How I Live Now By Meg Rosoff
Published Nov 30th 2004 By Wendy Lamb Books
Summary: “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.
How I Live Now is a little complicated for me to review. I loved it, for the most part, but I have my reservations about the main character, Daisy.
This is my first Meg Rosoff book and I’m almost convinced that she can write anything and make me buy it. Her writing is simple yet beautiful, and it was very engaging from start to end. But How I Live Now is plot driven, so perhaps the writing can only do so much to elevate the book.
The thing about How I Live Now isn’t that it has a terrible plot or writing but it’s that the narrator can get a little bit annoying. Daisy comes across as very hateful and it begins with her hate for her stepmother. While I can understand her dislike for change, we never actually find out why she dislikes her stepmother. Daisy is pretty extreme; she doesn’t eat and its all so she can make a statement to her stepmother. For such extreme measures you only expect that her stepmother is a monster of sorts but it doesn’t seem that way. There wasn’t indication that she was mistreated at all. Daisy’s judgemental, self-centered and her air of I-don’t-care-that-people-are-dying gets pretty annoying after a while.
And then there’s Daisy and Edmond. Edmond is her cousin whom she falls in love with and has a relationship with. And it is not the nature of the relationship that bothered me (it doesn’t) but it is how the relationship panned out. It didn’t feel real to me; it feels forced and a bit fake. Pretentious almost. I didn’t care much for their relationship and besides, Edmond didn’t have much character to him anyway.
I did love How I Live Now. Beyond Daisy and Edmond, there’s a real plot and the story about surviving the war was realistic and interesting. It’s interesting to see it in the perspectives of children and what they do in order to survive. The loyalty they have as family and siblings were heartwarming.
I’d still recommend this book to everyone despite my dislike for the main character. Perhaps she might be more tolarable to others who read this book. Overall a solid four-star book, though it is a shame that I couldn’t give it the full five.
I’m looking forward to see the movie and hoping that the movie will help me fall in love with the story more.