This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
In the first two companion novels, readers get to hear what happens to characters Miranda and Alex, who must survive after the moon is knocked out of its orbit. Devastating tragedies affect both their lives respectively and they’re finally meeting each other for the first time. Small spoilers ahead.
Publisher’s Description: It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.
The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship.
Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
It’s been a year since an asteroid hit the moon. Miranda, though hungry, is still living in a rural Pennsylvania town with her two brothers and mother. Her brother goes to find food and returns with a new bride in tow, a stranger named Syl who he claims to be in love with. Then Miranda’s father shows up, bringing his wife Lisa and their infant son, Gabriel. Not to mention three strangers – two of which are Alex and Julie.
Readers know how bad things are. Very little food, unreliable electricity, bad climate changes, and the mixed feelings of hope and doubt that linger in everyone’s minds. Which is why I think the author decided to focus on the characters rather than the events that make up the plot.
This is the story of how crazy people can get once a world-ending disaster strikes. Love begins to change perspectives. The Evans family deals with all kinds of issues the longer they’re together. Matt, protective of Syl, who was also once the level-headed and patient older brother, tends to provoke fights with everyone and brings out resentments he must have been hoarding the entire time. Jon and Julie, the youngest, tend to find their own bond, but they’re too young to understand what’s best for them. Alex, who was often an asshole in his own novel, is blindly driven to pushing his sister away in hopes she’ll be safe because he’s tired of responsibility and secretly afraid of watching her die in a bad way. Even Miranda becomes bitter and makes a very dark decision near the end of the book.
Relationships change when things happen. When I mentioned love changing, I meant it. Families begin to see themselves in new ways. The romantic kind of love is so rare that Matt/Syl, Miranda/Alex, and even Julie/Jon just throw themselves at each other because they’re desperate and forgot what it felt like to love. But even that kind of love can tear a person apart, especially when life-changing decisions affect them, especially in the case of Alex and Miranda.
All in all, a good novel and reflection of the terrors people can go through when everything falls apart around them.
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