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How I Live Now (2004)

by Meg Rosoff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9662473,024 (3.75)225
Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:"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.

From the Hardcover edition..
… (more)
  1. 92
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another powerful look at the effects of war on the young.
  2. 71
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (bogreader)
  3. 50
    Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (francescadefreitas)
  4. 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.
  5. 51
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Repelsteeltje)
  6. 40
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (tmspinks)
    tmspinks: Similar 'apocalypse comes to sleepy England' theme, but with a more SF edge.
  7. 63
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (_Zoe_)
  8. 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.
  9. 31
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Strong female teenagers traverse war-torn environments in the near future
  10. 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.
  11. 32
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (HoldenCarver)
  12. 10
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (sanddancer)
  13. 10
    Exodus by Julie Bertagna (erickandow)
  14. 00
    A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard (kaledrina)
  15. 00
    I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (faither)
    faither: Similar writing styles.
  16. 00
    The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: teenage girls coming of age in a day after tomorrow scenario
  17. 14
    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 225 mentions

English (243)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (247)
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
So while I was reading this book a couple people asked me what it was about and having not prepared a booktalk for it (or even finished it), I usually started by saying, "Well there's this teenage girl who goes to live in England and she falls in love with her cousin and a war breaks out and she's anorexic." That makes the book sound terrible.

Really any list of things that happen in this book (incest, eating disorders, terrorism, an evil stepmother, magical psychic children) can make it sound terrible. What makes it not terrible is the voice of the narrator, the quality of the writing, and this overall unapologetic attitude the book gives off. It doesn't apologize for the incest, the anorexia, the terrorism, or the magical psychic stuff. And because the book is strongly written I didn't find myself questioning the author's choices or being grossed out or offended.

I really really liked this book. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
FROM AMAZON: "This is a story about love.

"It's also a story about hate, which is why I left New York in the first place. You don't fly halfway across the world to live with a bunch of people you never met, just for a laugh.

"I guess if I'd known where it was all going to lead, I might have thought twice about stepping onto that plane. I might have worried a little more about Edmond being my cousin.

"And me being 15.

"But I didn't. And in the end, those things didn't matter as much as you think they would.

"In the end, the world had bigger things to worry about than us."
  Gmomaj | May 4, 2023 |
DNF at 48%. ( )
  whakaora | Mar 5, 2023 |
It bored me. I had to force myself to finish it, such a shame :/ ( )
  theBookDevourer211 | Jan 27, 2023 |
Because the events and the writing are quite surreal, and there are aspects of the story that don't quite make sense, I spent a lot of the time wondering whether Daisy was a reliable narrator. (She is) Even though it is set in the future, the novel has a Kids Evacuated to the Country in WWII feel to it. Contemporary technologies such as mobile phones and emails exist, but none of them work because of the war. I found the abrupt transition into Part 2 unsettling and thought it jarred with the flow of the story. For me, in the overall, Part 2 didn't work as well.

But it's definitely original and memorable and I enjoyed the writing very much. So 4 stars. ( )
  MochaVonBee | Jan 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 243 (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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Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:"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.

From the Hardcover edition..

No library descriptions found.

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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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141318015, 0141045477

 

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