This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I have been looking forward to reading This World We Live In, the third book in Susan Beth Pfeffer's Moon trilogy, for what seems like ages. After tearing through Life As We Knew It I spent countless late nights up with a newborn agonizing over what I would do in such a catastrophic situation. Due to Miranda's spell-binding account, the hubby and I often spent hours mentally counting canned foods, organizing medications, and obsessing over ways to cook without electricity. Not often does a book consume my every spare thought as effectively as Life As We Knew It did. Knowing This World We Live In would connect Miranda's story with Alex's from The Dead and the Gone, I mentally prepared myself for a similarly engrossing read and lots of hours checking over my food storage.

In the past year, Miranda's entire life has altered after a freak asteroid-moon collision resulting in a change in orbit and all kinds of calamity. Countless natural disasters ensued and it was all Miranda, her mom, and brothers Matt and Jon could do to survive one catastrophe after another. Nothing is as it was before. Miranda will never be a 'normal' teenager and she's almost starting to forget what it was even like to walk in the sun or eat eggs or even fresh lettuce.
It's been less than a year since everything changed, less than a year since hunger and darkness and death have become so commonplace, but I couldn't remember what life -- life the way I used to know it -- had been like. I couldn't remember blue.
They've made it through the worst of the winter and are even beginning to feel a ray of hope for the future with the arrival of spring and some truly unexpected guests. Miranda's father has returned with his wife and new baby. He's also brought along Alex and Julie Morales and a close friend, Charlie. Although thrilled to have them safe and home, Miranda and her family understandably begin to wonder just how long their meager stores will last with the addition of five adults.

This World We Live In returns to Miranda's journal entries and although I could not bear to look away from her family's struggle, this latest installment didn't really add anything in terms of character or plot development. Whatever happened to the Miranda I knew and loved from Life As We Knew It? That Miranda had me in the palm of her hand as she unfolded her desperate struggle for survival. And although her everyday existence remained as precarious as ever, I didn't feel like Miranda (or anyone else) grew from their experiences. Yes, it was interesting to see how Miranda and Alex interacted but I never got a good handle on why they were drawn to each other. Besides both having survived a world-ending disaster, of course. It was like Susan Beth Pfeffer expected her readers to already be so in love with Alex from The Dead and the Gone (which I wasn't) that she didn't really bother taking the time to develop a believable relationship between the two.

Although I did struggle reading it, I will admit I still read This World We Live In quicker than you can say 'post-apocalyptic-young-adult-candy-fiction.' Fans of Miranda who have continued to wonder about her future will be glad they picked it up; I just wish the story had been developed a bit further.

series reading order:
~ Life as We Knew It
~ The Dead and the Gone
~ This World We Live In (April 2010)

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Becky's Book Reviews
Jen Robinson's Book Page review

book source: provided by the publisher, Harcourt


Anonymous said...

Ok, looks like I am gonna have to read Life As We Knew It! :)

Michelle said...

Aimee - Yes! LAWKI was unputdownable and one of my favorite post-apocalyptic ya novels.

Angiegirl said...

That's lame. It's hard when a subsequent volume doesn't live up to expectations. Particularly when you know what they're capable of.

Michelle said...

Angie - Why does that happen? I'm just amazed at the difference!!