Life As We Knew It is a Speculative Fictionteen novel by Susan Beth Pfeffer, told from the point of view of a teenage girl named Miranda Evans in the form of her diary, which she begins writing in May of an unspecified year. Initially, things are normal, and Miranda is looking forward to the upcoming prom and her dad and stepmother have told her that they want her to be the godmother of the child they are expecting. Everyone is eagerly anticipating an interesting astronomical event: an incoming meteor that is supposed to crash into the moon. Miranda just looks at it as another excuse for extra homework assignments. However, most people are looking at it as a once in a lifetime chance to see an event like this. Miranda's mother has even baked cookies in honor of the occasion. But no one anticipates the moon being knocked closer in orbit to the earth and the havoc it causes. The climate is drastically altered, the coastal areas are hit with tsunamis, the supermarkets are closing as food runs short, the price of gas has risen to over ten dollars, electricity is no longer a guarantee, and the lists of the dead are expanding. It's The End of the World as We Know It, though no one wants to admit it.The author of this series says she was inspired to write the first book in the Moon Crash Series, Life As We Knew It, by watching Meteor. She says "it got [her] thinking about how the people who have the most to lose if the world comes to an end are kids" and wanted to write about how kids would cope with this particular scenario. There are three other book in there series, which are:
The Dead and the Gone, told from the point of view of Alex Morales, a young Puerto Rican teenager living in New York City dealing with the meteor strike. Both his parents are immediately killed in the incident, and it's up to him to protect his two sisters and find the food to support them.
This World We Live In, where Miranda is reunited with her father and step mother, who have brought Alex with them. The two get together while dealing with the stresses of survival, and toy with the idea of moving to a recovered city.
The Shade of the Moon Miranda's brother, Jon, lives with his step mother and half brother in a city populated by those with skills that helped them weather The End of the World as We Know It, while dealing with old guilt and the knowledge that most of his family is forced to live in the slums for those who aren't as useful.
The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: When she realizes that things will most likely get worse after the stores are being mobbed and sold out, Laura gets serious with enlisting her children's help with getting as much stuff and they can. Inverted, though, when she also goes against her usual charitable nature and refuses to give supplies to the local drive to get supplies for needy people in New York and New Jersey, though it's justified, given that the danger in giving up supplies that might be necessary later on as well as giving any hint that you have plenty for others to steal. The whole family goes to great lengths to ensure each other's survival.
Bittersweet Ending: The End of the World as We Know It has happened, Megan, Peter, and Mrs. Nesbitt have died, it's questionable at best whether or not Miranda's dad, stepmother, and half-sibling are alive, the whole family is starving, and it's clear that things will never get back to normal, but Miranda's mother and siblings are alive, Miranda herself has lived to see her 17th birthday, her whole family is getting a massive amount of food, and it genuinely looks like they're going to make it through the winter.
Corrupt Church- Miranda's former best friend, Megan, turns to God after their friend dies (before the book starts). The church tells her not to eat and she dies of starvation. It is also revealed that the priest at said church was taking food from his church members.
Crazy-Prepared: The sheer amount of stuff they got really comes in handy when things get rough in the winter.
Cult: As the world is ending, religious people are not only flocking to Reverend Marshall's church out of understandable panic, they're spending almost all of their time there, and even sleeping there. Megan says one day that it's the first time she's left the church in a while and that they only sleep for one or two hours at a time so they can keep praying.
Sinister Minister: Reverend Marshall is unquestionably corrupt. As The End of the World as We Know It gets progressively worse, people flock to his church in religious panic and even give him their food. Reverend Marshall accepts the food, even though the people giving it to him are starving and in need of it, and he is only too happy to tell Miranda about how he deliberately didn't bury Megan's mother just because she was a suicide.
Teen Pregnancy: Laura is very worried about this happening to Miranda and does not want this to happen to her. Justified as Miranda having a baby would mean a threat to the whole family's survival.
Too Dumb to Live: With people dying and leaving left, right and centre, you would think the Evans family would check the empty houses for supplies. They might hold respect for the dead, but still.
In the third book, they do start house raiding, and it's implied that they didn't before because of Laura's scruples, or that other raiders would fight them for it. When they do empty their neighbour's house they are super cautious about it.
Tough Love: Laura shows this toward all of her children, making very little effort to soften the reality of the apocalyptic scenario around them.
However, towards the end of the book and all through the next one, he is shown to be fiercely protective of her and obviously loves her very much. This is most likely because Julie undergoes great maturity throughout the story (which means she is no longer the brat Alex disliked so much) as well as her being the only family Alex has left.
Tropes in This World We Live In:
Mercy Kill: Miranda kills Julie in her sleep once her neck is broken in the storm, her brother is missing, and the family isn't sure how they're going to survive in the aftermath of the tornado.
Trailers Always Spoil: In the summary given in the jacket notes, it mentions that a tornado devastates the town, an event that doesn't happen until the book is nearly over.
Tropes in The Shade of the Moon:
Childless Dystopia: While teens and older children are thriving now, there are a lot of people who didn't survive the initial chaos of the moon changing orbit. The current living conditions in the country also reduced a lot of peoples odds of conceiving. Gabe is one of the few small children in the enclave, and Miranda is one of the only pregnant girls for miles. Lisa worries that she may be booted from the enclave just because someone who wants a child expects her to leave Gabe with someone who could provide for him, and Miranda is told her child died within minutes of it's birth so it could be given to a influential family that couldn't conceive.
Date Rape Averted: Jon tried to have sex with Julie before she broke her neck, and the injury resulted from her fleeing him. He tries to justify it by saying it would have been a Near-Rape Experience if she'd only made it clear she didn't want it, but in the flashback he pretty blatantly ignores that she didn't, and insists on believing she was only afraid of what Alex would think.
Fantastic Ghetto: The grub towns, where anyone who wasn't important or didn't posses a valuable skill ends up.
From Bad to Worse: Things are disfunctional, but bearable for most prior to the soccer game with White Birch. When Tyler takes advantage of one of the grub players suddenly dying to unfairly win the first game the enclave had a chance of losing, a riot breaks out, resulting in the deaths and disappearances of several hundred people. Laura is among them.
My Greatest Failure: Jon and Julie were safe when the tornado first hit. But then Jon scared her out into the storm.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Laura is hung in front of the White Birch school and shot when she tries to keep her students from being taken away after the riot. Lisa later shoots herself and leaves a suicide note with false information to keep anyone else from being suspected when they steal Miranda's baby back.
Urban Segregation: The enclave has air purification systems in it's buildings, food, decent education, and though everyone old enough to work does, most of the jobs are pleasant. The surrounding towns are filthy, and dangerous. The people living there work long, hard hours and get very little pay. There is only as much food as in necessary, the air is filthy, and not a single building can be locked.
Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Sarah is the only kid in the enclave who seems to realize that being less privileged does not make a person inhuman. Jon, most of whose family is less privileged than himself, cannot say the same, but still acts like he's better than many of the other clavers.