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How I Live Now [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Meg Rosoff , Kim Mai Guest
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 April 2005
“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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged edition (12 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307281841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307281845
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 12.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,656,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Possibly one of the most talked about books of the year, Meg Rosoff’s novel for young adults is the winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2004. Heralded by some as the next best adult crossover novel since Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, who himself has given the book a thunderously good quote, this author’s debut is undoubtedly stylish, readable and fascinating.

Rosoff’s story begins in modern day London, slightly in the future, and as its heroine has a 15-year-old Manhattanite called Daisy. She’s picked up at the airport by Edmond, her English cousin, a boy in whose life she is destined to become intricately entwined. Daisy is staying for the summer in her Aunt Penn’s country farmhouse with Edmond and her other cousins. They spend some idyllic weeks together--often alone with Aunt Penn away travelling in Norway. Daisy’s cousins seem to have an almost telepathic bond, and Daisy is mesmerised by Edmond and soon falls in love with him.

But their world changes forever when an unnamed aggressor invades England and begins a years-long occupation. Daisy is parted from Edmond when soldiers take over their home, and Daisy and Piper, her younger cousin, must travel to another place to work. Their experiences of occupation are never kind and always hard. Daisy’s pain, living without Edmond, is tangible.

Rosoff’s writing style is both brilliant and frustrating. Her descriptions and ability to portray the emotions of her characters are wonderful. Her long sentences and total lack of speech marks for dialogue is, however, exhausting. Her narrative is deeply engaging and yet a bit unbelievable. The end of the book is dramatic, but too sudden. The book has a raw, unfinished feel about it, yet that somehow adds to the experience of reading it. It’s flawed but unmissable. (Age 14 and over) --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Daring, wise, and sensitive (People magazine)

Powerful and engaging ...a likely future classic (The Observer) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly evocative 7 Mar 2011
Meg Rosoff's novel for young adults won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2004. The novel is very much a crossover novel - for young adults and adults alike.

How I live now is the story of Daisy, a 15-year-old Manhattanite. She's a funny character and this comes across as we pick up her thoughts on her new stepmother and being flown out to England by her father because a new baby is on the way. She's by no means perfect...and that's what makes her so real. She feels insecure about the changes in her family back in the States, she barely eats and is given to being overly dramatic.

England turns out to be nothing like she expected, thanks to the eccentric lifestyle of her Aunt Penn, and her four cousins. From the moment they meet Daisy and her cousin Edmond forge a which becomes extremely complicated without any adult supervision. For a while the children live an idyllic life - weeks of carefree play, weeks of Daisy and Edmond becoming closer than first cousins should...especially first cousins who are both under the age of 16.

War breaks out and changes the world forever. Daisy is parted from Edmond as soldiers take over their home and the girls and boys are separated. Daisy ends up with her youngest cousin Piper. The journey we're taken on is that of the girls witnessing war atrocities, starving and struggling to hang onto hope. Not until the end do we get a glimpse of what Edmond's war experience was.
My only criticism was that the dramatic conclusion seemed a little too sudden, but given that I found the plot excellent and the writing beautiful I'd rate it 4.9999/5.0.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff 9 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
To be honest, I actually only picked this up because I wanted to see the movie. I always try to read the book before I watch the movie, so that's what I did. I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book that much and I didn't. It wasn't a terrible book, I just didn't connect with the characters or the story.

Daisy has been sent to England to live with her Aunt and her cousins, but there is a war brewing. A few days after Daisy's aunt goes away on business, the first bombs hit London. Daisy and her cousins are all separated and they vow to find each other again.

The main thing that put me off reading this book was the cousin relationship. Daisy hits it off with her cousin Edmond, and it just made my skin crawl. I know you're allowed to marry your cousins, but that doesn't make it any less creepy. Their relationship definitely wasn't one that I enjoyed reading about.

For some reason, I just didn't connect with any of the characters in this book. It was like I was just watching all of these events unfold, but they had no emotional impact on me. I did like Daisy's character though. She was extremely determined to get back to her cousins (well, mainly Edmond) no matter the cost. She pushed through and suffered a lot just so that she could find them again, which I really admired that about her. But Daisy has her own personal issues going on as well and I did like seeing her overcome them.

I can't say I hated this book, but I didn't particularly enjoy it either. It didn't bore me, but there just wasn't anything special about it.

The ending was strange and weird, and I'm still slightly confused about what happened to Edmond. But I'm not too bothered about finding out.

Overall, this book was... OK. That's really the only way I can describe it. It wasn't good, but it wasn't terrible. It was just OK. I'm still going to watch the movie though, maybe it'll be better than the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and absorbing 18 Oct 2013
By booksy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'll start out by saying that I'm not normally a fan of authors messing with punctuation - dropping speech marks etc, so I was a bit wary about reading this and I was prepared to be highly irritated by it. However, this never happened. As soon as I started reading, I was drawn into Daisy's story and I could instantly see why the speech marks were dropped. In fact, it wouldn't have been so immediate and compelling had they been there. The only way I can describe it, is that reading How I Live Now was like being sat next to the narrator as they told you their story. The slightly breathless, tumbling narration was not the mark of a poor writer - far from it.

Meg Rosoff is clearly a hugely accomplished writer - her descriptions are vivid, engaging and compelling. The way the story built up - beginning with a magical English summer that took me back to my own childhood - was sublime. I don't think it matters here that we're not told much about Daisy's 'wicked stepmother', nor about the nuances of her eating disorder. It is enough that we engage with Daisy fully and wholeheartedly so that we are prepared to listen to what she wants to tell us (just as we would if we were listening to a friend). Daisy's had a past but it isn't that important - at least not once she becomes immersed in the world of her English cousins, embarks on her love affair with Edmond and is then, finally, plunged into the fallout from the war. No, the war isn't described in any detail. Again, this didn't matter - we knew as much as Daisy knew. We live through Daisy - she is our first and only source of information and, for that reason, I didn't find myself dissatisfied that I never knew exactly what the war was about.

Personally, I found this novel utterly beautiful and heart wrenching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 hours ago by susan coughlan
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read
Daisy is a wonderful character and I loved the way fantastic was meshed with reality. Happy, sad and terrifying. It's a book to make you think about what's important.
Published 5 days ago by Cathie
3.0 out of 5 stars Rushed.
I was hoping this would be better. The pace seems rushed, which becomes more understandable at the end but while you're reading it, it just seems annoying. Read more
Published 7 days ago by A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Film was better
Don't wanna be that guy BUT I did prefer the film. Not sure about the style of the book. Great plot, great characters, not sure about the style.
Published 20 days ago by Imogen
3.0 out of 5 stars A slightly odd read
*Warning - spoilers*
I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. My main feeling upon finishing it was one of confusion! Read more
Published 23 days ago by Hannah Prescott
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great book, loved every page of it. Sad story line. Would defiantly recommend people to read it. I enjoyed it.
Published 2 months ago by samanthad8
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
such an interesting book. Easy to get lost in. Read it in a few hours and the love story throught the books was Not expected at all.
Published 2 months ago by shivie
2.0 out of 5 stars Took a long time to get into
I stupidly watched the film before reading the book, and even though i am half way though, it has taken me a lot of time to get there. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Harriet
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't Remember The Last Time I Hated a Book So Much
A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

Daisy is sent off to the English countryside to live with her Aunt and cousins she hasn't even met. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Molly Looby
4.0 out of 5 stars Civil reception
Having seen the excellent Saoirse Ronan starring film adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s dystopian vision, I came to the novel with high expectations. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
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