This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda and her family from Life As We Knew It have made it through the brutal winter. Limited government food supplies have started coming to her small Pennsylvania town, enough to keep her, her mother and two brothers alive as they try to figure out what to do next. Even though any food is long gone, Miranda and her brothers have taken to looting abandoned houses for items like toilet paper and toothpaste, which now seem like huge luxuries almost a year after the asteroid that hit the moon changed everything. And now things are changing once again. Suddenly, there are more mouths to feed when older brother Matt shows up with his new “wife,” Syl. And Miranda’s dad finally comes back with his wife Lisa, their new baby and several traveling companions, including Alex Morales and his sister Julie from The Dead and the Gone. Tensions rise around food distribution and family affections. While Miranda is thrilled to see a cute boy her age who isn’t related to her, she’s also worried about how much the newcomers will eat, and resents the fact that her father seems to care about Alex and Julie more than his own children. In addition, Alex has a secret that could either save or destroy this fragile new community of survivors. Who will live, who will die, and who will fall in unexpected love in This World We Live In?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what I love about these books is how Pfeffer paints the Armageddon not with a broad 2012 brush, but instead takes a subtle, infinitely scarier approach, where the simple things Miranda takes for granted, like privacy, the taste of toothpaste and the regularity of the seasons gradually disappear. Even something as benign as a quick bike ride to town could end in tragedy if she fell and broke a bone, as there are no more working hospitals, or doctors to staff them. All the rules have changed, and the consequences for thoughtless behavior could very well be fatal. Can love even exist under these conditions? Is it worth caring for someone who could be taken from you at any moment?  Pfeffer raises these questions and many more in this thoughtful, moving conclusion to her end of the world trilogy. While you can read World on its own, you’ll want to take in all three titles for the full-on post apocalyptic experience.

19 thoughts on “This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

  1. I have drug my feet on this title, but slowly, student recommendations for the first book have led me to Amazon today (I know, I know, but I couldn’t get to my Indie Bound today) to order the first book. Sounds like a great series.


  2. Thanks for the review. I’m a big fan of the series, and I’m really looking forward to this book!

  3. I am SO looking forward to this book. I wish the ARC fairies would send me one. Thanks for the review. I found the Dead and the Gone to be a richer read for me, so I’m eager to see how she brings characters from her two books together.

  4. I couldn’t quite get into the second book, but now that I know where she’s going with it, I think I’ll pick it up again. Thanks!

  5. I almost afraid to admit how excited I am to see that the story continues. The first book of the series was my favorite and an easy recommendation for my students. Although the second one didn’t hold me in its grips as much as the first, I am excited to see how Pfeffer connects the stories of Miranda and Alex. I’m tempted to pre order this book for my middle school library, but I will wait for more reviews and wait to read it on my own. Thank you for your insight.

  6. I read both Life as We Knew It and The Dead and The Gone. The first one for me was more “girly” and I could relate to it well. The second one, i believe, was more gory. I am excited to see how Miranda and Alex react to each other. I’m glad she continued the series.

  7. I loved the whole series. Is the movie 2012 have to do with what the book deals. If not I would absolutely love if these came into movies. So much detail and drama in so little books. 🙁

    I would rate this a 10 out of 10!!

  8. I absolutely LOVE this series!
    I’ve read everyone starting with LIFE AS WE KNEW IT; to The dead & the gone; and now to this book!
    Just gets me to thinking…what if this really happened? Life wouldn’t be the same.
    Outstanding books. 10/10.

  9. I feel like these books paint a picture of what could really happen! I got the first two for christmas, I devoured them, and now im waiting on the third to arrive at my home!if the world was to end, I feel like the first thing id do was go to the grocery stores around town! Im freaked out just hearing of their pantries slowly dwindling down…

  10. I’m a senior citizen – not a teen. I bought and read the three books in the series and I must admit – could not put any of them down when I started them. The first one had me hooked from the first page.
    I love stories that have the possibilities of actually happening. This thing with the meteor is one of those possibilities.
    I’ve had to wait between each of the books coming out in print….. and hated the wait. I’m wondering if Susan is planning another to the series. The last one sort of did it but I want to know if the world is going to get back to some normalcy. 1/20/2011

    Valerie Cordes

  11. I didnt really uderstand the whole seires thing
    what i mean to say is like i understand that julie and alex come in but
    why tell about their lives if this world we live in is mirandas diary

  12. Just finished this series – if I’d been a teen when I read them, I think I would have loved them!! I teach middle school and am anxious to get my students hooked on the series too. I loved the subtle details also – the things we don’t think about.

    And yes, I’ve been evaluating my pantry!!

  13. it seems like there is a book missing between 2 and 3…oh i wish i knew what happened before the meeting of Miranda and Alex. These books were by far my favorites ever.

  14. This is my favorite series in the world right now!!! I especially loved This World We Live In because there was a lot of new characters and romance. But then at the end, the tornado! I really think there should be a movie!!! Maybe put a movie trailer up on the Life As We Knew It webpage and then START WORKING ON A MOVIE!!! It would be soooooooooo awesome!

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