How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Alice Wimberley
Reviewed by Alice Wimberley
Summary: How I Live Now stands as a crossover novel with a number of issues dealt with within it: underage sex, death and the breakdown of society on which every age will have a different view, giving each reader an individual experience when reading this outstanding novel. It's gripping from the very start; what more could the author want from her first book?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: June 2005
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 978-0141318011

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How I Live Now is the story of Daisy, who at fifteen has been sent to England from New York to spend the summer with her Aunt Penn, cousins Edmund, Isaac, Osbert and their younger sister Piper. She has never met anyone quite like them before, each with a quirky quality that Daisy embraces and she forms an extraordinary bond with them all, especially Edmond. As the long, dreamy summer days drift on, nothing could seem more idyllic.

Aunt Penn is sent abroad on a peace mission and they are left in charge, with no rules to prevent them creating their own isolated world. The sudden outbreak of war, which none of them understand or really care about, results in Aunt Penn not being able to return. Gradually everything begins to fall apart, the family become separated and Daisy's world is changed forever.

Daisy's voice is flawless and engaging. Her character is spiky, self-absorbed and resentful, yet she shows vulnerability and passion. Whilst battling with anorexia, Daisy deals with loss and responsibility as she lurches from one crisis to another, showing resilience and courage in roles beyond her years. The depth of her character is vast: it's hard not to feel anything for her as she captures the reader in a snare of humour, love, pathos and turmoil.

The first person narrative helps to transfix the reader and the language Rosoff uses is beautiful. Some of the content is shocking as she deals with social taboos one would not often find in a novel for twelve year olds. She portrays them in an almost offhand, casual way, although far from distasteful, emphasising the teenager's voice. The lack of punctuation throughout at first seems tedious but once used to it the reader realises it adds to the feeling that the writing is a stream of consciousness. Rosoff has deliberately been vague as to when the story is set although we know it is somewhere in the near future. This adds to the ambience of the novel and also to its uniqueness.

How I Live Now stands as a crossover novel with a number of issues dealt with within it: underage sex, death and the breakdown of society on which every age will have a different view, giving each reader an individual experience when reading this outstanding novel. It's gripping from the very start; what more could the author want from her first book?

Buy How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff at Amazon.com.


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