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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Publication date: 2004
ISBN: 9780553376050
Source: Library


How I Live Now

When Daisy is sent to visit her aunt and cousins in England, she little expects to stay there so long.  Soon after her aunt leaves on business, the country is invaded by an enemy and bombing of major cities begins.  But she and her cousins are far from cities, living on an isolated and independent farm.  They live an idealized life for many months, until war finally finds their small corner of the world. 

Things I Liked:
I'm not entirely sure about this one.  I didn't exactly like it and I didn't like the main characters, but I can recognize there was a lot of good in it.  First of all, I think the portrayal of teenagers (and probably most adults) in regard to war (or natural disasters, etc) is really accurate.  The fact that things like this happen all over the world is entirely true and I think we disregard it until it is right on our doorstep or until it personally affects us.  This was one of the book's most compelling points.  We don't want to think about others' problems until they become ours.  I'm pretty sure most of us would try to think about what's going on, but we'd still be caught up in our lives and petty distractions.  This would be such a great book to discuss in a book group, to see what other people think.  It's quite well written, in a stream-of-consciousness/diary type format and it puts you right in the action (or drama).  A unique and realistic book about teenagers in the middle of a war.


Things I Didn't Like:
I'll be the first to admit the romance made me uncomfortable.  And I got mad at their seeming inability to care what was happening around them, even while I recognized its verity.  I didn't much care for Daisy or any of the cousins, except perhaps Piper.  I was really confused too about the ending and the somewhat paranormal abilities that were just brushed off and not explained.  I wasn't entirely sure what they were or what purpose they served.  But, I have to admit, it held my attention from beginning to end.  


Read-alikes:
Totally reminded me of the Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer


BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
s-factor: !@#$
lots, some f-words


mrg-factor: XX
not too descriptive, but it happens, and they're cousins


v-factor: ->->->
some war scenes described and they are not pretty


Overall rating: ***

Any opinions on this book? I'd love to hear what others thought of it.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

8 comments :

  1. I started this one months ago but got sidetracked and put it aside. I was blown away by what I read thus far, so I never picked it up again, although I do want to give it another chance at some point.

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  2. Well, this one just sounds confusing. I like that you try to pick out the good in everything, though. As you know I'm not so good at that.

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  3. Well, this is one of my favorite books ever, as you know. And I named my daughter after Piper because she just felt like a ray of light to me throughout the story. But I understand people having mixed reactions, for obvious reasons. Personally, the whole thing came together for me. The writing, the characters, the magic of children set against the backdrop of war, and I loved Daisy. Loved how she grew, took control of their survival, and never gave up on hope in the end. One of my very favorite passages is when she notes the stamp FAMILY in her passport and how fierce it looks and how that is what's bringing her home.

    Anyway. My thoughts, fwiw. :)

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  4. reviewsbylola, it's worth another shot, especially if you were enjoying it so far.

    Jenny, I think your reviews are often refreshing, as opposed to the glowing and raving. :)

    Angie, fantastic! I'd have loved to sit down and have a book group chat with you about it (read it several weeks ago and it's fading in my mind). Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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  5. I really liked the concept of this one, but the story itself just depressed and confused me. And the romance between cousins? Ick.

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  6. I completely adored this book. But I can definitely understand how it would not appeal to everyone. That's one of the reasons I really appreciate the way you break down your reviews.

    (Also, I miss seeing you at book club!)

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  7. Jessica, I totally miss you too! I think breaking it down this way really helps me recognize what I do and don't like. Glad it's nice for others too :)

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