The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintery in northeastern Pennsylvania, 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 a years worth of journal entries, this heart-pounding story chronicles Mirandas struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. An extraordinary series debut! Susan Beth Pfeffer has written three companion novels to Life As We Knew It, including The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In, and The Shade of the Moon.
About the Author
SUSAN BETH PFEFFER is the author of many books for teens, including Life As We Knew It, The Dead and The Gone, and the bestselling novel The Year Without Michael. She lives in Middletown, New York.
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