Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Triple Book Review by Shellie: Life As We Knew It, The Dead and The Gone, and (ARC)This World We Live In by Susanne Beth Pfeffer

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Mini Synopsis:

(Basic set up and setting information included but no spoilers.)

This is a young adult series with the latest book This World We Live In being the last of the trilogy (I think.) It is set within the present day where an apocalyptic event has occurred. The moon has been knocked off its orbit causing a plethora of environmental disasters all over the planet. Tsunamis destroy coastal cities and that is just the beginning. As all normal life deteriorates the 17 year old main character, Miranda, in the first book tells us through her diary the events and her feelings as her life completely changes. It occurs within a Pennsylvania suburb setting. The second book is a parallel book where the main character, Alex, lives in New York City. In the third book the two main characters’ lives come together.

The last in the series – This World We Live In, has just been released on April 1, 2010.

My Thoughts:

The books all have a realistic feeling for what could happen if the world’s food, communication services, and other vital systems were to break down and gradually collapse and disappear. The author does a nice job of giving the reader a feel for this type of event and doesn’t skirt painful happenings such as death, which she does tastefully for a younger audience.

It’s a page turning series for young men and women which I would “safely” recommend for my nieces, grandchildren, and/or students. The behaviors of the main characters in the books show strong character; I would almost say an unrealistic sense of self and behavior (I think I would have gone bonkers under the circumstances). Nevertheless, it’s what I believe to be exemplary behavior for young adults, which I support. I also liked the fact that the two character’s belief systems, atheism and Catholicism, are non-judgmentally contrasted.

Susanne Beth Pfeffer has a strong and easy to follow writing style, which sucks you in and keeps you reading while caring about the characters. I completely devoured this series. I would rate the first two books in the series as 3.5 stars. I would say I liked the latest book the best due to its incredible and heartbreaking ending. This, I think, takes the book over the 4 star edge with its deeper internal conflict. Highly recommended for adults and teens alike. I  also recommend that they are read in order, don’t be tempted to skip the second book – I almost did.


Other books that I have read and reviewed which are similar but written for adults are:

*I do want to note, that after thinking about The Road, over the past several months I have come to feel that I did not rate this book as highly as I should have. I now think that the esoteric babbling by the main character (which I complained about) is in fact his semi loss of sanity - a natural occurrence in a situation such as depicted by the author, and an important aspect of the book.


Emily Cross said...

Brilliant reviews as always Shellie, delighted that this blog will have a new home :)

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

Thanks Emily!

I hope you stay as an admin too :)
I sent you an invite and will give you permission if you would like?

Emily Cross said...

I've accepted the invite to be a member. Sure I'll stay on as admin, if you need any help you can use me ;)

Thanks so much for taking this on Shellie, you're a star!!

beth said...

That's a shame you want to delete your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine. It's nice to meet a fellow Pre-Raphaelite fan x

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

Beth -
The blog is not going to be deleted, and Emily will still be here so no worries.

And she can still be found at a bunch of other places too.

Emily Cross said...

Beth - Shellie is right, she's been great enough to take over the running of this blog.

And she's also right about finding me in other places

I'm everywhere mwahahaha lol.