Monday, March 05, 2012
Not so long ago, after the World Trade Centers fell, U.S. residents were coping with a new reality. At one point, Homeland Security advised folks to stock up on duct tape and plastic, supplies to seal the house off from potential chemical or dirty bomb attacks.
At my home? We didn't buy into the fear. We bought wine and cheese instead.
Years later, I trained as a volunteer with our local public health department for the potential, much-feared pandemic flu. After the training, we went home with a stock-the-pantry list in case commerce as we know it shut down. We picked up a few things, but didn't go wild then, either.
Remember the Y2K scare? People picked up generators, oil lamps, and stockpiles of bottled water. I think we had a gallon or two of water. Maybe.
Now I've picked up the book Life as we Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer. It's the first in a trilogy aimed at young adults. The story begins in an average high school in an average spring. Exam preparation, summer plans, prom, crushes, and changing friendships all go on as usual. Then a big event captures everyone's attention, and I do mean everyone. An asteroid is headed toward the moon, and it's expected to be visible with the naked eye. Families gather outside on a spring night to observe the phenomenon - and then all hell breaks lose.
As the title suggests, life changes dramatically when the asteroid hits its target. Without too many spoiling details, I can tell you that prom and final exams take a backseat to survival. The struggle for food, heat, light, and water pits family against family, individual against individual, and threatens to destroy an entire way of life.
The panic to stock the pantries reminded me of times in the past when pantry-stocking was a hot topic, even a trend. In Life as We Knew It, pantry-stocking may initially look like a panic reaction, but it turns out to be necessary. Typical sources of food are just not available. Starvation is a very real possibility.
Life as We Knew It sets up an apocalyptic world in which every individual and family group must cope together - or risk the worst. This story caught my attention; I looked up the rest of the trilogy and put the titles on my wish list on PaperbackSwap. If you're looking for an easy and entrancing read, or if your young adult reader needs something dramatic to hold his or her attention, consider Life as We Knew It. Stocking the pantry may never feel the same again.
I found my copy of Life as We Knew It through my favorite book swap site, Paperbackswap.com. This review was spontaneous and in no way compensated. I'm looking forward to the next two when they become available.Stumble It!