Book Review: This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

thisworldTitle: This World We Live In
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Harcourt
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Galley in e-book form from NetGalley
First line: I’m shivering, and I can’t tell if it’s because something strange is going on or because of the dream I had or just because I’m in the kitchen, away from the warmth of the woodstove.

This World We Live In continues the story from Life As We Knew It, resuming the diary that Miranda was keeping following the moon event. She and her mother and two brothers are still surviving, sustained by the weekly food deliveries from the town hall. They are some of the few left alive in their area, however, and have no idea how long the food will continue to come in. When it rains after months without, they begin to have some hope that things may finally begin to improve.

The family has become very insular, looking out for each other and fiercely protecting their food supplies. Miranda is tested when her brothers return from a fishing trip to a nearby river with another mouth to feed. Her brother Matt met a young woman named Syl and married her on the spot. It would be hard to imagine doing anything like this before the moon event, but there are so few people left alive – I imagine Matt saw this as his only chance for a family of his own. At first, Miranda doesn’t care for Syl, and the idea that there will be even less food for the rest of the family rankles.

The news of Matt’s marriage pales in comparison, though, to the uproar and excitement created when Miranda’s father and wife and young baby show up – with three other people, including Alex and Julie from book two, The Dead and the Gone.

I really liked Life As We Knew It and loved The Dead and the Gone. This book is probably my least favorite of the series, though it still merits 4 stars. Like book two, it is dark. The circumstances that the characters find them in are beyond anything I can even begin to imagine experiencing. There were times I was frustrated with the characters and the way they responded to others, but I could understand the reasons behind each action. Each character has their own way of coping with the extreme trials they are facing, and Pfeffer does a wonderful job of showing this.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was the ending. All of the information I’ve read online indicates that this is a trilogy, which means that This World We Live In is the last book in the series, and yet it still leaves so much story to tell, in my opinion. I can only hope that Ms. Pfeffer decides to continue the story.

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30 Responses to Book Review: This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    My daughter just read the first one (which I will read once I finish my current read) and the second one is on the way from the library as I speak. I did not know anything about the third one…she will freak out when she finds out that there is a continuation. She absolutely loved the Life as We Knew It. This seems like an amazing series. Personally, if you think there are loose ends, I hope the author continues to extend the story.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..The Little Giant of Aberdeen County – Tiffany Baker (audio) =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Sandy – my daughter wants to read these, too – but she’s madly making her way through the original Nancy Drew mysteries right now for Deborah’s (Books, Movies, and Chinese Food) challenge. 🙂

  2. Isn’t it amazing how many books are trilogies now, and are really incomplete without one another? It’s not a bad thing if you discover it late and all the volumes are out, but when they’re not, it can just be agony! :–)
    .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Review of “Eye of the Crow” by Shane Peacock =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Rhapsody – One of my greatest joys is when I discover I series I love in which all the installments are already released!

  3. Kathy says:

    There’s always one book in a series that’s a little weaker than the rest – too bad it was the last on in this trilogy.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review: KitchenAid Best-Loved Recipes =-.

  4. Heather @ Book Addiction
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath

    I’m so jealous that you’ve already got a copy of this one! I’m anxiously awaiting its release myself. Kind of sucks that the book didn’t live up to the promise of the first two, but I’m still excited to read it. Although I HATE ambiguous endings to a series. By the time I’ve gotten to know the characters and really care about them, I want to know how they end up!
    .-= Heather @ Book Addiction´s last blog ..Spellbinder by Helen Stringer =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Heather – you can read an early galley in e-book form from – either on your computer or on an e-reader, if you have one. I read it on my computer. I don’t usually like to do read books on my computer screen, but I didn’t want to wait for this one!

  5. Kristi says:

    I’m so jealous that you are finished already. I have yet to start it. Hopefully this week though!!

    I avoided reading what you wrote above as I didn’t want to know anything ahead of time!
    .-= Kristi´s last blog ..Terror by Night by Terry Caffey (Book Review) =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kristi – I don’t read reviews of books I’m planning to read, either. 🙂

  6. Trisha
    Twitter: Trish422

    I think it’s pretty impressive if the weakest book in the series so far still gets four stars. As soon as I can convince myself to get out of this book buying ban, this sounds like a series I should go for.
    .-= Trisha´s last blog ..Book Review: The Fabulous and Mystic Egypt =-.

  7. Michelle says:

    I just finished this one up last week as well and have to say I was left feeling unsatisfied. Though part of my scenario is that I felt like book one was the best of the trilogy. I wasn’t as fond of Book two and this one notched up a bit from there because I was glad to get back to the original characters but so much about it irked me. I’m hoping to ge my review done in the next week or so but I will say, like you, I wasn’t fond of the ending. I’ve never been a big fan of the abiguity. I’ll say it wasn’t so ambiguous that I was left disliking the book for it but it was just enough to annoy. LOL
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Book Blogger Con is On! =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Michelle – exactly – I almost changed my rating to three stars because the ending is driving me crazy! But I did race through it only a couple of days, so I figure it deserves the four.

  8. Pingback: The Sunday Salon – January 17, 2010 (the “drool-worthy covers from my to-read list” edition) | BOOKS AND MOVIES

  9. Kay says:

    I just finished reading The Dead and The Gone and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one! I like you review though; too bad the last book wasn’t as good as the other ones. Still, can’t wait to read it!
    .-= Kay´s last blog ..Review : The Dead and the Gone =-.

  10. Debbie
    Twitter: debworldofbooks

    I totally agree about the ending. It seemed like it was setting up for a book 4 but I also heard this was supposed to be a trilogy. Total bummer. For the most part though I enjoyed it. Life As We Knew It was my favorite.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Book Blogger’s New Disocveries January 15 =-.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I can’t decide if I will read this book or The Dead and the Gone. Life as We Knew It was pretty good, but I think it will be awhile before I pick up more dystopian literature. I feel like I have made myself sick on it the past few months!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Stephanie – if you’re feeling burnt out on dystopia, definitely wait a while before reading The Dead and the Gone – it’s much darker than Life As We Knew It.

  12. stacybuckeye says:

    It’s not good for the end of a trilogy to leave you hanging!
    .-= stacybuckeye´s last blog ..Martin Luther King Quotes Quiz =-.

  13. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)
    Twitter: SavvyVerseWit

    sounds like a good series, though I’ve never heard of it before. I have to say I’m a sucker for dystopian lit.
    .-= Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)´s last blog ..International Winner of When She Flew =-.

  14. Pingback: BOOKS AND MOVIES » First lines of 2010

  15. that one guy says:

    All I wanna say is that I loved the 2nd book, hated the 1st, 3rd was ight tho. :]

  16. Chloe says:

    Well I thought it was the best one of ALL

  17. marrisa says:

    this was the best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. grace says:

    I personally loved the book. I thought it was fantastic. I thought it was the best book in the series but you are right. I didn’t like the ending. authors always want to leave the readers guessing but there was to many lose end that weren’t tied up. other than that I loved it. the drama the suspense the romance. just that darn ending. and it’s the final book too 🙁