Monday, August 27, 2012

Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is a great example of the breakdown of society during an apocalyptic event. It is the first in The Last Survivors trilogy. The story is told through a series of journal entries by 16-year-old Miranda, who lives in rural Pennsylvania with her mom and two brothers. I don't normally care for this type of storytelling because it can be very limiting and annoying, but it really worked here. I felt like I had the whole story.

As the book begins, a meteor is about to hit the moon. Once it actually does so, and knocks it just enough out of its regular orbit, things start happening: first major things such as tsunamis, and then less noticeable things, such as a change in seasons. Eventually, everyone is on their own with no resources from the city, state, or government.

I thought this book was really interesting and actually realistic about what might happen to people when they had to fend for themselves. I highly recommend this book and the next two to anyone who likes survival stories. The second book, The Dead and the Gone, is very good, too. It takes place in the same time line as Life As We Knew It (starting from the meteor), and follows Alex, who must protect his sisters in the very urban New York. The third book, This World We Live In, has Alex and Miranda meet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cardturner

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar was surprisingly absorbing. The premise of the book is that 17-year-old Alton is recruited to turn playing cards three times a week at a bridge club for his great-uncle, who is blind. Bridge is a card game similar to Hearts, but a lot more complicated. I'm not very interested in bridge, so I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this book. However, from the first few pages, I was hooked. The book is in 1st person, so we can see all the thoughts in Alton's head as he also struggles with the manipulations of his best friend, the difficulty with girls, his father losing his job, and a little sister who isn't totally annoying.

There are a few other elements to the book I won't get into because it would ruin the story, but suffice it to say, I highly recommend this book. I think that it's appropriate for anyone in grades 9-12. It's well-written and funny, and even though I've never had any desire to play bridge, after reading the book, I thought that it might be kind of fun.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...