Stephanie Burgis
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2010: A Book Odyssey
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Today I picked up Susan Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It out of curiosity, because it's just come out in paperback in the UK, and I knew it had been nominated for the SFWA Andre Norton award, so I figured it would be good. I thought I would flip through the first few pages.

By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. By midway through the second, I knew that I was buying the book, budgets be damned. I read the rest of the book compulsively, without stopping for breaks or food, until it was done. And it was amazing. It starts with almost the feel of a Meg Cabot novel - a normal sixteen-year-old writing a diary about her friends, her family, the issues of dealing with step-families...and then everything changes. An apocalyptic event hits the earth (or rather the moon, causing lunar shifts that lead to tidal waves, tsunamis, and far more) and suddenly everything in life has changed, and what should be a sixteen-year-old girls' normal life turns gradually, inexorably, and utterly believably into a desperate fight for survival.

Apocalyptic movies and books rarely do anything for me - I tend to think that either they're overblown, unrealistic, and basically 2-dimensional (especially Hollywood horrors like The Day After Tomorrow) or else too depressing for me to want to read them. Not this time. I believed so strongly in Miranda and her family that I desperately cared what happened to them, even as I kept giggling over the humor that springs from even the worst of circumstances. And this whole story is so believable - every single detail rang true. Life as We Knew It is up for a science fiction award, which it completely deserves - it's wonderfully written science fiction. But it's also the kind of book I want to thrust at friends and relatives who don't usually read science fiction, because I know they'd also love it (especially the women - Miranda is such a spot-on teenage girl). This was the scariest, most exciting, and most satisfying book I've read in a long, long time, in any genre.

In other news, after reading Jenny Crusie's latest blog entry, I'm totally lusting over Curio software...but I'm pretty damn sure that for me it would just function as procrastination!

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