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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
2,820None2,058 (3.83)153
anorexia (49) coming of age (42) cousins (59) death (26) dystopia (86) dystopian (25) eating disorders (66) England (128) family (73) fiction (271) future (23) incest (43) love (56) post-apocalyptic (27) Printz (43) Printz Award (60) read (51) realistic fiction (22) relationships (27) romance (47) science fiction (44) survival (96) teen (68) teen fiction (22) terrorism (28) to-read (60) war (277) YA (204) young adult (218) young adult fiction (53)
  1. 60
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (VaterOlsen)
  2. 72
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another powerful look at the effects of war on the young.
  3. 50
    Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (francescadefreitas)
  4. 40
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (tmspinks)
    tmspinks: Similar 'apocalypse comes to sleepy England' theme, but with a more SF edge.
  5. 30
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (HoldenCarver)
  6. 52
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (_Zoe_)
  7. 41
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Repelsteeltje)
  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
    A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard (kaledrina)
  10. 10
    Exodus by Julie Bertagna (erickandow)
  11. 10
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (sanddancer)
  12. 10
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Strong female teenagers traverse war-torn environments in the near future
  13. 00
    The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: teenage girls coming of age in a day after tomorrow scenario
  14. 00
    I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (faither)
    faither: Similar writing styles.
  15. 12
    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 153 mentions

English (177)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
This is an odd little story. The characters are strange and the major relationship made me uncomfortable. The protagonists voice, however, was delightful. The story of the war, told through the eyes of a young girl on the fringe, was well done. ( )
  Bonnie_Ferrante | Apr 15, 2014 |
You know that Sesame Street song, “One of These Things is not Like the Other..."

This is a weird one. I'm not really sure where to go with this review. Maybe that's because I didn't ever really know where this book was going. At points it is a love story (a strange one, but a love story nonetheless), at points it has a paranormal thing going on, and then at other points it's some kind of unexplained dystopian/war/end of the world kind of thing. These three themes were jammed together and used when convenient for the otherwise incoherent plot. So, it sounds like I hated it. And I did. But the odd thing is, I also sort of liked it… weird.
( )
  Kanic | Apr 9, 2014 |
You know, I really didn't expect to like this book as much as I did; it surprised me. I will admit, I only read it because the movie was coming out next week and I had to read it before that - the books are ALWAYS better. But golly, this was fantastic.

Firstly, yes, it wasn't a big book, but haven't you heard the saying, good things come in small packages? Probably not true for most of life, probably something children got told when they received awful presents at Christmas, but it was a saying made for books such as How I Live Now.

Daisy was a brilliant character, the right amount of innocence, intelligence and intrigue. She started off a weak character, but eventually morphed into the figure head of the group, finding her niche. As she says, this is how she lives now, after finding her little patch of heaven in a shambles of a world.

I think Rosoff hit the right note here. How I Live Now took really gritty, frowned upon, controversial subjects and transformed them into a topic of normal conversation. Don't get me wrong, eating disorders are bad, as is incest, but I felt that the taboo associated with these controversial subjects vanished and I was able to enjoy reading about them. Yes, I enjoyed a book about incest, murder, slaughter, war, starvation, bullying and a whole lot more, which is EXACTLY why this is now a favourite of mine.

It points out some of the horrible situations going on in the world, and Rosoff writes with such a beautiful technique that she engages the readers - however young they may be. In a way, the war, with the combination of murder and torture, was a platform that essentially marred all of the other topics - they paled in comparison. Therefore, the readers accepted the incestuous love as the norm and thus was therefore socially acceptable. It was the only thing pushing Daisy through the dire, shocking and intolerable circumstances she was in - we all desperately waited for the moment of reunion. Rosoff turned this, to begin with, incestuous love into a symbol of hope; the light at the end of the tunnel. That, my friends, is a genius concept. Pure genius. :)

This book basically gets your mind whirling with a thousand different thoughts. Firstly, how would you adapt, but secondly, where would the boundaries ultimately blur if this were a real life situation?

It's a shame starting out your first day on the planet as a murderer but there you go, I didn't have much choice at the time. Still, I could live quite happily without the labels I picked up because of it. Murderer or Poor Motherless Lamb.

Which one would you choose, the rock or the hard place?
( )
  LaurenKathryn | Mar 31, 2014 |
I quick read. I would recommend to a reluctant reader because it is fast moving without a lot of detail, but high interest. ( )
  TeamDewey | Mar 1, 2014 |
you can expect anything in wars .. and we all know that the best thing in the wars is its END !
but you can't ask why this person was killed or what he has done !
I really like this cousin-relationship it's love and love ultimately is Involuntary
so Daisy and her little cousin Piper survive in the war and suffer a lot
I liked the Idea about those kids being in a house that contains a barn and everything was Sufficient beside their dependence on the butcher and some of the essentials
Daisy Chose to be with her cousin no matter what war has done to him
some scars won't be healed and will never disappear , cause what they hold can't be forgotten ..
Daisy decided to stay whatever it costs her to stay , she chose Edmond , She chose Love ... ( )
  Soplada | Feb 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:29 -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 4 descriptions

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