When they return, Matt brings with him a girl named Syl, who he introduces as his bride. But that's not the only shock Miranda and her family have to deal with. A few weeks later, Miranda's father, stepmother, and baby brother show up at her door. Accompanying them are three strangers, a man named Charlie Rutherford, and two teenagers, Alex and Julie Morales. These five people have crossed America together, becoming, in their own way, a family.
Taken from GoodReads.
It's been a year since a meteor hit the moon, knocked it out of orbit, and devastated all life on Earth. In This World We Live In, we see that against all odds, Miranda, her two brothers Matt and Jon, and her mother have survived the first year. Though the world is ashen gray, the climate is ruined, and her friends and the life she once knew are dead and gone, Miranda and her family have survived. When her father, his new wife Lisa, their baby Gabriel and three new strangers arrive, including Alex and his younger sister Julie, a wrench is thrown into the system Miranda's family has developed. Can they survive on even less, and can they all survive together?
It's no secret that I absolutely loved the first book, Life As We Knew It. It's no secret that the second book, The Dead and the Gone let me down a little bit. I had really high hopes for this, the third book. Once again, the book is written in diary form, which I found very effective and poignant in the first book. It's easy to read, it's simple to relate to, and I think it's a clever way to delve into Miranda's emotions the whole time. That said, I have to admit that I was extremely let-down by this book, and I might be the only one. First, I'm going to say that I think that Susan Beth Pfeffer has a rich writing style - easy to follow, entertaining to read, and great to immerse yourself in, and I don't dispute that at all.
However, I did have some problems with This World We Live In. First of all, part of what I loved about Miranda as the MC in the first book was that she grew up and learned to appreciate the small things in the first book. Her angry, childish, and ornery attitude this time really annoyed me. She griped about absolutely everything and everyone. Matt, her brother, also became a character I simply couldn't relate to, perhaps because of the introduction of Syl. While I enjoyed Alex's hope in the second book, he appears as hopeless and spineless as they come in This World We Live In. Then, above all else, Miranda is willing to shove her family aside simply to start a life with someone she hardly knows but "falls in love with" because she "hungers" to be with him. It was sudden, abrupt, and not something I could believe.
I hate giving bad reviews. Truly, I do, especially when I enjoy the author's writing style. I guess what got me the most about This World We Live In was the utter lack of even an inkling of hope. No, I wasn't looking for rainbows, and puppies, and roses, but I wanted to feel that there was something to live for in this book. However, this single line crushed it all for me - "We'll have our life together, not the one with Julie, but one based on family and love and lies." Lies? Really? Ugh. Ok, I'm sure other people will enjoy this book more than me, but I just couldn't help but be depressed and displeased with the outcome. I give it a 2.5 out of 5 because I still enjoy the writing, and I'd recommend it to fans of YA and dystopian novels.