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This World We Live In (The Last Survivors, Book 3) Hardcover – April 1, 2010
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It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.
Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Susan Beth Pfeffer, Author of This World We Live InDear Amazon reader, I love you.
No, I really do. I have loved you since the first of the Last Survivors trilogy, Life As We Knew It, was published. It was then that I began monitoring (such a nice euphemism for stalking) my Amazon ranking. I cheered when it dipped below 20,000 for the first time. I marveled when it landed at 7,777 and 6,666. When, for one glorious moment, it was in the extremely high three digits, I wrote an entire celebratory blog entry. I went through the same emotional extremes when the second volume, The Dead & The Gone, came out. When its Amazon ranking was lower than Life As We Knew It, I felt that same trill of excitement that I experienced when kid sister Serena beat Venus Williams for the first time. Now the trilogy is complete, with the publication of This World We Live In. I celebrated on July 13, 2009, at 4:06 p.m., when it debuted at 271,527. Each morning and afternoon and evening and night and occasionally at tea time, I check on all three books. It's like the Milwaukee Brewers Sausage Race. Now in first place is Life As We Knew It at 2,911, but fast on its heels is the up-and-comer This World We Live In at 2,983. Falling back to third place is The Dead & The Gone, at 3,240, from its midafternoon high of 2,829. Yes, dear Amazon reader, I love you. But could you please do something about my 1993 novel, The Ring of Truth? It's feeling very lonely at 5,235,538!
Susan Beth Pfeffer
(Photo © Marci Hanners)
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—This companion to Life As We Knew It (2006) and The Dead and the Gone (2008, both Harcourt) brings together the teen protagonists of those books when Miranda Evans's father and stepmother arrive with their new baby and a trio of strangers, including Alex Morales. For the past year, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother have been living in the family home in Howell, PA, struggling to survive since an asteroid hit the Moon, destroying the Earth's climate and causing millions to die. Deeply religious, Alex is determined to see his younger sister, Julie, safely to a convent before joining a monastery himself. When Miranda and Alex fall in love, she tries to persuade him to stay with her. Then a tornado hits Howell with tragic consequences, and Miranda must make a choice that may drive Alex away forever. As the narrator, Miranda dominates the book, but both she and Alex are sympathetic characters with her independence a nice complement to his sense of honor. Characters such as Miranda's brothers, parents, and Julie play less of a role but are still likable and fully three-dimensional. It is a testament to the author's skill that This World We Live In can be read as a stand-alone novel. In fact, new readers might not even realize that the earlier titles exist. Fans of Miranda and Alex, however, will keep this installment flying off the shelves, and the ambiguous ending will make them clamor for a fourth book.—Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Anybody who picks up this book will already be aware that it is set after "Life As We Knew It" and "The Dead and the Gone," in which an asteroid pushed the moon into a closer orbit, causing chaos on Earth and the death of most of the human population. The book is a curious mixture of optimism and realism, with long-disappeared characters miraculously reappearing only to become embroiled in more life-and-death peril by the end of the book. The most unrealistic part of it is that the village of Howell seems to have no means of growing its own food and must depend entirely on food brought in from the south (which, we can surmise, finally won the Civil War).
There are never any clear days after the moon causes all the volcanoes on Earth to erupt, but there is freakish weather, which provides "This World We Live In" with its climax. The heroine, Miranda, is confronted with a horrific choice, but rises to the occasion magnificently in my view. Only the fourth book will reveal if she succeeds in keeping her actions secret. "This World We Live In" is shorter than the first two books and at least as worth your time in reading it. Five stars.
A meteor, or an asteroid (both are mentioned) collides with the moon and knocks it closer to the Earth in its orbit. The resulting gravitational effects are damning to modern civilization. We follow a family as they struggle to deal with the consequences of the failure of organized society, and their own internal dissention. Unfortunately Pfeffer does not seem to understand general science and the impossibility of her basic thesis, but this detracts from the atmosphere of doom only slightly. (There is no way even an asteroid could have enough momentum to knock the moon significantly closer to the Earth.)
This is the first of a four book series, and suffice it to say, I finished them all.