How I Live Now

 
4.0
 
4.9 (8)
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How I Live Now
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
August 24, 2004
ISBN
0385746776
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1 reviews

A unique and thought provoking first novel
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
It's rare to find a novel that never uses a quote mark and even rarer to find one that pulls it off. That's not the most important thing about this book, or even the most interesting, but it is a quirky tidbit that I found intriguing.

The novel starts off in a fairly typical fashion a fifteen-year-old girl who isn't getting along with her stepmother is sent off to England to live with her aunt. Daisy's got issues (an eating disorder, a bit of an attitude), but she's ultimately a likable character and the reader has just settled in to getting to know her when things take a turn in an entirely different direction.

The novel is set in the near future, but one in which the next World War is a frighteningly real possibility and terrorist acts have become a way of life. While Daisy's aunt is away, war breaks out and Daisy and her four cousins find themselves alone. At first, everything is like an adventure, but soon things are getting desperate.

I really hate to give too much away on this one, because there are a lot of things going on with the relationships between the cousins (some very surprising). So, I'll just say that Daisy finds strength she didn't know she had and readers are richer for it. Meg Rosoff's novel stretches some boundaries and is one that will stay with you for long after you've read it.

Some will find the style difficult; others will find it inventive. Some will find the lack of description of the enemy frustrating; others will concentrate on the relationships as the focal point. No matter what, it will make you think.

I recommend this book for readers aged 14 and up.
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Overall rating 
 
4.9
Plot 
 
4.8  (8)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
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5.0  (1)
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An instant classic
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
A brilliant and different book. The story of a girl who goes to England from America just before a fictional war after (I assume) 9/11 and what happens to her and her cousins. A great dystopian book that is already a classic.
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Must. Read. This. Book.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Rose

How I Live Now


By Meg Rosoff


Daisy is sent to England to live in the countryside with her cousins and aunt who shes never met. Suddenly England is attacked and occupied, but it all seems very far away from Daisy and her cousins in their isolated town. But when the house is taken by the army and the cousins separated, Daisy must find a way to reunite them (and survive at the same time).


Likes:


A.     great writing


B.     great characters


C.     great plot


D.     The author is not afraid to defy conventionality or challenge readers, and nothing is sugarcoated.


 Dislikes: None

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How Daisy Lives Now
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
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.



            From
the outset it is quite clear that Daisy and
Edmonds
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
understand.



            Things
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
survival.



            The
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.



            It
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
voice.



            By
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)



 



Carly
Bennett





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This Book Won My Heart
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Karli

How I Live Now is the sort of teenaged Daisy, who is flown across the pond from New York to her Aunt Penn's home in rural England.

In her new bucolic setting, she meets her eccentric cousins: young "mystical creature" Piper, the fourteen-year-old twins Edmund and Isaac and sixteen-year-old Osbert with his high and mighty attitude. While on a trip to Oslo, Norway, Aunt Penn leaves the children home alone and what begins as a carefree, no-parents, free-for-all soon falls in on itself as an unnamed Enemy attacks London and the children are cut off from the world. Stuck in a world gone mad, Daisy must try to navigate her new reality, seperated from her cousins with young Piper in tow.

I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of heart, and a strong character telling a serious with humor and honestly. This is a story of war that never names the enemy. It's a story about love in it's most naive, pure form. Daisy and Edmund's relationship is at first surprising but then endearing. The hardships and violence that the characters endure will stay with you long after you close the book and I can almost promise you that you'll be passing this on to others.

How I Live Now was first suggested to me by my high school librarian. I read it, loved it, bought my own copy and can honestly say that I haven't stopped reading it yet. This book won my heart with it's own off-kiltered perfection, and I'm sure it will win yours.

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beautiful
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by linda

Daisy was sent to England just before the war, all the adults have left the farm that she is staying at and now it is up to her and her cousins to survive. She enjoys spending time with them and they have fun before the war really hits. Once it does though, things get quite serious and they must split up to find their aunt. This is very hard for Daisy because she seems to have fallen in love with her cousin. This is a story of love and passion, and falling for someone you shouldn't. It is a very good book about a time of uncertainty and the lives of young people who are trying to survive without much aid from the adults who seem to be too engaged in their own things. I would recommend this book to everyone because it is written quite well
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intense and captivating
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Alexandra

Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to stay with her cousins to get away from her stepmother. Shortly after she arrives her aunt goes away on business, and war breaks out the next day. She and her cousins are forced to leave the house and come to understand how strong their bond really is when they get separated but manage to end up back together. They must protect and help each other in a time when war is everywhere and having no adult supervision suddenly isn't so appealing. This story was riveting and captivating, and I finished it in one sitting.
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An easy interesting read
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by chardiddlyarlie

This was not a very challenging read but all the same was good. It is a story of love and passion, and falling for someone you shouldnt. When daisy is sent from England to New York to stay with her cousins, the worst thing possible happens...she falls in love with her cousin. this is the story of how they tackle and avoid their passion due to the fact it is at a time in history where nothing is certain and what happens now will change the course of the future entirely. A very sweet book.
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A Stunning Debut
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Zoë Marriott

I can't really sum this book up. And that's a good thing. This story is such a fine mixture of lyricism, humour, horror and beauty, that it left me literally gasping. That fact that it is a debut novel from a first time writer is amazing.

The protagonist of this story is fifteen year old Elizabeth, known to all as Daisy. As a first person narrator she's wonderful - her voice is unique and both hilariously funny and, at times, stingingly poignant. We meet her as she gets off the plane in England, having been sent away as an inconvenience by her father and his new, pregnant wife.

Daisy meets her four cousins - the most important of whom, in the story, are nine year old girl Piper and fourteen year old Edmond - and her aunt Penn in their rambling, tumbledown manor house in a rural village. The sleepy, beautiful setting and the kooky welcome extended to Daisy seem almost like a dream come true - at first.

But it isn't a dream. After only a few days, aunt Penn is called away to another country and the family is left alone as war is declared. For a while the children manage alone, but then the army takes over their home and split them up - the boys go to a local farm and Piper and Daisy to live with an army major and his family miles away.

The country is soon overrun with enemy troops, who kill as easily and as casually as blinking, and Piper - a beautful, empathetic child - and Daisy are on the run, not just for their lives, but for the life they want to re-gain. Struggling to survive on the food they can scrounge from the land and trying - always, always trying - to find their way back to the rest of the family, they encounter nightmares and horror, and are sustained by the almost psychic connected they both feel with the boys. But in the end, will that be enough to save any of them?

Let me make one more try at summing this story up. It's wonderfully written and bittersweet. It's about survival, not just of the body but of the soul and the heart. It's a tale about love and the death of innocence, about childhood and growing up. It's about finding out who you really are. As Daisy says: 'In the end, I found out what I'm good at is fighting back'.

My final advice on this book - bring tissues.
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