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This World We Live In

This World We Live In

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This World We Live In

4/5 (98 évaluations)
276 pages
3 heures
Apr 1, 2010


It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.
   The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Apr 1, 2010

À propos de l'auteur

Susan Beth Pfeffer wrote her first novel, Just Morgan, during her last semester at New York University. Since then, she has written over seventy novels for children and young adults, including Kid Power, Fantasy Summer, Starring Peter and Leigh, and The Friendship Pact, as well as the series Sebastian Sisters and Make Me a Star. Pfeffer’s books have won ten statewide young reader awards and the Buxtehude Bulle Award.

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This World We Live In - Susan Beth Pfeffer



April 25

I’m shivering, and I can’t tell if it’s because something strange is going on or because of the dream I had or just because I’m in the kitchen, away from the warmth of the woodstove. It’s 1:15 AM, the electricity is on, and I’m writing in my diary for the first time in weeks.

I dreamed about Baby Rachel. I dream about her a lot, the half sister I’ve never met. Not that I know if Lisa had a girl or a boy. We haven’t heard from Dad and Lisa since they stopped here on their way west, except for a couple of letters. Which is more than I got from anyone else who’s left.

Rachel was about five in my dream, but she changes age a lot when I’m sleeping, so that wasn’t disturbing. She was snuggled in bed and I was reading her a bedtime story. I remember thinking how lucky she was to have a real bedroom and not have to sleep in the sunroom with Mom and Matt and Jon the way I have for months now.

Then in the dream the lights went out. Rachel wanted to know why.

It’s because of the moon, I said.

She giggled. A real little-girl giggle. Why would the moon make the lights go out? she asked.

So I told her. I told her everything. I explained how in May an asteroid hit the moon and knocked it a little closer to Earth, and how the moon’s gravitational pull got stronger, and everything changed as a result. There were tidal waves that washed away whole cities, and earthquakes that destroyed the highways, and volcanic eruptions that threw ash into the sky, blocking out sunlight, causing famine and epidemics. All because the moon’s gravitational pull was a little bit stronger than before.

What’s sunlight? she asked.

That was when the dream turned into a nightmare. I wanted to describe sunlight, only I couldn’t remember what the sky looked like before the ash blocked everything. I couldn’t remember blue sky or green grass or yellow dandelions. I remembered the words—green, yellow, blue—but you could have put a color chart in front of me, and I would have said red for blue and purple for yellow. The only color I know now is gray, the gray of ash and dirt and sadness.

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.

But there was Baby Rachel, or Little Girl Rachel, in her little girl’s room, asking me about how things were, and I looked at her, and she wasn’t Baby Rachel anymore. She was me. Not me at five. Me the way I was a year ago, and I thought, That can’t be. I’m here, on the bed, telling my half sister a bedtime story. And I got up (I think this was all the same dream, but maybe it wasn’t; maybe it was two dreams and I’ve combined them), and I walked past a mirror. I looked to make sure I was really me, but I looked like Mrs. Nesbitt had when I found her lying dead in her bed last fall. I was an old woman. A dead old woman.

It probably was two dreams, since I don’t remember Baby Rachel after the part where I got up. Not that it matters. Nothing matters, really. What difference does it make if I can’t picture blue sky anymore? I’ll never see it again, anyway, or yellow dandelions or green grass. No one will, nowhere on Earth. None of us, those of us who are still lucky enough to be alive, will ever feel the warmth of the sun again. The moon’s seen to that.

But horrible as the dreams were, they weren’t what woke me. It was a sound.

At first I couldn’t quite place it. I knew it was a sound I used to hear, but it sounded alien. Not scary, just different.

And then I figured out what the sound was. It was rain. Rain hitting against the roof of the sunroom.

The temperature’s been warming lately, I guess because it’s spring. But I couldn’t believe it was rain, real rain, and not sleet. I tiptoed out of the sunroom and walked to the front door. All our windows are covered with plywood except for one in the sunroom, but it’s nighttime and too dark to see anything anyway, unless you open the door.

It really is rain.

I don’t know what it means that it’s raining. There was a drought last summer and fall. We had a huge snowstorm in December and then another one later on, but it’s been too cold and dry for rain.

I probably should have woken everyone up. It may never rain again. But I have so few chances to be alone. The sunroom is the only place in the house with heat, thanks to the firewood Matt and Jon spent all summer and fall chopping. We’re in there together day and night.

I know I should be grateful that we have a warm place to live. I have a lot to be grateful for. We’ve been getting weekly food deliveries for a month now, and Mom’s been letting us eat two meals a day. I’m still hungry, but nothing like I used to be. Matt’s regained the strength he lost from the flu, and I think Jon’s grown a little bit. Mom’s gotten back to being Mom. She insists we clean the house as best we can every day and pretend to do some schoolwork. She listens to the radio every evening so we have some sense of what’s happening in other places. Places I’ll never get to see.

I haven’t written in my diary in a month. I used to write all the time. I stopped because I felt like things were as good as they were ever going to get, that nothing was going to change again.

Only now it’s raining.

Something’s changed.

And I’m writing again.

April 26

I didn’t tell anyone it rained last night. When you share a room with three people and a cat, anything you can keep secret feels good.

This morning I thought maybe I’d dreamed the rain, the way I dreamed Baby Rachel turning into me and me turning into Mrs. Nesbitt (dead Mrs. Nesbitt, at that), but I’m pretty sure it did rain. When I made my bedpan-emptying run, it seemed like more snow had melted.

I never thought I’d yearn for mud and slush. Then again, I never thought I’d be responsible for bedpan emptying.

I wonder if it rained where Dad, Lisa, and the baby are. I’d rather wonder about stuff like that than wonder if they’re still alive.

Sometimes I ask myself what I’d give up to see Dad again or even to know how he is. Would I give up a meal a day for the rest of my life? Would I give up electricity? Would I give up my home?

It doesn’t matter. At some point the two meals a day will become one, the electricity will vanish, and we’ll have to leave here just to survive.

When that happens, I know I’ll never see Dad again, or Lisa, or Baby Rachel, who may not even exist. Because once we leave here, Dad will never be able to find us, just like we can’t find him, or any of my friends who left here hoping things would be better someplace else.

We stayed behind. I tell myself we’ve made it through the worst and we can face whatever will happen next. I tell myself what Mom always says, that as long as we’re alive, hope is alive.

I just wish I knew if Dad was alive also.

April 27

It rained again.

This time it rained hard for most of the afternoon.

You would have thought it was raining food and sunlight and dandelions, everyone was so excited. Even Horton tried to get out when we went to the front door to check on things. Jon shoved him back in.

We should get pails, Mom said. Buckets. Pans. Anything that’ll hold the rainwater.

We raced around the house finding containers. We got soaking wet putting them outside, and none of them filled up all that much. When we poured the water into a couple of pots, though, it looked more impressive.

Do you think it’ll rain again? Jon asked after we’d dried ourselves off and hung the towels on the sunroom wash line.

It rained a couple of nights ago, I said.

Everyone stared at me. I couldn’t tell if that was a good thing or not.

The sound woke me, I said.

You should have told us, Mom said. We could have put pots out.

I didn’t think of it, I said. I had a bad dream and I woke up and heard the rain falling. Or maybe I heard the rain falling and then I woke up. I don’t know.

Mom sighed. It was her Miranda is never going to grow up and be responsible and understand that when it’s raining she needs to let me know so I can put pots and pans outside and catch the water and make all our lives easier sigh.

What? I said. It was raining. I didn’t wake you up. It stopped raining. Now it’s raining again, and for all we know it’s going to rain every day for the rest of our lives and we’ll float away to sea.

What if the rain washes away the snow and then it stops raining? Jon asked. What would we do for water?

If the snow melts, the well will fill up, Mom said. As long as the pipes don’t freeze, we’ll be fine.

Running water, I said. Now that we have electricity sometimes, it’ll be a lot easier to do laundries.

It’s funny, Mom said. The things we used to take for granted. Water. Power. Sunlight.

We still don’t have sunlight, Matt pointed out. And we can’t count on power. Or water, for that matter.

Mom looked at the pot with all the accumulated rainwater. It’s a good sign, though, she said. A sign better things are coming.

April 28

It started raining again yesterday afternoon, and it hasn’t stopped since. A heavy, steady rain.

Mom decided to celebrate by giving Jon and me pop quizzes.

Jon flunked his. Mom got all scowly.

What difference does it make? Jon asked. So what if I don’t learn algebra?

Someday schools will be open again, Mom said. Things will be more normal. You need to do your work now for when that happens.

That’s never going to happen, Jon said. And even if schools do open up somewhere, they’re not going to open up here. There aren’t enough people left.

We don’t know that, Mom said. We don’t know how many people are like us, holed up, making do until times get better.

I bet whoever they are, they aren’t studying algebra, Jon said.

April 29

I went upstairs to Mom’s room to find something to read. I’ve read every book in my room so many times, I can open them to any page and recite it from memory.

At least it feels that way.

Mom likes biographies, which don’t usually interest me, and given everything that’s happened in the past year, interest me even less. Sure, Mary Queen of Scots spent most of her life in prison and then got her head chopped off, but compared to me she had it easy.

How much volcanic ash did she have to breathe every day?

One good thing about those biographies, though, is I haven’t read them. Not all of them, not all the way through. And since I can’t go to a bookstore or the library to get anything new to read, I went up to Mom’s room to find something.

Mom expects us to keep our bedrooms as clean as possible, even though we’re rarely in them. I noticed right away that there was no dust on the furniture or even on the books. I pulled one off the shelf, looked to see if I’d find it even remotely interesting, decided I wouldn’t, and took another one instead.

I noticed something sticking out of the third book I looked at, a piece of paper about halfway in, and pulled it out. It was a shopping list. Mom had probably used it as a bookmark.







Raspberry Preserves

That was it. That was the whole list, just seven items. It took me a moment to figure out that WWB is whole-wheat bread. It’s been so long since I’ve had any bread, let alone whole-wheat.

It’s been so long since I’ve eaten any of those foods. So long since I’d even thought about raspberry preserves or butter.

I can’t say staring at that list (and I couldn’t take my eyes off it) made me hungry, because I’m always hungry. The food we get every week is enough to keep us going, not enough to keep us full. And it sure didn’t make me nostalgic. Oh, for the good old days when you could actually breathe the air and put a little raspberry preserves on your whole-wheat French toast! Mary Queen of Scots probably missed French toast, assuming it was invented by then, but not me. I’m past all that.

No, it was the romaine that got me. Seeing romaine in Mom’s handwriting, written who knows when, made me think about who we were, who we used to be. We were a family that ate romaine. Other families ate iceberg, or Bibb, or Boston lettuce. We ate romaine. The Evans family of Howell, PA, favored romaine.

What about other people who ate romaine and raspberry preserves? Are we the only people left on Earth who did?

Somewhere there must be a place where people are eating eggs and drinking milk. I don’t know where, or how they get the food, but I bet somewhere in what’s left of America, there are places with food and electricity and lots of books to read.

The president had kids. The vice president had grandkids. Millionaires and senators and movie stars had families. Those kinds of people don’t subsist on two cans of vegetables a day.

I wonder if they make shopping lists. I wonder if they prefer romaine.

April 30

I hate Sundays. And this one feels even worse because it’s the last Sunday in April.

Mr. Danworth brings us our bags of food on Mondays, along with a little bit of news and the sense that there are people still living in Howell. But every Sunday, even though none of us says anything, we worry that he won’t show up, that the food delivery will have stopped, that things will go back to where they were in the winter, with us all alone and slowly starving.

Only it would be worse now, because for a little while we’ve had food, so we’ve had reason to hope.

If I hadn’t started writing in my diary again, I wouldn’t realize it’s the last Sunday in April. There’s no reason to think things are going to change just because the calendar does, but it’s one more thing to worry about. Maybe the food deliveries were going to last only through April.

I hate Sundays.


May 1

There was no food delivery.

We spent the whole day waiting for it. Every sound we heard made one of us jump. After a while Mom gave up pretending that Jon and I were studying.

It’s never light, but with it being spring, it’s getting less dark later. Finally, though, we knew it was nighttime and Mr. Danworth wasn’t coming.

We’re okay for a few days, Mom said. We still have food in the pantry. A week’s worth if we’re careful.

I know what careful means. It means we eat one meal a day and Mom stops eating altogether.

Just because we didn’t get a delivery doesn’t mean there isn’t any food, Matt said. Maybe Mr. Danworth can’t use the snowmobile anymore. Maybe they ran out of gas. I’ll go to town tomorrow and see.

You’re not going alone, Mom said. Miranda can go with you.

Why can’t I go? Jon whined.

Because you flunked your algebra quiz, Mom said.

It’s funny. I’ve felt holed up here for so long, you’d think I’d be excited at the thought of going someplace, anyplace, even if it’s just to town. But it scares me.

What if there’s no one there?

May 2

Mom made Matt and me eat breakfast this morning. She said she and Jon would eat later, but we all knew that meant Jon would eat and Mom would forget to.

We decided to take our bikes, riding them when we could and pulling them along when we had to. We used to bike into town last summer, but I stopped once I started getting scared about what I might see. Then, after the blizzard, we couldn’t bike anyway.

There was pavement for most of the trip. Some places, though, the rain and the snowmelt had left a layer of ice, and we walked and skidded there. Both of us fell more than once, but neither of us broke any bones.

That’s what constitutes a good trip. No broken bones.

City Hall may not be open, I said to Matt. I think it’s only open on Fridays.

Then we’ll go back on Friday, Matt said. If it’s closed then, we’ll figure out what to do.

We’ll have to leave, I said. Maybe we should anyway. Find a school where Jon can learn algebra.

Mom wants us to stay for as long as possible, Matt said.

If there’s no food, we can’t stay, I said.

You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know, Matt said.

I’m sorry, I said, even though I wasn’t. Sometimes I think Mom and Matt make all the decisions and don’t care what I think.

With the four of us cooped up in the same room together day and night, I don’t know when Mom and Matt have the time to whisper conspiratorially about my future, but I guess they still do. They probably talk about Jon’s future in algebra while they’re at it.

I don’t know if I agree with Mom, Matt said, which I knew was his way of apologizing. But if we do decide to move, we’re better off waiting until summer.

Summer used to be a time of blue and yellow and green. Now I guess it’ll be less gray. It’s like no broken bones. You keep your expectations low, and horrible is down to merely rotten.

Where would we go? I asked. Have you and Mom talked about that?

Pittsburgh, Matt said. At least for a start. That seems to be the closest place we know is still functioning.

Do you think there are places where things are actually okay? I asked. I know it’s gray everywhere and cold, but maybe there are places with food for everyone. Running water and electricity. Furnaces. Schools and hospitals.

And twenty-four-hour pizza delivery, Matt said. Think big.

I bet there are places like that, I said. Towns set up for politicians and rich people and celebrities.

If there are, we don’t qualify, Matt said. But we know there are people living in Pittsburgh. If we have to, we’ll resettle there.

Mom gets the Pittsburgh radio station almost every night, so we hear more about it than anyplace else. Mostly they read the lists of the dead, but they also talk about food handouts and curfews and martial law.

And I know it’s dumb, but we look awful. We’re thin and no matter how often we wash, our faces, our hands, our clothes are gray. A whole city of people looking like us sounds like a horror movie.

Do we have enough food now? I asked. If we can’t get any more, and we have to move, say tomorrow, do we have enough food to get there? Pittsburgh’s got to be two hundred miles away.

Three hundred, Matt said. But we won’t have much of a choice.

Suddenly all my dreams of living someplace civilized evaporated. I don’t want us to go, I said. We’re okay where we are. At least for now. The longer we give the world time to recover, the better off things will be when we do have to go.

Matt laughed. I couldn’t tell if that meant he thought it was funny I kept changing my mind or if he thought it was funny the world would ever recover.

The road cleared up pretty good after that, and we got back on our bikes and rode the rest

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98 évaluations / 62 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    This novel satisfies the curiosity of all those who read the first two books in the series and wanted to know what happened to Miranda and Alex. One of the difficult things about this series is that there doesn't seem to be any relief in sight. When Miranda talks about thinking things can't get any worse, and then they do - that is a good summary for the world that Ms. Pfeffer has created. I found the clash between Miranda's experiences and Alex's to be rather profound, as well. In this book we are back to Miranda's inner thoughts and though she doesn't know Alex's background, we as the readers do. I wanted the author to somehow leave me, as the reader, with some hope. But there wasn't much to cling to.
  • (4/5)
    The relationship between Miranda and Alex felt really forced. I also was uncomfortable with how in one chapter Miranda was a really bratty little girl (at least the way she wrote) and then overnight she was a woman who needed to 'become one' with a man or something. I suppose it's a way to show how quickly these kids have to grow up, but it seemed awkward and unreal. Other than that, I enjoyed the continuation of Miranda's family's story.
  • (4/5)
    Great end to this trilogy. I loved the perspective that Miranda gains from meeting Alex. These books always make me feel very, very lucky!
  • (5/5)
    Really leaves you wondering what if this happened to you. Sad but a book full of love for family and determination to live.Really makes you appreciate what you have in your life.
  • (4/5)
    I think this book is a really good description of what it might be like after a natural disaster.
  • (4/5)
    Only slightly less terrifying than the previous two, which is good for the end of a trilogy. I'd read an outline of the plot on Pfeffer's site a while ago and wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did, but I should have trusted her skill to draw me in because this was another thought-provoking and "un-put-downable" read. It's like a car wreck--you can't look away and help thinking about how you would face this same situation. I commend Pfeffer for the depth of the character of Laura, Miranda's mom, who is doing her absolute best to keep her family alive and together against staggering odds.
  • (5/5)
    "This Word We Live In" by Susan Beth Pfeffer is a book about Alex and Miranda. Miranda and her family are doing okay after the event. Miranda's family which is made up of Laura her mother, Matt her oldest brother, Jon her youngest brother, and Horton there cat. Matt and Jon got to the river to fish for shad. And on the way Matt meets Syl, the fall in love after one day and get married. After a while Miranda's dad come knocking on Miranda's door. With her dad he brought the new baby, her step mom and a group of evac. survivors. Slowly the new comers become family to Miranda. I really enjoyed this book. I mean when you read a book in a day I think it means you really really like it. I could not put this book down no matter what I did. The ending was written very well. I gave this book five stars because it was really well put together. It was a nice way to end the series. I highly recommend this book to mature readers. Meaning people above 12 years old.
  • (3/5)
    In Life as We Knew It Pfeffer tells us the story of Miranda and her family and their plight to survive after a meteor hits the moon and knocks it out if its orbit. This book takes place a few months after Life as We Knew It left off, once again telling us the story of Miranda and her family. This one also ties in the second book, The Dead and the Gone and the characters finally meet. Things are still tough; there are more mouths to feed, and still no sun. Miranda, in her journals, relates her family’s struggle for survival in a world riddled with tragedy and disaster.I remember when I read the first book in this series, Life as We Knew It, I felt the need to stock up my pantry with bottled water, canned food, and other nonperishable food items. Pfeffer made me feel like I was living in a world coming to an end and even after putting the book down it was hard to shake that feeling. You have to admire an author who tells a story so potent that you have a hard time returning to the real world after you put it down. Which is why I had to read This World We Live In.Unlike Life as We Knew It, this book just felt like more of the same. It was nice to see the integration of the first two books, Life as We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, but even so, I felt that it was a bit too indulgent. In a world so torn apart, to have these two main characters meet seemed a bit unlikely. Yet at the same time it was much anticipated. Their relationship, however, felt very unrealistic. It seemed like in a blink of an eye they are all falling in love because Jon now has a girlfriend, Matt has a wife, and now Miranda and Alex have each other. Love just doesn’t work that way—even if the world is ending.I still felt that the books have unresolved issues. You understand that the food supply is tentative at best, but they are still being supplied food. Perhaps the author is leaving room for another sequel, but I believe Miranda’s story is at an end.I was hoping this book would give me the same feelings as the first, but sadly it didn’t. Pfeffer is definitely a talented author (any author who could turn me into a paranoid “the world is ending” freak is a great author), but perhaps it is time to tell a new story, because this one didn’t seem to go anywhere. Did I like it? Yes I did, and it was entertaining. Would I recommend it? Yes I would. To readers who have read the first two volumes it is a nice continuation. Ultimately, it is a good book but lacks the punch of the first.Cautions for sensitive readers: Some gruesome descriptions of the dead and indications of violence. No sex or foul language.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. It left me wanting to know more of what happens to everyone. Great book for adults and teens alike. I wonder if this series will ever be made into a movie?
  • (5/5)
    The third book in Susan Beth Pfeffer's series of young adult post-disaster novels, This World We Live In attempts the daunting task of bringing together characters from the previous books (Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone). At that task, it succeeds with flying colors and provides another character-driven novel in world gone horribly wrong.Miranda and her family have survived the worst after the moon was knocked into a closer orbit around the Earth by a meteor, but they're not out of the woods yet. Food is scarce, electricity is on-again-off-again at random, and the sudden arrival of Miranda's father and stepmother, and a few unexpected guests, is making things more difficult. But with these new guests is Alex Morales (The Dead and the Gone), and soon Miranda and Alex find themselves in conflict with their growing feelings for one another and the harsh reality that is their future in a world brought to its knees by nature.Much like Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In captures the essence of family in all the right ways. Miranda's family is an amalgam of the kinds of families we see in the world today (here in the West, anyway): we have the divorced parents, the stepmother, the turmoil between brothers and a daughter in a world no longer founded upon the same equal opportunity we take for granted today, the injection of other people into the social stratum of the family unit (much as friends become members of the family, even though they aren't). Pfeffer continues to make family, social structures, and character the central focus of her novel, despite being set in an future where one could have a heyday with action and violence. Her characters are (still) flawed, and yet lovable regardless. We might not like the way they all act from time to time, but throughout the narrative (and the series as a whole) we come to understand how humanity often needs copious amounts of time to properly adjust to a catastrophic event.In a way, I can't help seeing the analogy between the Great Depression and Pfeffer's out-of-place-moon future, where mankind is thrust into awful situations where even those who were moderately fortunate before are forced to change against strict, horrible social/cultural/physical pressures. Perhaps that is what makes This World We Live In, and the previous two novels, engaging and real. It's not Doomsday or I Am Legend, but an unintentional response to that kind of action-focused post-disaster genre--a response that seems to work without becoming preachy or too geared towards a particular gender or age group (even though it is a young adult novel).The epistolary format continues to work surprisingly well, the characters are surprisingly human (they irritate, they amuse, and they make good and bad decisions), and the ambiguity of the ending is both a warm, if not morbid, moment, and a reminder of our fragility as a species. Hopefully Pfeffer will show us more of this world, either through the eyes of her previously established characters, or via the introduction of new characters from entirely different situations (it would be interesting, for example, to see how the richest people of the world are coping with the "end of the world"). We'll see.The only recommendation I have for anyone interested in this novel (besides the obvious suggestion of picking it up and reading it) is not to read the back cover. This may be isolated to the uncorrected proof I received for review, but the synopsis on the back cover of my edition essentially gives away the ending. Don't read it.
  • (4/5)
    Final book in Pfeffer's creepy but fascinating trilogy about the world after an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth and causes a global catastrophe which may or may not wipe out mankind. Somehow the Morales kids meet up with Miranda's father and stepmother and they (along with others) head back to Howell, PA in hopes of finding everyone still alive. They do, and the group faces incredible hardships and must overcome huge obstacles just to stay alive, and death is around every corner. Incredibly, in the midst of all this tragedy the group somehow manages to find love, a sense of family, and most of all hope for the future. Very satisfying wrap up to the series.
  • (3/5)
    Better than the second book in the trilogy not nearly as good as the first (which I liked very much). Time to put this series to rest. I'm glad that the author seems to be done.
  • (4/5)
    Miranda's diaries continue in this sequel to LIFE AS WE KNEW IT and THE DEAD AND THE GONE. It's been almost a year since an asteroid crashed into the moon, forcing the earth into a nuclear winter and changing everything forever. Teens who have read the first two books will enjoy this one as well. The writing is frank and Miranda is certainly a very believable narrator. The book took hold of me and absolutely wouldn't let go until I'd finished it. Recommended for fans of the first two Moon books.
  • (3/5)
    Like many, I loved the first book (Life as We Knew It). The second book I found extremely dark and depressing (granted, the subject matter doesn't lend itself to much happiness, but I felt a little more "hope" in the first book) and the characters weren't quite as relatable or likeable. However, I was interested to see how this book would bring the two stories together (interesting concept). The book was compelling and kept me reading to the end, but I felt a lot of it was very contrived and less believable. I wish Miranda had "grown up" a little more. I get that she had no privacy and life was very hard, but at 17 and with her family at risk of dying, I was hoping she'd step up to the plate a little more and stop thinking about herself so much. The relationships in this book seemed so unbelievable, even given the traumatic circumstances which could certainly force people together. It just all happened so quickly and in some cases people went from disliking each other to kissing in the blink of an eye. Still, as I said, the subject matter was compelling and the way they all found creative ways to continue to survive is what kept me reading. The reality of what was happening to the characters survival-wise and the people in the town was believable. It was the relationships and the way some things fell into place too quickly and easily that left it feeling a little flat for me. I think by locking herself into the diary format for this novel, the author limited her ability to tell other parts of the story in more depth, like the birth of the baby or how all these people came to find each other in the first place.
  • (5/5)
    After a year sense the astriod hit the moon there are only a few survivers like maranda and her family. Maranda's family are doing well and her dad and step mom came to see them and her stepmom had her baby. Also she met Alex sense he came from New York. Maranda thinks Alex is cute. Later on a tornado comes and traps her stepmom and the baby in a house. Maranda goes and saves them. Maranda and family lived happy in the neew life and waiting for the bad things to pass and the good things to come.I like this book because it show team work. As you can see Maranda has become responsible and independent. She also fell in love with Alex. There was a big twist with the tornado in who her stepmom and the baby got traped from the tornado. THe book didn't even have any boring parts in the book. I think this was the best book out of all the series. That what I think of this book.
  • (3/5)
    I had high hopes for this book, but I was disappointed. Though some new characters are introduced, there is very little growth or change in Miranda, who is far whinier than anyone living through the end of the world has any right to be. Many of the situations are either too far-fetched, too convenient, or just nonsensical to my eyes. Alex is, if possible, even more annoying than he was in the second book. I waver between two and three stars on this one.
  • (4/5)
    I've been waiting for this book to come out. I really liked Life as We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone. I couldn't wait to see how the family was surviving a year after the disaster and to have the characters from the two books meet. Like Life as We Knew It, this book is told using Miranda's diary entries. Survival is still iffy at best and things are pretty dismal. I read it in a single sitting and the book will be gobbled up by fans of the series.
  • (5/5)
    You ever read a book that makes you want to run to the grocery store and stock up on batteries, canned food, and eye the moon with suspiscion? No? Well, friends, I think you need to check out the Moon trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer. The first book, Life As We Knew It, set my heart racing, as I read about Miranda's seemingly ordinary life, and the mundane things she struggled with when her life changes after an asteroid hits the moon, thus knocking it out of orbit. I never got around to reading the second book of the trilogy, The Dead and The Gone, but I may have to, now that I've read This World We Live In, the final book within the trilogy.This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer was a smashing finish to the moon trilogy. It continues several months after Miranda left off at the end of her diary in Life As We Knew It. I refuse to spoil the end of Life As We Knew It for you, so vaguely, we get to see what happened to Miranda and her family, and how they continue to cope with a completely different life than what they were used to. A few guests show up at the Evans' door, which again leads to dramatic changes for Miranda. One of the guests is Alex Morales, the main character from The Dead And The Gone. What follows is an interesting mesh and interlinking of characters from the previous two novels, and we see the whole trilogy come together.I enjoyed getting to know Miranda more, it's fascinating how much a person's eating habits tells you about them, for example. Many of Miranda's diary entries are about how much she and her family are eating, which of course is an index of how the family is surviving. Obviously if they have 2 meals per day, they are doing pretty good for themselves. It's so strange to think about how I became short of breath over canned food descriptions. I liked seeing Miranda deal with normal teenager things within the circumstances, such as dealing with a crush.Stylistically, I think Pfeffer nails the female teenage voice. The entire novel is written in first person diary entries. You've got whining, ranting, raving, and a clear picture of the world around Miranda. Of course, I would be interested to see what is going on in the outside world, beyond their home in PA, but I think that would have detracted from the book, as the not knowing definitely creates tension, which I feel drives the book. And you know, I like books with palpable tension.Overall, This World We Live In left me pondering. I'm wondering, if I were Miranda, would I survive? What do I think of safe towns? Does that sound like something my government would do? Aside from a racing mind, I thing Pfeffer also left the door open to possibly write more books pertaining to the characters I've grown to admire within the Moon trilogy.I absolutely recommend this book, it's a solid post-apocalyptic read. Before reading it, you should definitely read Life As We Knew It. I did not read The Dead and The Gone, but that did not put me at a disadvantage while reading This World We Live In.
  • (4/5)
    Almost a year after the moon has been knocked off kilter by an asteroid, Miranda, her mom and brothers are ekeing out a sort of existence in a very grey world. The weather becomes an issue again as summer arrives along with more mouths to feed. I enjoyed the return to Miranda's diary form and the element of hope at the end of the story.
  • (4/5)
    A year has passed since a meteor collided with the moon, sending it closer to the earth, and forever changing the world. In LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, Miranda chronicles the events her family experiences as they struggle for survival during dramatic weather changes, loss of friends, and dangerous food shortages.The companion novel, THE DEAD AND GONE, follows the hardships of Alex and his sisters in New York City. The author paints a more gruesome side of life in this installment. One that stays with the reader long after the book is closed.THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN brings the two stories together. We, once again, see Miranda at home with her mother and two brothers as they continue to eke out a living. They find ways to deal with food shortages, poor air quality, cold temperatures, and lack of electricity. Even though they are doing okay now, Miranda knows it won’t always be like this. The food deliveries might stop and then what would they do? Miranda’s mother rejects any suggestion of leaving , but Miranda knows there will come a time when they’ll have no choice.Miranda’s brothers leave for a fishing trip in an attempt to supplement the provisions they receive weekly from town. Matt and Jon bring back a lot more than fish. While fishing, Matt and Jon run into a band of travelers including Miranda’s father, his new wife, Lisa, and their new baby, Gabriel. Also traveling with them as a man named Charlie and a brother and sister named Alex and Julie. As if that weren’t enough, Matt meets a girl named Syl and claims her as his wife.If supplies were dangerously low before, adding six more people to the mix made it down right frightening. Everyone struggled – with issues of privacy, issues of jealously, and issues of conscience.THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN returns the reader to the first-person diary form of LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. Miranda documents her changing life as she talks about her growing family, her complicated feelings for Alex, and the grotesque discoveries that still seem to pop up even after a year. Their lives settle into a new routine until an unthinkable disaster rips through town. Miranda and her family are forced to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives if they want to survive in the world they live in now.Susan Beth Pfeffer gives her readers what they’ve wanted. Personally, I’m very glad she went back to the first-person diary format. Even though there were times Miranda seemed at bit too whiny and I wanted to strangle Alex, I’m happy with the ending of the book.If this series is new to you, please begin by reading LIFE AS WE KNEW IT followed by THE DEAD AND THE GONE. You won’t be able to understand the full impact of what these characters are going through in THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN without knowing a little about their backgrounds. 
  • (5/5)
    This is one of those books that I wouldn't have read had I not been taking part in a challenge when I read the first book. The premise of the trilogy is that a meteor hits the moon, causes it to get off it's axis. By doing this, it causes a lot of problems with the weather, which impacts the earth, obviously. In the first book, you met Miranda and her family, the second book introduced Alex and his sister. The third book brought the two books together. The meshing of the books was absolutely perfect. The book was heartbreaking in a lot of ways and I'm sad that it's the end. I'd love to see more.The book was so well written that it wasn't hard to imagine yourself in the story. You could close your eyes and see yourself living in Howell, in their home with them. It wasn't one of the far reaching dystopian worlds, this hits closer to home, in a lot of ways. It's more of a realistic possibility.I think the one thing that hit me, in some ways, is the use of real towns, real places. One of the places mentioned is close to me, even the college that Matt attends hit close to home for me. It made it even more real.
  • (4/5)
    Of course if you already read, life as we knew it and the dead and the gone, you kind of want to know what happens next, and finally this book shows what happens next.
  • (1/5)
    Book three is the Last Survivors series takes us back to Howell, Pennsylvania. It’s been a year since an asteroid knocked the moon out of its orbit and closer to the earth. Miranda Evans, her mother and two brothers have managed to survive, but most of the townspeople have left and food is increasingly scarce. A tentative Spring brings new hope, at least until Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a new baby, and three strangers in tow.

    This was really a major disappointment. Miranda has become less mature than when we left her at the end of book 1. She whines and complains, throws tantrums, and runs off in a huff. Then there is her over-the-top watched-too-many-soap-operas-and-read-too-many-bodice-rippers “But I love you!” dialogue with Alex. Puh-leeze! Alex has also retreated into a silent, obstinate teen with none of the leadership and resourcefulness he displayed in book 2.

    Well, at least it reminds me why I generally dislike post-apocalyptic / dystopian fiction. It was a fast read, but seriously, don’t waste your time.
  • (4/5)
    This third installment of a world gone crazy because of an asteroid hitting the moon combines characters from Pfeffer's first two books. Miranda meets Alex and his sister Julie when her father returns from the journey he'd taken to find his wife's missing parents. With their household now double its size, the food problem intensifies. However, despite the fear of death constantly hanging over their heads, Miranda and Alex find love. Their desire to overcome, despite the odds, along with small joys brought on by having hope, will keep readers turning the pages to its surprising conclusion.
  • (3/5)
    This is book 3 in a world where the moon's just a little closer to Earth and all heck broke loose. This continues the story of book 1, though it would also be a good idea to read book 2.The young main character is trying to survive with her family in this new world of drastic climate change, sporadic electricity, and near starvation. It is a nice change from post-apocalyptic stories in which the men get all the attention and they're out shooting people or being shot. But the division of labor is still sexist. At least the main character isn't _happy_ about that.I found it interesting. I like survival stories. But it was also a downer. If there is a book 4, I won't be reading it in a hurry.Speaking of hurry, this was a relatively quick read. Kinda short. Told as diary entries. I read it in a day. Even though I should've gone to bed earlier!
  • (4/5)
    I spent the first few chapters excited to see Alex show back up.And then he did.And then I spent most of the book hoping he would die. Dear god is he an irredeemably obnoxious and useless character. I'm just glad Miranda's family recognized this even if she couldn't.
  • (3/5)
    The ending was the main saving grace for this. I absolutely LOVED the first one but this one fell very flat and fell into a lot of tropes/stereotypes. At least it felt like it. The ending was great though, it bumped it a whole star in my rating.
  • (4/5)
    This is Book 3 of The Last Survivors Series that began with Life As We Knew It and continued with The Dead and The Gone. A year has now passed since an asteroid collided with the moon, knocking it closer to Earth. The stronger gravitational pull resulted in tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, famine, and epidemics. After a year, only the strongest have survived, or as Matt, Miranda’s brother observes, “Survival of the fittest. And the luckiest.”In Life As We Knew It, we learned how the catastrophe affected Miranda (now 17) in Pennsylvania. She and her mother Laura and brothers Matt and Jon have survived, but she is unaware of the fate of her father Hal, his new wife Lisa, and the baby they were expecting at the time of the disaster.In The Dead and The Gone, we got the perspective of Alex (now 18) in New York City. Alex and his younger sister Julie are alone; his parents died in the original tidal onslaught, and his other sister Brie died of illness during the subsequent year.Book 3 brings the two families together.Miranda’s family is initially expanded after Matt and Jon go on a trip to try and catch some fish in the Delaware River. They return with a bag full of shad, and a lovely girl, who has named herself Sylvia Plath, that Matt brings her home as his “wife.” They said their makeshift vows at the campsite, because in this new world, there is no time for the luxury of courtship.Soon thereafter, Miranda’s doorbell rings (a shocking and frightening event when all of the neighbors are gone and marauders roam the streets) and it turns out to be Hal, Lisa, and their new baby Gabriel. With them are three others: Charlie Rutherford: a friend they met in evacuation camp, and Alex and Julie Morales. Now they were eleven. Miranda’s unspoken thought echoed that of the others: “Did Dad expect us to feed all these people?” But she discovers that her mother is the biggest advocate of all of taking care of Gabriel:"…I finally figured out why Mom is willing to give up so much for her ex-husband’s baby. Gabriel isn’t just Dad’s baby. He’s Dad’s future, Lisa’s future. He’s all our futures … Every day Gabriel lives and grows a little bigger, a little stronger, is a miracle.”But there is not just the problem of food and constant hunger. The crowded situation has them all craving privacy, and inevitably, jealousy and fighting as well.Alex is a mystery to Miranda. As she writes in her diary:"I feel sorrow and anger and despair. I don’t think there’s a person alive who doesn’t. I sometimes feel like my sorrow and anger and despair burn inside me the way the sun used to burn on a hot July day. But that was nothing compared to what I sensed in Alex. His sorrow, his anger, his despair was like a thousand suns, like a galaxy of suns.”When Miranda gets to know Alex, at first she calls him “the most annoying, last living boy in America.” He resists the attempts of Miranda and her family to make them part of their new extended family. Alex claims that Miranda doesn’t understand. She replies:"‘I do understand,’ I said. … Tomorrow terrifies me. I wake up every morning scared and I go to bed every night scared, and all those tomorrows I’ve lived through are exactly the same. Hunger and fear and loneliness. Exactly the same as you, as everybody. Only you’re worse, because when we ask you to share our hunger and our fear and our loneliness, you turn your back on us. I may be lonely and scared and hungry, but I haven’t given up on loving people yet.”How they cope, and learn to adjust to these new demands on limited resources, and the new unexpected extension of kinship, are the subjects of Book 3.Discussion: Once again there are echoes of Anne Frank’s situation, as more people in trouble gather and place a strain on resources and relationships. And there is a similar tone of desperation as darkness closes in.It was also interesting for me to read this book right after having finished Tender Morsels, a fairy tale about a woman being able to live in her personal idea of heaven. In this book, the idea of heaven also looms large, but it is a different heaven: it is the heaven of before. Miranda asks Julie:"‘What’s heaven like?’ I asked. ‘Do you know?’‘No one’s hungry there,’ Julie said. ‘Or cold or lonely. You can see millions of stars at night… And there are gardens. Big vegetable gardens filled with everything. Tomatoes, radishes. String beans. They’re my favorites, the string bean plants.’‘No flowers?’ I said.‘You can have flowers if you want,’ Julie said. ‘It’s heaven.’”Evaluation: This book did not hold quite the same appeal for me as the first two. Nothing much can shock the characters anymore, or the readers. But still, if you have read the first two, you will be invested in the story, and want to know what happens. And it has insights into the effects of loss, and both poignancy and humor, that are very affecting.Oddly, although ostensibly a trilogy, the third book ends as ambiguously as the previous two, and feels very much like a lead-in to a fourth book. If there were such a book, I would want to read it, but I feel the author is tired of the characters or the subject or both. Fatigue radiated out of the third book, rather than the excitement of the first two. This is not to say I wasn’t glad to have read it! It just doesn’t quite meet the standard of the preceding two volumes. Note: The various plot threads in this third book may be difficult to grasp if you have not read either or both of the previous books.
  • (3/5)
    This is the third book in the series, but does a nice job catching the reader up if they happened to miss the first two books. Miranda is still chronicling her family's day-to-day activities trying to survive after the moon has been knocked closer to earth by an asteroid and threw off the natural balance of Earth. Her father and step-mother return to their home town with a few new additions, namely a new child, two children around Miranda's age, and an older gentleman. Miranda's older brother, the rock in her small family's struggle for survival brings home a new wife, throwing off the sense of security. After Miranda's father's family settles into their dead neighbors house and claiming to be his children to receive food rations, everything is great, until Alex decides that he and his sister MUST get to the convent. Miranda and her father take them and find that life outside of town is no better, if not worse, than in their own small world. The book ends much in the same way as Stephen King's the Mist, in that Miranda and her family are getting ready to set out in the hopes of finding a more stable environment to live in. We may never know if she makes it.
  • (5/5)
    Well this series has just been wonderful in that fact that I can't stop reading once I start. Another great book.We are back in Howell Pennsylvania with Miranda, Matt, Jon, and Laura. A year has passed and things are just as bad. Matt and Jon go to the Delaware River to fish for shad. They are hoping that this will help with their food supply. Their mother is not sure but she does decide to let them go. When they return Matt has a surprise. He is married to Sylvia but she goes by Sly. So now they have 5 people living in the house.The story progresses with the arrival of some very long lost family and guests. Miranda's dad and step mom show up with their baby boy Gabriel. They have also brought Charlie, and Alex and Julia who we met in The Dead and The Gone. It is great seeing the interactions off all the new people. Hal, Lisa, and the whole gang plan to move on at some point. Instead of leaving they decide to stay and pretend to be Mrs. Nesbitt's son and family. It is heartwarming seeing them all living together and yet apart in different houses.Miranda falls in love with Alex and Jon falls for Julia. It is great seeing more young people in the story and their growth and interactions with each other. Alex has to become a man to take care of his sister Julia and he was just a teenager. He worries more then a boy should.Some events that happen is house hunting where they go into empty houses and look for supplies. They actually find food in a farmhouse and a van. Alex and Julia are the ones that find this wonderful stash. A tornado also hits Howell. This is when things turn deadly. Now the next book takes place after the tornado and Miranda has stopped writing in her diaries. I will be looking for the last book soon.