Tag Archives: Life As We Knew It

Persnickety Snark’s FIVE Challenge, Day 3: Great Series

Today, December 23, is the third day of Persnickety Snark’s FIVE Challenge, and today’s particular challenge is…Great Series!

Adele’s list may be YA only, but I’m including all age brackets. Oh, and these aren’t all published in 2010 – I just read them in 2010. Better late than never 😉

Anyhoo, here we are, counting down from 5 to 1 – yes, I do play favourites:

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[REVIEW] Life As We Knew It – Susan Beth Pfeffer

Susan Beth Pfeffer
Life As We Knew It (The Last Survivors, Book 1)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia (US: 1st May 2008); Scholastic Marion Lloyd (UK: 3rd May 2010)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

An asteroid is due to crash into the moon – interesting to watch, but no big deal. But no one predicted that the asteroid would push the moon’s orbit much closer to Earth. The moon controls the tides, so tsunamis are the first disasters. Earthquakes and erupting volcanoes soon follow, and illness may very well lead to death.

Miranda Evans is taking it one day at a time, just like everyone else, but she can’t fight her personal darkness. One of her friends has fallen so far into religion that she’s starving herself to death. Another friend is escaping the town with a forty-year-old man. News from her father and stepmother just doesn’t come fast enough. And then there’s the stuff too close to home: the blizzards, the woodstove malfunctioning, and the sickness that strikes Miranda’s mother and brothers. And when she, too, falls ill, not even she may survive.

The book would’ve worked better had it just been a straight first-person account, rather than a diary. Who actually remembers exact dialogue from their day? You don’t need a reason to write first-person – just do it. Susan Beth Pfeffer plays it smart by focusing on everyday life in a small town, rather than city kids running from tsunamis and erupting volcanoes. And there are enough issues that contemporary teens face: fighting with friends, a mother wanting her daughter not to have a boyfriend, mixed feelings toward step-parents…Miranda’s even a bit fangirly over a figure skater.

It doesn’t take much to shock me, but Miranda’s July 17 diary entry certainly did. So sad!

Fans of Jeanne DuPrau and Julie Bertagna should gravitate toward this stark and striking story.

10 New Covers

10 new covers behind the cut. Here are the details:

Kylie Chan: Red Phoenix (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Sara Creasy: Song of Scarabaeus Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Vicki Pettersson: Cheat the Grave Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Kim Harrison: Black Magic Sanction (US) Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Susan Beth Pfeffer: Life As We Knew It (UK) Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Susan Beth Pfeffer: The Dead and the Gone (UK) Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Jennifer Armintrout: Possession (UK) Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Kelley Armstrong: Bitten (UK) Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
Kelley Armstrong: Stolen (UK) Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)
M. J. Rose: The Hypnotist Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

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6 New-to-Me Futuristic YA Novels

You know that “Amazon Recommends” thing, where it recommends you books based on your Wishlist and what you’ve previously marked as “Read” and rated? Usually it’s clear that the function doesn’t understand me, but it’s finally come through with the goods – six futuristic YA novels that I’d love to read, particularly the mech ones. And now I’m spreading the word. I’ve updated Most Wanted and Reading Wishlist with the relevant info.

Gemma Malley
The Declaration (Surplus, Book 1)
Bloomsbury (US & UK: August 2008); Allen & Unwin (AU: October 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Anna Covey is a ‘Surplus’. She should not have been born. In a society in which ageing is no longer feared, and death is no longer an inevitability, children are an abomination. Like all Surpluses, Anna is living in a Surplus Hall and learning how to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. She is quietly accepting of her fate until, one day, a new inmate arrives. Anna’s life is thrown into chaos. But is she brave enough to believe this mysterious boy? A tense and utterly compelling story about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people seize the chance to break free.

Gemma Malley
The Resistance (Surplus, Book 2)
Bloomsbury (US: Sep 2008; UK: 4 May 2009); Allen & Unwin (AU: October 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The year is 2140. Peter and Anna are now living on the Outside as Legals. Impatient to see action as an agent in the Underground, Peter is tasked by Pip, its charismatic leader, to infiltrate Pincent Pharma Corporation and find out what’s going on in the secret Longevity programme. Peter must feign a reconciliation with his grandfather, Richard Pincent, one of the most powerful men on the planet, whose company is chasing the holy grail of modern science – a drug which will reverse ageing and make people look young again. But his grandfather has his own plans for Peter – plans which threaten the young couple’s dreams for the future.

Susan Beth Pfeffer
Life As We Knew It
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 1 May 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Dead and the Gone
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

An asteroid hits the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. In New York City, seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, and he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.

Robin Wasserman
Skinned (Lia’s Story, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster (US & CA: 4th August 2009; UK: 3rd August 2009; AU: 1st June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular – until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can’t ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life. Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated…and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime – for which they must pay the ultimate price.

Robin Wasserman
Crashed (Lia’s Story, Book 2)
Simon & Schuster (US & CA: 8th September 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Months have passed, and in that time, Lia has joined Jude and his roving gang of mechs, an eclectic collection of bored teenagers looking for trouble, and uniquely capable of finding it. It’s a carefree life at first, but as the download process becomes more common, the opposition to the process becomes more vocal – and more hostile. Lia gets swept up in the idea of being a revolutionary and fighting for a cause, but as the plans escalate, she starts having second thoughts – especially when she figures out Jude’s real agenda. Yes, he’s loyal to his cause – fiercely, desperately, blindly loyal. But only to his cause. Not necessarily to his people. In the end, Lia must make a choice. How many people – mechanical and organic – is she willing to hurt to protect her freedom? How far is she willing to go to protect the people she loves? And, when she betrays Jude – as she eventually realises she must – how will he take his revenge?