Friday, February 25, 2011

This World We Live In

"This World We Live In" (Last Survivors #3) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Hardcover: 239 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (April 1, 2010)

Book Description:
It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate.  Miranda and her two brothers spend their days scavenging for food and household items, while their mother stays at home and desperately tries to hold on to the ordinary activities of their previous life.  But they all know that nothing is truly normal in this surreal new world they live in.

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.

Since this book was (I believe) the last in this series, I wanted to read it.  This book could have been much better and was only told through Miranda's eyes.  Since Alex was introduced in the last book I thought that there would be entries from his point of view.  Nope.

The story picks up where the first book left off in the life of Miranda and her family.  Then Alex and the rest of the new characters enter the picture. There are interesting aspects of how they have adapted and coped in this wasteland of a world, but mostly the book is about the battle that Miranda and Alex go through with each other.  There is a marriage, more deaths and more starvation in this last book although a different type of ending.  The ending makes me mad.  I wish it was different, and that's all I'm going to say about that.  This book should be read if you read the first two.  You'll be a little disappointed, but not much.

The Dead and the Gone

"The Dead and the Gone" (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Hardcover: 321 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (January 1, 2008)

Book Description:
Susan Beth Pfeffer's "Life as We Knew It" enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event -- an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin on horrific climate changes.  Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales.  When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.

With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

This book was almost as good as the first one.  Alex Morales and his family are in New York City when this all happens and you see just how different their lives are and what effects this has on them in this setting.  City life is a far cry from suburban life when catastrophic events happen.  There is much more death and struggle in this book, although starvation is what really ties these books together.  I certainly would not want to live in New York City myself if something like this ever happened.  More people, more death, less food, fewer options.  An overall good book.

Life As We Knew It

"Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Hardcover: 337 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (October 1, 2006)

Book Description:
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.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  I love the whole idea of how the world might be if something like this would happen to the moon.  You don't realize how fragile our world is except when something catastrophic happens.

Miranda has a normal life.  When the meteor hits the moon, everyone doesn't think much about it until strange and disastrous events start happening.  Her mother (thankfully) realizes that they should probably get some food and warm clothing "just in case".  Since their home is on the outskirts of a town, they have little resources.  You see through Miranda's eyes how the world can change and how we have to change with it in order to survive.  A definite must-read.

The Last Thing I Remember

"The Last Thing I Remember" (The Homelanders #1) by Andrew Klavan
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 28, 2009)

Book Description:
Charlie West just woke up in someone else's nightmare.
He's strapped to a chair.  He's covered in blood and bruises.  He hurts all over.  And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death.

The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things -- working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air-force pilot, writing a pretty girl's number on his hand.  How long ago was that?  Where is he now?  Who is he really?

And more to the is he going to get out of this room alive?

This book sounded intriguing to me from the description.  I didn't realize that this would be a series when I started...everything seems to be a series now days.  I had a hard time putting this down once I started reading.  It's very fast paced and leaves you wanting more.

The book starts with Charlie not knowing where he is and how he got there.  You learn about his last memory and eventually the missing information that he gradually comes to remember later.  Someone wants him dead and he also has to figure out who it is and why.  This book reminded me of the show "24" in how it's structured.  I usually don't read books like this, but it was very good.  I think I'll even continue the series when more books come out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"Stolen" by Lisa Christopher
Paperback: 301 pages
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd. (May 4, 2009)

Book Description:
Sixteen year old Gemma is kidapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback.  This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described.  Ty, her captor, is no stereotype.  He is young, fit and completely gorgeous.  This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning.  He loves only her, wants only her.  Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?  The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback.  Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

Just started and finished reading "Stolen" by Lucy Christopher yesterday.  I couldn't put the book down!  It's considered a young adult book, but personally I enjoy those kind.

"Stolen" is about a 16 year old girl that gets abducted by a man in an airport.  He drugs her, then takes her to Australia in the middle of desert nowhere.  The book is written as a letter to her abductor recounting the events as she remembers them.

The reader will completely follow the feelings of the girl and come to the same conclusions as she does in the end.  The abductor doesn't want to harm the girl, he wants her to love him forever.  You see how someone can start out as being this scary person to someone that you can understand and even love.  This brings about the idea of Stockholm Syndrome in kidnapping victims.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.