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What I Was by Meg Rosoff

What I Was (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Meg Rosoff

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6873521,422 (3.55)27
In the 1960s, off the coast of East Anglia, a disgruntled boarding school student develops an obsessive friendship with a boy living by himself at the edge of the sea.
Title:What I Was
Authors:Meg Rosoff
Info:London, Penguin Books, 2007
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:children's/young adult, school, East Anglia, read 2019

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What I Was by Meg Rosoff (2007)


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English (32)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
The unnamed narrator recounts a brief period in his life when he was happiest. As a lackluster, watchful boy at a boarding school in 1960s England, the narrator is deeply unhappy. A chance encounter introduces him to the masterful Finn. Finn is his own age, but manages to live alone in a small hut by the sea. The narrator is fascinated, and insinuates himself into Finn's small, quiet life.

A quote near the end that I loved. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Interesting YA novel about a 16 year old boy in an 1962 England and how is life is changed by an inspirational, yet disturbing relationship with another teen. Slow going at first but the pace and intensity build. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Interesting. Nearly a fine book but missed the grade somehow. I got the feeling that it meant much more to the author but she wasn't really prepared to share with the reader when it came down to it. Shame because it was full of good rich ideas about identity and how it is formed. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
This was certainly one of the most interesting books I have ever read, everything about it was just so unorthodox, and not necessarily in a good way. It was the least captivating book ever, and even though as a whole it was good, it took way too long to figure that out. Twist was just weird, read with caution. ( )
  katie1802 | May 10, 2014 |
Meg Rosoff easily won me over with her first novel How I Live Now. Then I read her second book Just In Case and now can barely remember anything about it. When I looked up a summary, it didn't do much to jog my memory. I don't recall being impressed. What I Was kind of falls in between the two books. It's better than her second novel, but not as good as the first. This one kept my attention, but I thought the vague postmodern ending felt forced, almost like she wasn't quite sure how to end the story so she just didn't. Some books deserve an ending like that, but this one didn't. Its clear narrative arc needed to lead somewhere, but instead just disappeared in a cloud of rhetoric. I wonder if she gave it an ending like that because she's trying to break out of the YA genre. Whether or not that was the case, reading the last couple of chapters led me to toss the book onto the coffee table in an irritated manner after I finished it. And that's never a good sign. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
'Mooi is Rosoffs dromerige beschrijving van hun bijna onwerkelijke ontmoeting. Net zo mooi als ook de beschrijving van de Britse oostkust. [...] Rosoff voelt die magie feilloos aan. Taal is haar kracht.'
added by guurtjesboekenkast | editDe Groene Amsterdammer, Mirjam Noorduijn
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor mijn ouders, Lois Friedmanen Chester Rosoff, met veel liefs
First words
Rule number one: Trust no one.
Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.
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Average: (3.55)
1 5
1.5 2
2 19
2.5 2
3 53
3.5 16
4 61
4.5 14
5 26

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