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How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now (original 2004; edition 2010)

by Meg Rosoff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5042252,357 (3.78)208
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.
Title:How I Live Now
Authors:Meg Rosoff
Info:Penguin Group for World Book Night (2010), 211 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:children's/young adult, post-apocalyptic, read 2019

Work details

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004)

  1. 70
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (VaterOlsen)
  2. 92
    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. 51
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Repelsteeltje)
  5. 40
    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.
  6. 62
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (_Zoe_)
  7. 40
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (tmspinks)
    tmspinks: Similar 'apocalypse comes to sleepy England' theme, but with a more SF edge.
  8. 20
    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.
  9. 20
    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.
  10. 31
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (HoldenCarver)
  11. 31
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Strong female teenagers traverse war-torn environments in the near future
  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 208 mentions

English (221)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
This book started out promisingly, but then developed a lot of holes in the plot. Anorexic New Yorker Daisy sent to English cousins in the countryside when another world war breaks out. Four English cousins (Osbert, Isaac, Edmond, and Piper) and New Yorker left alone when English mother fails to return from work. There is incest--at least I think sex between first cousins is incest--which seems to be OK under the circumstances, which I find to be weird. The novel is told from Daisy's point of view and her way of speaking seems about right for a 15 year old. The relationship that develops between Daisy and Piper, the 9 year old girl cousin, is touching. Daisy becomes a better person for it. But at a certain point, Daisy is removed from England to New York by her father and for me, the story breaks down. What is also missing for me is the setting of war. It seems slightly unreal as described by Daisy. Not sure it was worthy of the Printz, but it probably was one of the earlier dystopian novels for young adults. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Aug 23, 2019 |
The writing comes in great gulps, as though our narrator, Daisy, can't stop talking long enough to allow a period or even the slightest pause. This makes the book somewhat exhausting to read, despite its short length. It's like Daisy has kept so much of her story silent for so long, she can't wait to unload it on the reader.
Considering it's a book about World War III, it's a surprisingly funny book. Daisy is hilarious in her own messed-up way. It's also a very interesting take on a hypothetical World War III: from the perspective of a teenager who has no idea what's going and, frankly, doesn't care so long as she can make out with her boyfriend (who is also her first cousin).
Daisy is never annoying, despite her quirks and her lack of concern for anything beyond herself and her cousins. She carries this entire book, and that she does so successfully is a testament to Rosoff's writing ability.
( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
This is a war time novel for young adults set in the near future. 15 year old New Yorker Daisy is sent off to relatives in England just in time for the borders to close. At first she enjoys unsupervised life with her cousins, but the war intrudes more and more upon their lives. The identity of the occupying force is never disclosed which leaves a bizarre hole in the narrative. The emotional climax was effective nonetheless (which means I shed a tear or two...) ( )
1 vote cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
This is an interesting take on a war story, and I was fascinated by it. The world is being torn apart by a war that we don’t really see until it hits full-force, and then the main character, Daisy, and her cousins need to learn how to survive on their own. However, they become more desperate as they are separated and forced to witness the atrocities of war.

I love the layers that are built into this; it’s about identity, war, growing up, relationships, family, romance, pretty much everything is packed into this short book. It’s sort of surreal and I could see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. There’s a bit of science fiction/fantasy weirdness going on between Daisy and her cousins; they seem to have a sort of psychic connection to each other and some of her cousins are able to connect with animals. This piece of the story gave it an otherworldly aspect, which helped dim the atrocious war factor.

While the main character and her cousin falling for each other was a bit cringeworthy, I wasn’t too bothered by the cousin romance. They never grew up together or everything and their world collapsed, so it sort of made sense to me that the two cousins ended up having a romantic relationship with each other.

The transition from during the war to after the war is a bit jarring and that’s what made me knock off a star–there just had to be a better way to handle the before and after. I wasn’t really sure what was going on for the beginning of part two, though I did figure it out after a few pages.

Overall, I really liked this book. While a lot of books focus on the outer world when war hits, this book completely focuses on the inner journey the main character goes through as she tries to grow up and find herself during this time, which I found fascinating. Some war stuff is touched on, but Daisy and her story is what this book focuses on, which I enjoyed a lot.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Mar 28, 2019 |
Beautiful book. A world caught in chaos, love, survival, hurt and healing. Very enjoyable read. ( )
  Wordbrarian | Mar 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (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.
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My name is Elizabeth but no one's ever called me that.
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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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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Average: (3.78)
0.5 5
1 31
1.5 9
2 71
2.5 22
3 222
3.5 90
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4.5 65
5 279

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141318015, 0141045477

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