Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Life As We Knew It
Life As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer
This was a nice surprise.  I was expecting something pretty mediocre but found something a cut above;
  • I was so impressed with the mother's character.  I haven't liked a mother in a YA book this much for a very long time.  She was so fascinating, unpredictable and unique...and more like a parent than an all-out chum! All of the adults are really interesting in this book -- not superfluous extras to the adolescent narrative.  It made for a richer story.
  • One of my pet peeves in YA: when characters in their mid- to late-teens are still saying "daddy."  This is such a book.  
  • The first-person narration works really well here (it reads like a diary).  Details are scant sometimes and then well-explored at others -- I enjoyed that.
  • It's really tasteful, in terms of appropriate content.  The behaviour modelling is positive too.
  • I was surprised by some tropes Pfeffer resists falling into.  I was left guessing for quite a few elements, and that was fun.  I was not sure which way some things were going to go.  And although overall I say it is "tidy," there are some loose strings left loose that I respect.  I think it lends the story more power and raises the tone.
For fans of The Age of Miracles (though that world build has a deeper resonance) and films like The Day After Tomorrow (though this book frames more food for thought).  There's a sweet spot there, ha!

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