Friday, May 4, 2012

Supermoon, Meteors and Life as We Knew It

Saturday is the Cinco de Mayo- time for parties, Mexican food, and, this year, a supermoon.

The supermoon is the full moon when the moon is closest to the Earth.  It normally comes in April or May.

The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be hitting its peak at the same time, Saturday.  Hmmmm.

Does this sound like a plot for a YA series?  For example, what would happen if one of those meteors hit this supermoon?  Things wouldn't go well for the Earth, no doubt.  The moon controls the tides, and a lot of other things, too.  The moon isn't just a pretty ball in the sky that goes through phases every 28 days.

If you are ready to grab onto this theme, too late.  A YA series has already been written on this theme by an upstate New York author, Susan Beth Pfeffer.  And, SPOILER ALERT.  it ain't a pretty story. 

The three books are:
Life As We Knew It
The Dead and the Gone (hints at what happened in book #1, doesn't it?)
this world we live in

Pretty spooky, that this meteor/supermoon thing should come in the middle of me reading this series, which explores What Happens If A Large Meteor Hits the Moon One Night in May.  I'm going to spend a very uneasy Cinco de Mayo evening.

I actually started (without knowing it was part of a series) reading the third and final book, "this world we live in".  What I loved about it is that I was able to immediately plunge into the story although I didn't know a single thing about the first two books.  Within pages, I was hooked so badly I would resent it if I was interrupted.   That's the experience I want from a good read.

This is what I loved the most about the third book:

1.  The characters were people.  They fought (a lot).  The teen heroine had grown through adversity but was far from a saint.  Especially at the end (double spoiler alert)
2.  I felt the natural disasters were plausible as a result of the meteor hit - but since this isn't a "science fiction book" I wasn't expecting hard science.  Nor did I get hard science.
3.  Religion played a part in the book.  In most YA fiction I've read (unless the book is explicitly Christian literature) I normally haven't found much in the way of religion.  Here, characters pray, characters hold church at home, and one main character is a deeply devout Catholic.  I'm glad the book took time to explore what might happen to religious belief in the aftermath of a huge natural disaster.  Not because I'm especially religious (I'm not) but religion is part of the human experience.

This is what I didn't like:
1. The book jacket flaps gave away the entire plot!

Interestingly, in Goodreads reviews,, I found a lot of people were very disappointed with this third book because it didn't continue the growth of the first two books. So perhaps I should be happy that I read the last book first.  Now that I'm reading the first book, I'm sorry, in a way, that I know the fates of some of the main characters.  And I do agree the first book is better than the third.

But I look forward even more to the second book, which takes place in my native New York City. 

Are you looking forward to some moon and meteor shower watching on Cinco de Mayo?

3 comments:

  1. Okay--about the book jacket giving away the plot: What's up with that, publishers??? That would drive me nuts. But I love a good YA novel...and may be looking for these soon.

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  2. I knew the moon was full, but not that it was the supermoon. Learn something every day, hmmm? Visiting from the blogathon.

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! I love good book recommendations! I'll have to check these out. :)

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