Title: This World We Live In
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
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.