This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This World We Live In (The Last Survivors, Book 3)

It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

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.

This book gave me insomnia. And nightmares. And I was prepared for that, because that's exactly what the first two books in the trilogy did, too. If Susan beth Pfeffer can do one thing really well, it's turn everyday life (so to speak) into a horrifying real experience. So if you get spooked easily, beware.

With that being said, it is always interesting to see how a trilogy ends. The final book of The Last Survivors trilogy, "This World We Live In" had a lot to live up to in my mind, and it was...ok. The first book was stellar and horrifying, the second, boring, preachy, and horrifying, and the third was just ok (and horrifying).

"This World We Live In" had a chance to make up for the lackluster "The Dead and the Gone," and while it WAS better, I just wish it could have ended differently.

Miranda, for starters, pretty much whines her way through the whole book - why me, poor me, what about me, boo hoo. 90% of the time she is thinking about herself, which would be probably be pretty typical teen behavior in this situation, BUT it got old really fast.

Alex is even more removed in this book than the previous one; I never cared much for him in "The Dead and the Gone," but I understood his reasons for his actions; in this book, not only is he twice as stubborn and aloof, it's hard to see why...he comes off as incredibly single-minded.

The romance between Miranda and Alex was awkward and forced...ok, so they are the last two teenagers alive in a certain area and death is imminent so let's just go for the first person we see, and call him/her our soul mate. Hmm. If they were in any other circumstances I would not have put them together. Even so, I think  the romance could have been made believable, if it were handled carefully...but unfortunately it was yet another YA case of "I hate him/her ooh wait now I love him/her for no apparent reason other than my raging hormones."

Without giving anything away, there is a slight subplot within this book that has to do with the safe towns for the rich and powerful; instead of just talking about these places, I wish Miranda and Alex and their families had set out to look for one. It could have made the story much more interesting.

While I am glad I finished the trilogy, I am not satisfied with how it ended. I would recommend reading book 1, "Life as We Knew It,' and stopping there.

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