this world we live in

Why do I like reading books about the end of the world?

(Does it have anything to do with the fact that I’m writing report cards right now? Har har).

At least I know I’m not the only one loving these books. There are plenty of Susan Beth Pfeffer fans just as excited as I was to read the final book in her Survivors trilogy. I’ve had it on my stack for a few weeks, and it’s fairly miraculous that I managed to resist it until now. I am not a stay-up-late-into-the-night type of reader, but with Pfeffer’s books, I get that way.

This third one takes place about a year since a meteor collided with the moon, which knocked it out of orbit, catastrophically changing the earth’s climate. In the first book, we followed Miranda Evans and her family as they struggled to survive in rural Pennsylvania. In the follow up, Pfeffer presented an urban perspective of the same events in the story of Alex Morales, fighting to make it in New York City. Of those two books, I found the latter, the dead and the gone, to be the more powerful. I think it was the characters. Alex is more interesting, more complicated than Miranda. I’d say that the second is still my favourite of the books. In book three, Miranda and Alex meet when he arrives at her home with her father, stepmother and half-brother. The story covers what happens to the two teens after they meet, and another tragedy takes place that affects both of their families.

Overall, I thought the book was rushed. I certainly wanted to have more of Alex’s perspective in the novel. If I hadn’t read the second book, I imagine he would have seemed a rather thin character. I found it a shade unrealistic and contrived that Miranda’s dad would manage to get back to her home when the whole world had more or less fallen apart around them. It was tough to believe. The ending was ambiguous and bleak, which I thought was perfect. Anything else would have been false, and not true to the horror of their situation. People who complain that this book is depressing, they are reading the wrong book. If it weren’t depressing, it wouldn’t make sense. All in all, I thought it was satisfying, but lacking in character development, which is what really makes a book stand out for me. A decent end to a memorable series. I’m eager to see what Pfeffer imagines next.

this world we live in is published by Harcourt.


2 thoughts on “this world we live in

  1. Jill

    You’re review pretty much mirrors what I ‘ve read by others. That said i will have to read it since I read the other two 🙂

  2. kay

    I agree that it was too rushed. I felt like the author felt the pressure to conclude every characters’ storyline at once, and I didn’t connect to them as much as I did in the previous books. It was still a good read though.

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