Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The basics

Title: Life As We Knew It


Series: Last Survivors #1

- Life As We Knew It (2006)
- The Dead and the Gone (2008)
- This World We Live In (2010)
- The Shade of the Moon (2013)

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Goodreads Summary:

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, Miranda, 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.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer to help refresh your memory before you read the sequels!

what happened in Life As We Knew It?

  • The news is talking about how an asteroid is going to hit the moon.
  • The night this is meant to happen, people are celebrating and having viewing parties. Because that’s probably what people would do irl.
  • Miranda’s brother, Matt, is at college, and he tells his family that the event could be a disaster.
  • The asteroid hits the moon, and because it is more dense than expected, the moon is knocked closer to Earth. This has an immediate impact on satellites, and cell phone service and cable stop working.
  • There are lots of tsunamis and tidal changes, which have devastated the coastlines and injured or killed a bunch of people.
  • Everyone goes to the supermarket to buy supplies. Miranda starts to worry.
  • Matt comes home from college.
  • Food starts to become scarce.
  • Volcanoes start to erupt, and Miranda notices that the sky has gone grey due to the ash clouds. This ash cloud causes temperatures to decrease, and vegetables aren’t able to grow.
  • A lot of people start to head off to find somewhere better to live.
  • Miranda and her family start to eat fewer meals. They are forced to move into one room in the house, as frost hits in August, and temperatures decrease further.
  • Miranda and Matt agree that the last member of the family left alive will have to use skis to leave the town.
  • Miranda’s whole family comes down with fevers. Miranda heads to the hospital, which turns out to be deserted aside form two nurses. Miranda is forced to care for her family herself.
  • They make it through to February, which is when their electricity starts to come back on sporadically.
  • Miranda plans to head to another town to die so that her family can survive without her there. In town, she heads to the City Hall, where she finds out that there are people handing out food. Someone drives Miranda home with some food.
  • Miranda celebrates her birthday, as things are looking better for her and her family.

That’s what happened in Life As We Knew It! It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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