Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Audio Review of This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Narrator: Emily Bauer
Published by: Listening Library
Length: 6hr., 53min.
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Dystopian at its best.  This World We Live In makes you question your morals and ethics when there are few left in the world to keep you accountable.

Ahhh...the ending.  I promise I won't give anything away, but I still don't know what I think about this ending.  I cannot imagine being one of the last survivors on earth, so I don't know what I'd do when it came to trying not only to keep myself alive, but also others.  You read about who each of these characters turn into and the things they do to to survive, but if you were in their situations would you do any differently?  

Miranda has grown up a bit since the first novel; I guess the situation she's in will do that to you.  I still, for some reason, was not a fan of her.  I felt that she was irrational, selfish, and immature.  Then I have to look at the situation she was in and reassess.  Does that ever happen to you?  I feel like she should have handled things differently, but then I have to check myself and ask what would I do if I was that age and in that situation.  Sometimes the two just don't mesh together for me.  Am I alone here or does anyone else have this issue as well?

The best thing about This World We Live In was how it tied the whole series together.  In the first novel we meet Miranda and her family and in the second novel we meet Alex Morales and his family.  The last one brings everyone together and while you may think isn't that a nice way to wrap it all up, it was still a bit unsettling.  It may be because of their hardship and struggles or that for this series a fairy tale ending does not fit with the flow of the story.  

Susan Beth Pfeffer did an amazing job at making this novel seem real.  There are no knights with shining armor, or secret government holdings to protect these common people.  They have to steal, pillage, starve and lie to survive.  They watch everyone around them die and yet they need a will to survive and keep living day to day.  There was so much interwoven in This World We Live In that it will stick with you long after you read it.  It is the kind of novel that will constantly make you self reflect and wonder, but at the same time it is an enjoyable read.  Plus the narrator is really good.  Emily Bauer not only read the first book in this series, but has narrated many novels I have read including novels by Meg Cabott, Anna Godbersen, Tera Lynn Childs, and Ann Aguirre.  If you haven't listened to something read by Emily Bauer you should.    

This World We Live In ended the series in a way that left you wondering about the future and what it will hold for these characters.  While the ending was a bit frustrating, it was also realistic making me appreciate the novel that much more.   


  1. Ahh, I forgot about these books. They are definitely some of the better dystopian books out there...completely engrossing and horrifying. I read these books a couple years ago but still get nervous on nights when the moon seems particularly I actually forget how the trilogy ended, but I do remember being annoyed with Miranda a lot in the 3rd book. Good review!

    1. I didn't like Miranda from the start of the series and by this book it did not get any better.


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