Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
I am having trouble thinking what to say about this one.

When I take a step back from it all, and really look at it, this book doesn't really have a plot. And besides maybe one or two plot points, there really aren't any pivotal events or action. Everything seemed to bounce back and forth: I love Mom, I hate Mom; today was horrible, today was wonderful; things are always getting worse. I think that sums the book up in a nutshell. I think half of it was spent telling the audience what they already knew (again, Matt was chopping wood, he was chopping wood again today, today Matt was out chopping wood, Matt spent all day chopping wood, etc.) in each new entry.

I am surprised, though, that I wasn't annoyed with the diary entry style. I hear about people having complaints about her voice and language, that she sounds much too old for her age. I thought so too until I checked some journals I kept when I was about 15-16 and I wrote more or less like our main protag here, so I guess maybe that's something I shouldn't complain about! I was, however, hoping for some sort of change in voice as the book went on, some sort of maturity or breaking down of voice, just something, since everything kept steadily getting worse and worse. I think that would have helped character development, too, as most characters were pretty two-dimensional; most character development was presented in dialogue from character to character or told in backstory ("she used to be this other person") that wasn't shown.

Near the end, I just wanted SOMETHING good to happen. This book was so horribly depressing and it was almost tough to sit down and try and read more. I didn't want any of the characters to die, not because I necessarily cared for them, but because there was no way this book could get more (almost pointlessly) depressing just to prove that things get bad in a near-apocalyptic setting.

Since I'm already talking about the end . . .


I was happy that Miranda's family finally got some help, but I didn't like the way Pfeffer went about it: the government saves all. Despite how Miranda's mom kept hounding on the president at his every mention, in the end, he saves everyone, apparently. And when Miranda shows up at the city hall where those government men are going to give her food, they were so . . . cheerful, it seemed to me. It's been made out that by this point Miranda is *literally* a walking corpse and that she was going to die even before she made it back home (not to mention her brother knew it too), and they didn't even seemed touched by it. I mean, I'm sure they saw a lot of it, but it just struck me as odd. The ending just kind of hung off. It felt like any other chapter ending in the rest of the book.

I will probably read the sequels, just to know how this story actually ends, but I'll give it a little time so I can get my mind out of all this depression.