Carmen Ferreiro Esteban

I’m not a fan of dystopian novels or of those that present post-apocalyptic scenarios. I have not read The Road nor watched the movie, even though the role of the father in the screen version is played by Viggo Mortensen, my favorite actor ever. So when, two weeks ago, my friend Candace lend me Life As We Knew It, the first book in The Last Survivors Trilogy, I did not suspect that two days later I would be at her door begging her to lend me the next two books.

Written as the journal of Miranda, a 16 year old girl living in the small town of Howell, PA, Life As I knew It starts ordinarily enough with Miranda’s musing on school and friends and the lack of boyfriends, then almost casually she introduces a piece of news: a meteor is on a collision course to the moon.

Two days later the meteor hits the moon, and something goes terribly wrong: the impact sends the moon off its orbit and into a new one closer to Earth. The pull of this closer moon creates giant tides that wipe the coasts. Tsunamis, thunderstorms and volcanic eruptions ensues. And as the ashes hang over the earth blocking the sun, plants die and the world as we knew it is no more.

Because it is in journal form, what happens worldwide we learn sporadically as Miranda hears it on the radio, but mainly we learn what happens to Miranda, her mother, younger brother and their neighbor. And it is because their life was so normal before, so much like mine that I immersed myself so totally in their predicament and rooted for them as they struggled for food and warmth in their harsh, cold world.

The second book the dead & the gone takes place in New York City and follows Alex, a Puerto Rican boy and his two sisters trying to survive in the dying city.

The third book, this world we live in, told, once more, through Miranda’s journal brings Alex and Miranda together in an ever bleaker world.

The books are not perfect. The relationship between Miranda and Alex lacks chemistry and the scientific explanations are somehow faulty, but the author has created characters so vivid that you can’t but feel for them as if they were your own family.

A haunting story of survival I highly recommend.