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How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
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How I Live Now (2004)

by Meg Rosoff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0992011,829 (3.8)187
  1. 60
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (VaterOlsen)
  2. 82
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another powerful look at the effects of war on the young.
  3. 40
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (tmspinks)
    tmspinks: Similar 'apocalypse comes to sleepy England' theme, but with a more SF edge.
  4. 40
    Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (francescadefreitas)
  5. 30
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (HoldenCarver)
  6. 41
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Repelsteeltje)
  7. 52
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (_Zoe_)
  8. 30
    Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden (selkie_girl, meggyweg)
    selkie_girl: Teenagers are caught in the middle of a war and decide to fight back.
  9. 10
    Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (amysisson)
    amysisson: Young adults struggling to survive in war-torn England -- although different wars (one real, one fictional) in different times! These books are different, yet I really feel that if you love one, you'll love the other.
  10. 21
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Strong female teenagers traverse war-torn environments in the near future
  11. 10
    We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (amysisson)
    amysisson: Although ultimately the books are different, the love felt by the viewpoint characters seems similar, and there is a certain unusual poetic quality to the writing. Both are glorious books.
  12. 10
    Exodus by Julie Bertagna (erickandow)
  13. 10
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (sanddancer)
  14. 00
    I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (faither)
    faither: Similar writing styles.
  15. 00
    The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: teenage girls coming of age in a day after tomorrow scenario
  16. 00
    A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard (kaledrina)
  17. 13
    Flowers In The Attic by V. C. Andrews (gaialover)
    gaialover: Similar incest among young relatives in a bad situation scenario.
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» See also 187 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Set in an indeterminate future during a war declared by terrorists, Daisy is sent to England to live with her cousins. At their rural home, the war seems distant until soldiers arrive in town and take over the house as an outpost. Daisy and her cousins are transferred to a major's home but when the enemy invades, territorial soldiers drive them out of the house for their protection. Daisy and her younger cousin Piper decide to head out on their own. They return to their ruined house where dead bodies are lying near the barn and remain their until Daisy's father calls. Don't know why this won a Printz. Ugh factor: Daisy falls in love with her first cousin and the have sex (only implied). The capitalizing of phrases got old. Hard to believe all communications are completely out in a contemporary England, no TV, no e-mail.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
How I live Now by Meg Rosoff - Good (better than expected)

When I picked this up, I didn't realise it was a Young Adult book, but was persuaded by my fellow book worms to give it a go anyway.

Daisy is a young American visiting cousins in England when a war breaks out. They are left to their own devices as the adults are away from home when it starts and can't get back. How they cope and how the war affects them are almost covered. The book is split into two sections and to be honest, either the author couldn't work out how to get from A to B or thought it would be too long, but there's a big jump between the two sections. Regardless I would characterise it as grown up Enid Blyton... five kids and a couple of dogs have an adventure. OK, EB wouldn't have had anerexia, smoking and underage sex as themes, but the rest is very much 'how kids can cope perfectly well, maybe even better, without adults'.

One thing I didn't like and which made it obvious that it was a children's book is the writing. Random Capital Letters for no Good Reason and a distinct lack of punctuation, it read like a teenager speaks. Totally infuriating.
( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
The voice was interesting but it just didn't thrill me. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
The voice was interesting but it just didn't thrill me. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
(Re-posted from http://theturnedbrain.blogspot.com)

Reading this book is like drinking a tall glass of water as quickly as you can, in great huge gulps. That slight out of breathness that accompanies downing a drink is one go was with me for all of this after, after every few paragraphs I kept I feeling I had to stop and catch my breath.

It’s Rosoff's writing style that does it. You know how some YA books are, like, written in a style that’s very, like, you know, conversational and stuff? Well here Rosoff takes the idea of a conversational narrator then turns it up to eleven. It’s not stream of consciousness, it’s more like Daisy (the narrator) has come over to your house and it telling you about this one time when she went to England and discovered incest and war.

It’s incredibly effective. The voice of Daisy invades your head like the mysterious army that invades England in the book. Capitalisation and punctuation are treated like vague suggestions rather than rules, and this just makes her voice even louder. All caps, which normally I abhor in books (yes, I'm looking at your J.K.Rowling) are used to great effect, often changing the way a sentence reads and reinforcing Daisy's unique voice.

Even the beginning, which could almost be a modern version of the Secret Garden, wherein hip sms-ing, emailing, possibly but never outright confirmed anorexic Daisy comes to stay with her cousins in the English countryside. There’s this intense contrast between the pace of the writing and the dreamy, surrealness of the setting that I doubt most writers could pull off. And when everything starts to go hell with armies and rationing and brains smeared on the road I started to feel like I couldn’t read fast enough, like if I slowed down the sentences would get away and I wouldn’t be able to catch up.

The characters (because you know all I really care about are the characters) are well done indeed. Daisy is the classic outsider, new to both the country and to the tightly knit family she comes to stay with. Her inner voice is a little rambley and very opinionated but also familiar, and in comparison her cousins are these magical fey creatures who drift about like characters from a fairy tale. The way Rossoff treats all things British reminds me a little of the way Western culture treats Japan, it’s like some crazy kind of sideways Orientalism, where Daisy defines the British by their differences to America.

What stopped me from really loving this book was the ending. It felt a little like Rosoff was writing the book long hand and her pen had started to run out of ink and instead of getting up for a new one she just stopped writing. Not that the ending is truly bad, I suspect it will satisfy a lot of readers, it just left me a little cold. ( )
  MeganDawn | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Fifteen-year-old Daisy, an anorexic, acerbic New Yorker, falls instantly in love with her English cousins' farm and with her English cousin Edmond. Idyllic love story abruptly becomes horrific survival tale when an unnamed enemy power invades the country. A captivating and deeply satisfying first novel. Review 9/04.

"How I Live Now." The Horn Book Magazine Jan.-Feb. 2005: 16.
added by kthomp25 | editHorn Book
 
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For Debby
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My name is Elizabeth but no one's ever called me that.
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You can imagine it was the social event of the day, everyone competing for the worst piece of news.
All in all I felt a little guilty about the fact that while us kids had been living the Life of Riley, a whole bunch of other people had been scurrying around like lunatics trying to keep the Social Fabric from Unraveling and my personal belief was that there were too many problems to think about and not enough people to sort them out.
Staying alive was what we did to pass the time.
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Book description
An American girl is sent to stay with her English cousins for the summer. Their lives are torn apart when World War III breaks out and their aunt disappears.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553376055, Paperback)

Possibly one of the most talked about books of the year, Meg Rosoff's novel for young adults is the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2004. Heralded by some as the next best adult crossover novel since Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, who himself has given the book a thunderously good quote, this author's debut is undoubtedly stylish, readable and fascinating.

Rosoff's story begins in modern day London, slightly in the future, and as its heroine has a 15-year-old Manhattanite called Daisy. She's picked up at the airport by Edmond, her English cousin, a boy in whose life she is destined to become intricately entwined. Daisy stays at her Aunt Penn's country farmhouse for the summer with Edmond and her other cousins. They spend some idyllic weeks together--often alone with Aunt Penn away travelling in Norway. Daisy's cousins seem to have an almost telepathic bond, and Daisy is mesmerized by Edmond and soon falls in love with him.

But their world changes forever when an unnamed aggressor invades England and begins a years-long occupation. Daisy and Edmond are separated when soldiers take over their home, and Daisy and Piper, her younger cousin, must travel to another place to work. Their experiences of occupation are never kind and Daisy's pain, living without Edmond, is tangible.

Rosoff's writing style is both brilliant and frustrating. Her descriptions are wonderful, as is her ability to portray the emotions of her characters. However, her long sentences and total lack of punctuation for dialogue can be exhausting. Her narrative is deeply engaging and yet a bit unbelievable. The end of the book is dramatic, but too sudden. The book has a raw, unfinished feel about it, yet that somehow adds to the experience of reading it. (Age 14 and over) --John McLay

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:11 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land. "Every war has turning points and every person too." Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she's never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy. As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it's a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy's uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way. A riveting and astonishing story.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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