Hi. I wrote Life As We Knew It, and since Amazon doesn't seem to mind if writers write about their books, I'll take advantage. It's bragging if I say what's good about the novel, but it's reporting if I quote what other people have said. I got all the following quotes from my obsessive googling, and none of the people whose comments I'm about to type are, to the best of my knowledge, friends or family members:
"I couldn't put it down. This is one thrilling, scary, believable, YA novel."
"It's one of the most emotionally heart-wrenching books I've read in a long time, and I loved it."
"This is a beautifully written, timeless, timely tale that will stay with you long after the cover is closed."
"I tell everyone to read this book, regardless of age."
Even the person who was least enthusiastic about the book (definitely not a friend or family member) ended with, "Overall an engaging read that kept my eyes glued to the page."
So far the only print review is a starred Booklist. Life As We Knew It has been nominated for the ALA Best Books For Young Adults list (winners will be announced in January). It's the January selection of the Junior Library Guild. And it's an upcoming selection on DearReader.com.
I hope you forgive me for going on about Life As We Knew It, and I also hope that someone out there orders a copy from Amazon, because Amazon rankings are like weight, the lower the better, and right now my rankings would make an elephant look skinny.
ETA Sept.21: Do I care that this is a monologue. Nope.
I want to add that the book is getting reviews and thus far they're all excellent.
Kirkus Reviews wrote: Plausible science fiction with a frighteningly realistic reminder of recent tragedies here and abroad.
School Library Journal wrote: Pfeffer tones down the terror but otherwise crafts a frighteningly plausible account of the local effects of a future worldwide catastrophe...The author provides a glimmer of hope at the end, but readers will still be left stunned and thoughtful.
VOYA wrote: With just enough science to frame the fiction, the plot is plausible and appealing to readers who may not usually explore the genre...Pfeffer's strength lies in portraying the complex relationships in a blended and extended family focused on survival...She also creates unlikely heroes in her secondary characters, who teach Miranda that if she reaches down deep enough, she is stronger than she ever thought she could be.
Okay, I admit it. I quoted all that because I think it's funny they all use the word "plausible."
In other news, The Junior Library Guild named Life As We Knew It a Premier Selection and sent me a certificate to prove it.
I forgot to mention in my first go round that the cover for Life As We Knew It is embossed. The moon and the title and my name are all three dimensional. A friend of mine said publishing houses sometimes emboss the jackets of their first printings. I don't know if Harcourt follows that policy or if they think there will be a second printing. All I know is I love having an embossed cover.
And finally people out there (hi!) are actually buying the book. My ranking was under 20,000 a few minutes ago. Yesterday I linked over to my book Kid Power and it had a ranking somewhere in the 2,000,000s, which means under 20,000 is in the top one percent of books selling on Amazon. I think of this like a high school ranking, where trust me, I was nowhere near the top one percent.
Anyway, thanks to anybody who bought my book. I hope you like it. I'm sure you'll find it plausible.
A couple of updates before the book's official publication date (Oct. 1 for those of you who intend to send me a card for the occasion).
Girls' Life Magazine (available at Borders and Hannaford-at least that's where I saw copies) listed Life As We Knew It and three other books among their Top Ten Picks in their October/November issue. The magazine costs $3.50, well worth it if you want to see a picture of my book jacket on nice slick paper.
While I'm encouraging you to spend money, let me put in two words for the audio version of Life As We Knew It. First of all, Emily Bauer who does the reading, does a terrific job. It was very exciting for me to hear my words spoken out loud, but in a very short amount of time I found myself lost in the story and in her characterizations.
But if that's not reason enough to buy the audio, you might want to consider it as an investment. The audio version was put out by a different company than the one that published the book, and someone screwed up in production and credited the wrong publishing house for the book (Houghton rather than Harcourt) on the box. Presumably if the audio goes into a second printing, they'll correct the information.
But you know how much that upside down stamp is worth. So you might want to quick buy an audio version of Life As We Knew It to put your grandkids through college with. Of course it will have to be unopened and in mint condition, so if you want to actually listen to Emily Bauer's excellent rendition, you'll have to buy a second copy as well.
See how easy it is to find a really good reason to spend money!
I know you're all waiting for an update.
Today's good news include a good review from Horn Book (none of these reviews have had any "but"s in them, which I find quite gratifying). This one calls Life As We Knew It "taut" "effective" and (my personal favorite) "riveting."
And The Looking Glass Review (www.lookingglassreview.com) has named Life As We Knew It as their Editor's Choice for the month of October. They call the book "beautifully written" and "sometimes harrowing and often very moving."
My friend Janet stayed up until 2:30 in the morning to read the book, even though today is a work day.
And I absolutely love the new review on this page.