Wednesday, November 4, 2009

BOOK: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, 194 pages

Book Awards III Challenge: Printz Award 2005; YA Dystopian

I don't get nearly enough credit in life for the things I manage not to say. page 77

This book just broke my heart. Daisy had such a strong, unique voice, with an ability to tell much without details. It's about a girl with anorexia, but she never really talked about it, but it drove the plot in some ways, without being at all obvious, or an important book about anorexia. It's about family and love and how you don't get to chose who you love or what makes a family. It's also about the heartbreak of war, and how it tears people and countries apart.

We couldn't go on. We went on. Staying alive is what we did to pass the time. page 155

I really liked the style of writing. Daisy used Random Capitals, like a modern day Emily Dickison, to highlight Important Ideas. She also rambles on and on, but then throws in some important little observation. I like her cousins, with their weird connectedness, and how Daisy felt like she had come home the minute she set foot in the house. There is an inappropriate relationship with Daisy and her cousin, that may be unsettling for some readers, but it happened, and I didn't have a problem with it and it isn't graphicly described. They had an instant connection (not like on The Bachelor, a real one) and while she knew it wasn't quite right, the lack of parents around after the vague war broke out made decision making among the teenagers suspect.

I was thinking of approaching my old school next time I was in New York and telling them to replace the unit on Media Communications with one on How to Survive Half Dead in the Wild Without Much in the Way of Hope. page 155

There is war, and an occupation, but not many details were ever given about who or why, and it never really matters, because when it affects the life of the citizens, why they don't have food, or who killed the neighbours doesn't really matter. In the end, it was all about love and belonging for Daisy.

also reviewed at:
nymeth at things mean a lot
tanabata at in spring it is the dawn
3m at
terri at tip of the iceberg
jenny at jennysbooks


  1. Great review! I love the vagueness of the war - it's good because Daisy and her cousins are young and mainly interested in the family, rather than anything external to them. Did you think Piper - Piper? Am I remember her name right? - was a tiny bit too sweetness and light?

  2. jenny - Yes, Piper was very sweet, but she was just what Daisy needed. I really liked Piper.
    Yes, and they didn't need to be interested in all that other stuff, just in how it affected them. The whole situation just broke my heart, and I could see reading this book again. If I read this as a teenager, I would have loooved it, and read it over and over.

  3. I know this book hasn't been for everyone, but I really liked it! Great review!

  4. What a wonderful review...I know some people love this book and others hate it, but your review just somehow really got to me. Definitely made me want to read it even more.

  5. kailana - thanks, I really liked it too.

    debi - I can see with the cousin-thing why people wouldn't like it, but I really liked Daisy's voice right away, and really liked the writing style.

  6. I liked the way the war remained vague. I thought this made it even more disturbing. Nice review! I added a link to your review with mine.

  7. What a beautifully written review! This is the first time I've heard of this book. It sounds wonderful.

  8. Oh, man, I'm doing so terrible with my Printz books!

  9. I'll never read it, but you did a great review!

  10. I have seen this book on the shelves but didn't know much about it till I read your review. It looks like the writing is pretty good.

  11. This sounds really good! I recently started reading more YA, since all the fantasy written for adults is the same old storylines re-hashed. I might try this one too!

  12. Great review. This book has been on my reading list for awhile now. Will be pushing it to the top.

  13. I liked your review a lot better than I did the actual book, the latter didn't really speak to me. I like YOUR writing though! :-)

  14. terri b - I liked how Rosoff told the story with so few details, like the war. It forced me to read between the lines, for a lot of information, and to wonder what other details were being left out, on purpose.

    stephanie - I saw it on some YA dystopian lists, and I remember reading 3m's review. I'd recommend it.

    suey - it was just the prize winner I needed to finish off the Book Awards 3 challenge. Plus, it was under 200 pages, and easy to read.

    nan - why, thanks!

  15. shannon - I wondered how it was dystopian, so I knew a bit about it. Glad I could help!

    tonya - it's a great YA read, with some depth. I work at a high school, so have lots of access to YA books.

    vasilly - go on, read it. I'll look for your review.

    joanna - why, thanks a lot! I appreciate the compliment.

  16. I have this on my TBR Shelf. I hope I fall into the "love it" camp when I eventually get to it. Glad you enjoyed it - that's encouraging.


Thanks for commenting, so nice of you to visit.

(I'll try without the letters for a while - so please dont be a spammer! Let's try no anonymous users)