The heart-wrenching companion to the bestselling novels Life As We Knew It and The Dead & The Gone.
It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. Miranda and her two brothers spend their days scavenging for food and household items, while their mother stays at home and desperately tries to hold on to the ordinary activities of their previous life. But they all know that nothing is truly normal in this surreal new world they live in.
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.
I loved Life as We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone, so I expected this to be a great read. I was a bit nervous, going into it, about the added romance and the mixing of the two separate sets of characters. I love, love, love the title.
Things have been tough for Miranda and her family (Ugh...their situation needs a cool name. Like The FAYZ.*), and I think the strains in their relationships reflect that. The characters are very real, ordinary people. The ordinary-ness of them is what really drove the story home in the first two books.
The first half of this book got a bit long for me. This has everything to do with the fact that I just really, really wanted Alex to get back into the story, because he's been my favorite character all the way. He's the most complex, the bravest, and the most Mexican-ish (which means absolutely nothing, as a matter of fact). I wasn't a big fan of the Miranda-Alex love thing, but it worked out nicely in the end and didn't make me too angry, so we'll count it as okay.
This book is a lot less intense than the first two. TD&tG was definitely the creepiest and most disturbing, with the most Mockingjay Syndrome** after finishing the book. Which is a huge part of why I loved it. But this book just didn't have that. Except for the disturbing Julie thing with the pills (I'm trying not to have spoilers here). That was freaky. Other than that, though, and the tornado at the end, there wasn't much intensity.
Overall, I'm not quite sure what to think of this. It definitely wasn't up to par with the first two books. The lack of creepiness and suspense disappointed me. Other than that, it was still a decent read. Probably around a 3.5 stars, but I round up. Four stars for This World We Live In.
*Fallout Alley Youth Zone, which I still think is genius. I love how they all say "It's just the FAYZ." Just a phase, but it's killed a lot of people.
** Mockingjay Syndrome (n): feelings of shock, horror, "What on earth did I just read?", "Wow...this is freakishly amazing!", amazement, bafflement, etc. after finishing a book. Sometimes lasts for weeks. It's a good thing, people. I want books to make me feel like that, to impact me like that.