Friday, 10 June 2011
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
How I Live Now tells the story of fifteen year old Daisy, who is sent to England by her new Stepmother to live with her cousins in the countryside. Whilst she is there war breaks out and Daisy and her cousins must learn to survive and cope with all of the horror it brings.
The best and worst thing about this book was that it was written in the style of a stream of consciousness. At first this took a lot of getting used to and Daisy came across as superficial and silly and I did have to push myself through the first few chapters. But as the book progressed, I was really sucked into Daisy's world and I started to appreciate how Meg Rosoff has created one of the most realistic and touching portrayals of being a teenager I have ever read. Like most teenagers, Daisy is a bundle of contradictions; weak and strong, silly and serious and shallow but also capable of very profound insights in a no-nonsense kind of way. She matures massively throughout the book and feels almost like a real person by the end.
Even though we never get to find out much about the war and it's all a bit dystopian, Rosoff does a good job in a short number of pages of describing the reality and horror of war. There was one passage in particular where I could almost feel the emotion humming off of the page.
The one weak point for me was the love story. Not because Daisy and Edmond are cousins, but because this book was Daisy's book and we never really understood Edmond or the attraction between them. I much preferred the way Rosoff wrote about Daisy's relationship with her younger cousin, Piper, and how this sisterly relationship helped her work things out.
Verdict: A quirky, touching read.
Score: 5 out of 5