Sunday 6 October 2013

Book Review - How I Live Now

Title: How I Live Now
Author: Meg Rosoff
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: 30th November 2004
Reprint: Penguin 30 Jun 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0141318011

Fifteen-year-old Daisy thinks she knows all about love.
Her mother died giving birth to her, and now her dad has sent her away for the summer to live in the English countryside with cousins she's never met.
There she'll discover what real love is: something violent, mysterious and wonderful. There her world will be turned upside down and a perfect summer will explode into a million bewildering pieces. 
How will Daisy live then?

My Review
Planning a trip to London Film and Comic Con became more exciting when I heard that Malorie Blackman would be hosting a discussion panel with some YA authors. Meg Rosoff was one of the ones on the list so I knew I had to try one of her books. 
I heard a lot about this book and the fact it was being released as a film so I requested it. My colleagues at work told me I would love it but I didn't really know much about it.
From the synopsis I expected an average YA book, bit of a love story with difficulties, but I was really surprised by what I got.
This book is actually centered around another war, what would happen if World War 3 broke out? This storyline hit me unexpectedly but totally worked. 
The story is told by Daisy who is 15, she explains what is happening in her life and brings a raw realism to the situations around her. 
This book has a very unique voice and the narrative is in a very different style to anything I have read before. It's written very much like you would think, a rush of thoughts and situations, fairly fast and occassionally jumbled. I worried it would annoy me when I started but I soon fell in love with it and was racing through the book.
There are no speech marks in this book, or very few at least, again that puzzled me at first but soon you just go with the flow and it kind of adds to Daisy's charm. Everything just works, it all falls into place and Daisy's 'voice' really comes through.
I found it very hard to put this book down and was blown away by everything, it's actually quite a dark and gritty book, with some scenes that may shock a bit what with dead bodies and violence but a really gripping read. Maybe not suitable for younger than 12 due to some of the scenes, but I would recommend it to Teen readers. 
A story that will truly make you think and make you give your heart to Daisy. Everything that I thought I would dislike ended up making this book work. This would make for great discussions in book group. 
I am now looking forward to seeing the film if I can get there.

P.S - look out for my update/post about the YA panel at LFCC and meeting Meg Rosoff herself!!!

My Rating

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