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Monday, February 8, 2010
This World We Live in by Susan Pfeffer
It's now April, and Miranda, her mother and her two brothers have survived the fallout when everything was devastated by the moon's gravitational pull on the earth. Ash from volcanic eruptions completely obliterates the sky and only those with the physical, emotional and mental strength are still alive. Electricity is scarce, food is even more difficult to find, and living in extreme weather conditions makes everyone in Miranda's family more than a little on edge.
Changes slowly take place in Miranda's life. When her brothers go out on a fishing expedition, Matt (her oldest brother) brings back a wife...an another mouth to feed. Shortly after that, Miranda's father and wife comes back, bringing with them several other people they traveled with...and even more people to support. In a world of scarcity, do you protect what you have and let others suffer or do you take them in and hang onto your humanity?
Alex and Julie survived the horrible end of New York City and made it out alive. They found their older brother Carlos in Texas, but now are making their way back to the east coast in order to keep Julie safe. That was Alex's plan all along. The only reason he has survived was to protect Julie not only from the elements, but also to what could happen to a young girl in this new world. Along the way he met up with another group of people heading toward New York who showed him not only protection, but hospitality as well.
As they travel together, the journey ends for Alex's companions in the small town of Howell in Pennsylvania. Alex is partly relieved to stop for awhile and get rest and food, if possible, but he has to complete his personal journey. But then he meets Miranda....and life just got a little more complicated.
Pfeffer has taken the main characters from her previous two books (Life As We Knew It and The Dead and The Gone) and merged them into this third book in her series. And this third books doesn't disappoint. Both Miranda and Alex have evolved since the original books and have grown up not only physically, but emotionally as well from the impact of their environments, which continue to rupture and devolve. Secrets, betrayals, and choices these two have to make will continue their evolution, not only as characters, but as people in a strange new world they have to survive in.
I'm not a reader of series books. Usually, I'll read the first in a series if they're well-received, and order the rest without reading the next one published. But this is a seris I've read all of have enjoyed thoroughly.
There is a caveat though: The first two could well stand on their own without having read the previous one, and that's the only kink I found with this third installment. Previous knowledge has to come into play in order for the reader to make sense of this one, but if they have been read in the past, readers will be enthralled with this book. If not, they might not see the full character development. Keep an eye on this: Due out in March 2010
FYI!!! If you want an advanced copy of this, go to netgalley.com to download to a Kindle, Nook, Sony E-reader et al. Thank you Harcourt!!