Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1721
How Daisy Lives Now
Overall rating 
Writing Style 
Reader reviewed by Carly Bennett

How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff


Teenage fiction was once a pioneering
market of excitement and originality but its sheen has dulled and the genre is
in desperate need of a lift, a change, something new. How I Live Now is a rare gem that shines in this increasingly
stagnant marketplace. It sparked a renaissance in crossover fiction and, since
its publication in 2004, has firmly established itself as a future classic,
winning both the Guardian Award and the Branford Boase Award for novels for
young people.

            How I Live Now is the story of Daisy, a
petulant fifteen year old who is sent from
New York to live
with her eccentric cousins deep in the British countryside. At first Daisy is
slightly bewildered by her extended familys almost feral existence Isaac
talks to animals and Piper is quite the dab hand at getting honey from bees,
but it is Edmond, with his eyes the colour of unsettled water, who changes
her perception of the family.

the outset it is quite clear that Daisy and
relationship is teetering dangerously on the edge of incest and, before long,
the two of them fall into the sort love that is too complex for them to fully

are looking up for Daisy. She is happy and in love with a caring family around
her and we see our narrator changing from a bitter, troubled girl into a
grounded young woman. However, Aunt Penn is suddenly summoned to
Oslo and it is at
this point that the book does a complete U-turn and turns from a romantic
(albeit slightly perverse) love story into a tale of war, brutality and

next day
London is bombed by an unnamed enemy and, soon after, soldiers arrive at
the farm and the children are ripped apart. Daisy and Piper are taken in one
direction, the boys in the other. The children dont know what is happening but
all they know is that, in order to survive, they have to find each other,
whatever it takes.

is Daisy who makes How I Live Now so
special. She is so brilliantly formed, defiant from beginning to end but also
vulnerable, that it is impossible to be anything other than compelled by her

all rights I should have hated this book. Daisy proves to be an unreliable
narrator, Rosoff uses glaring capital letters every time she wants to emphasise
a point (which, at times, feels like every other line) and the tense jumps
around relentlessly.

However, despite these
flaws I was utterly captivated, from Daisys spiky opening lines to the
heartbreaking closing chapter, where we discover the things that love can
overcome and the things that it cant.


(456 words)



Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0


Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews


Latest Book Listings Added

Be Our Guest!
0.0 (0)
Join Gray Malin’s menagerie of wild animals for a stay...
Hat Tricks
0.0 (0)
Meet Hattie the magician―she’s a natural performer, and you’re invited...
Stanley's Toolbox
0.0 (0)
It’s another busy day with Stanley and friends! ...
Spring Is Here!
0.0 (0)
When spring arrives, baby animals come out to play with...
10 Things I Hate About Pinky
0.0 (0)
The delightful follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s...
The Child of Chaos
0.0 (0)
This is what fantasy fiction should be." --Piers Anthony, New...
Want to Read Rate this book 1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Preview Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem
0.0 (0)
“O say can you see” begins one of the most...
0.0 (0)
July 20, 1969. It’s a day that has earned a...
Thurgood Marshall
0.0 (0)
When Thurgood Marshall—the great grandson of a slave—was born, African...
Down Under the Pier
0.0 (0)
There’s lots of fun to be had up on the...
Lali's Feather
0.0 (0)
This endearing story of identification and values shows the rewards...
0.0 (0)
Book three in a hilarious new series featuring one boy...
0.0 (0)
Everything starts with a question, like this one: Why do...
0.0 (0)
Worries, fears, and anxieties are all dragons that sneak up...
The Copycat
0.0 (0)
A funny, unpredictable, and heartfelt new novel from Wendy McLeod...
DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless
0.0 (0)
The DC Super Hero Girls learn what it's like to...

Latest Member Reviews

10 Things I Hate About Pinky
"10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY is a cute YA romance that features a fake-turned-real relationship and opposites-attract couple. Pinky..."
Not Another Love Song
"Different than I was expecting - and that’s a good thing! The story: All..."
Jo & Laurie
"Jo March is surprised at how well her novel LITTLE WOMEN has done. Now her publisher and readers want a..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
"I'm not very into reading fantasy (so I might not be the best person to review this). But I was..."
Cracked Up To Be
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
"THE MORNING FLOWER continues the OMTE ORIGINS story as Ulla continues to search for her heritage and for the missing..."
None of the Above
"This is one of those books that a reader can learn from. This is the first YA book that I..."
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
"THE LOST CITY is a highly engaging YA fantasy read about Ulla, a troll. Trolls are secretive creatures who live..."
"'Layoverland' by Gabby Noone, despite being about a teenager who has died, ironically creates a very inviting atmosphere for readers..."
Summer and July
"'Summer and July' by Paul Mosier is a beautifully written story perfect for summer reading. Readers will find themselves immersed..."
A Wicked Magic
"Friends Dan and Liss find a Black book of magic and try a spell. Only the spell goes terribly..."
Scarlet Odyssey
"SCARLET ODYSSEY is a high fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Men are often raised to be..."
Tigers, Not Daughters
"TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a lyrical book of sisterhood and grief. The Torres sisters had tried to escape their father..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
"The fallout and protests following police choking George Floyd to death in Minnesota has consumed social media for the last..."
when you were everything
"WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk is a YA Contemporary novel told in two timelines, “then” and “now.” The..."
Path of Night (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #3)
"PATH OF NIGHT is another great installment of the books based on the Netflix show, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. This..."
Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars, #2)
"UNRAVEL THE DUSK is an enchanting sequel and finale to a unique YA fantasy. Maia is a tailor who dreamed..."
Sisters of Sword and Song
"SISTERS OF SWORD AND SONG is an enchanting and lush YA fantasy. The story follows two sisters, Halcyon and Evadne,..."
Straight On Till Morning: A Twisted Tale #8
"Straight on Till Morning is part of “A Twisted Tale” series, a multi author series of fairytale retellings created by..."
Faith Taking Flight
"Sixteen-year-old Faith Herbert has a secret. She can fly. When she runs into her fangirl crush Dakota, star of the..."