Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is told in journal entries that sixteen years old Miranda Evans makes. The book is set in a suburban city in Pennsylvania where Miranda and her two brothers and mother live. Her straining friendships, falling grades, and the fact that she is going to be a godmother to Lisa’s, her step-mother, and her father’s child are her major issues. But when the predicted asteroid hits the moon, it causes the moon to move closer to the Earth disturbing the Earth’s gravitational pull. This causes earthquakes, and tsunamis in various parts of the world causing many casualties. Now Miranda and her family have much more to worry about than her school life. The story becomes a survival story and they have to get through these hard times even with volcanoes erupting out of nowhere and very deadly mosquitoes.

Life As We Knew It could be a very relatable story to others in the way Miranda and her family act. It can really make you think of what you would do in their situation and how you would handle it. It makes me think about how grateful I am that I am not going through their situation. The theme of the book is survival. Miranda and her family works hard in the book to stay alive and get through everything together. They stick together through everything and work things out. I really loved their dynamic and how they acted with each other. Their personalities had their own flair that made them stand out from each other. Life as we knew it is an emotional story and it can make you rethink things in life and I really liked that aspect of it.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially if they like dystopian stories. Life As We Knew It is the first book out of the four in the series and I would love to read the next in line: The Dead And The Gone.

-Nicole R.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Solstice by P.J. Hoover

solstice_pjhooverDo you like dystopias or mythology books? What about books that are both?

Solstice combines a dystopian-end-of-the-world atmosphere with a core plot that connects to mythology. Meet Piper. She’s just your average teenage girl with an overprotective mother living in a world that hasn’t seen winter for as long as she’s been alive. The heat waves that threaten the world are getting worse, which makes Piper’s mom more protective causing Piper to rebel all the more. She gets a tattoo with her friend and plans on moving away as soon as she finishes high school.

When Piper’s mom goes out of town, Piper finds herself pulled towards freedom and romance. But will it be with Reece who breaks rules for fun or Shane who makes her heart beat faster when she sees him? As she learns more about gods and the battle for the underworld, it’s hard for Piper to know who to trust. But whoever she is with, Piper can tell everyone is keeping secrets. Will she find a way to stop the world from dying and even find out who she is?

The romance here is a bit cliche with the insta-love-triangle. It isn’t bad per say, just nothing that new or special. I think I enjoyed more of the idea of the plot, how the mythology and dystopia blended together more than the characters. If the premise seems interesting enough, give it a read because it’s an interesting take of gods dealing with the end of the world.

-Nicole G., 12th Grade

Solstice is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library.

Owari no Serafu (Seraph of the End) by Takaya Kagami and Yamoto Yamamoto

Modern Japan (and the rest of the world) has been ravaged by a virus, leaving almost everyone above the age of twelve dead.

Monsters called the Four Horsemen of John have come into the world, eating humans they cross. Vampires, afraid that their food supply would be lost, have come out and made human children as their livestock.

Yu, Mika, and the rest of the children of the Hyakuya orphanage are livestock to vampires. This has been the case for four years: living in a city made by vampires that they can’t get out of. Yu hates it, but the person that he feels like is his brother, Mika, feels that by giving his blood, his family (the orphanage) can escape. Something goes terribly wrong in the plan, and Yu is the only one who escapes, vowing to get revenge.

Four years later, at the age of sixteen, Yu trains to be in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, made up with Japan’s last humanity that fights the Vampires. But what if he meets new friends who can become his “family”, knowing that he is haunted by his past? And what happens when he gets a demon to wield, who tells him that he is not totally human?

This manga is wrapped in chaos, fear, and mystery, making it a very good plot to follow and keep readers on the edges of their seats. Additionally, there is a lot of unexpected comic relief, so this is not a serious manga like Attack on Titan usually is. The characters in this dystopia world seem very real, as though they were people the reader would know. Finally, the drawings are amazing; both action scenes and scenes of down time (school, suspenseful scenes, etc.) are well done and very thorough.

If anyone is looking for an action manga that is not too serious, this is one to read. However, although it can be found in Barnes & Noble, it can not be found in the Mission Viejo Library.

-Megan V., 10th grade