Monday, March 9, 2015

Life As We Knew It.

Title/Author: Life as we Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

Genre: Post Apocalyptic, YA.

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers. 

Source: Purchased.

Synopsis: Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth.  How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun?  As summer turns to Arctic winter, Mirander, 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 journal entries, this is the heart pounding story of Miranda's struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all -- hope -- in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Midnyte Musings:  I have to admit a guilty pleasure of mine is "disaster porn."  All those bad movies with tidal waves and asteroids and polar ice caps melting...there is something very appealing about them to me.  I guess I like seeing how people people behave and how they survive, not to mention all the geological changes that happen. 

In Life as We Knew It, the disaster is when an asteroid crashes into the moon and moves it much closer to earth.  Eeek!  Told by teenager Miranda in a series of journal entries, we learn how the world changes and how she and her family cope. 

I don't know if you'd call it overly exciting, but I found it very interesting and compelling.  Even when they are simply trying to figure out how to do laundry I found it interesting. 

I liked Miranda, but wasn't totally drawn to her.  However, I did enjoy how she wasn't a Mary Sue.  She is, at times, selfish, sullen and jealous - which is in keeping with a teenage girl, but she matures and grows throughout the book.  A lot of the writing seems to be the same, repetitive thoughts, which I guess is what a teenage girl has as well, but this didn't deter from my enjoyment of the story and what she was going through.  What I did admire was her attitude.  She knew there was a good chance she might die and if it were me, I would be freaking out.  Miranda, did sometimes get morose, but she had a good attitude.  She basically just wanted to live as long as she could and that's what she strove for; not only for herself but for her family as well.  The other revolving characters added to the story as well, her mother and her two brothers.  She talks about her relationship with each of them and how they change throughout the book and become stronger. 

Some parts of the book were tragic and heartbreaking and I don't know much about science to understand if everything that could happen, would happen, but this was an easy to read book.  I already looked up the sequels and will be reading them as well. 

An interesting look at the survival of one girl and how she and her family cope with a post-apocalyptic setting that is suddenly thrust upon them. 

Other Editions:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Title/Author: Brood by Chase Novack.

Genre: Horror, Dark Fiction. 

Publisher: Mulholland Books.

Source: Library.

Adam and Alice are reaching the age when some of the children created by the fertility treatment that spawned them begin to turn feral. Will they succomb to the same physiological horror that destroyed their parents? Every change brings on terror--the voice cracking as it changes, the swelling of the breasts, the coarsening of down into actual hair. Their aunt, Cynthia, oversees renovations to the Twisden family's Manhattan residence--torn apart by the children's parents at their most savage--and struggles to give her niece and nephew the unconditional love they never had. Meanwhile, in the world outside, the forces of good and evil collide as a troop of feral offspring threatens to invade the refuge Cynthia is so determined to construct behind the Twisdens' walls.
Midnyte Musings: Brood, is just as strange and entertaining as it's predecessor, Breed.  The story follows Adam and Alice after they are adopted by their aunt Cynthia after the death of their parents.  They return to the home they grew up in, but adjusting to a "normal" life is very difficult.  Unfortunately, the twins are products of their parent's controversial fertility treatments for which they had to go out of the country to obtain.

In the first book we discover that there are hundreds if not thousands of children who are the product of these fertility treatments.  These offspring have also had effects of the treatment (some mild, some extreme) passed onto them.  They find solace by finding their own kind and living on the fringes of society.  I can't help but wonder what's out there, or who's out there in New York City's hidden spots and crevices.

I did appreciate the setting and could easily visualize the areas of Central Park, East Side neighborhoods and the sidewalks of Park Avenue as the characters occupied them. 

The story is told in several different points of view, the twins, Aunt Cynthia, and even some villains who are after these children for their own reasons.  I have to admit, I really only cared about Adam and Alice's and Cynthia's story for the most part.  Either the other characters appeared too briefly or I just didn't connect to them.  I would have liked to have seen more of the pyschology of the twins and what they were really going through and what they thought of what they were going through.  They just seemed to accept it.

Novack does a great job convincing me to believe the strange and sometimes fantastical turn of events in this story.  From runaways, to a mayor's son going missing to a hidden population and their darkest secrets. 

I don't think that a lot was resolved in this story, but I still feel it is an easy book to read and the pages flew by.  That being said, the style was simple and some may say a bit too simple, but it detract from my own enjoyment of the story.

Brood leans toward over the top but I found it imaginative and fun.


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