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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and absorbing
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...
Published 14 months ago by booksy

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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
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...
Published 11 months ago by Samantha (The Secret Life of a...


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and absorbing, 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: How I Live Now (Kindle Edition)
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. I loved all the characters (because Daisy did) and I found myself sad to leave them. Four days after finishing this book, I'm still thinking about it - still wishing I was there with Daisy and her quirky, damaged family. As far as I'm concerned, that means a writer has done their job - and so much more. I will definitely be reading more of this writer's books.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly evocative, 7 Mar 2011
This review is from: How I Live Now (Paperback)
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 bond...one 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How I live now, 20 April 2010
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This review is from: How I Live Now (Hardcover)
The story is about the 15 year-old Daisy. She was sent to Britain to her aunt and her cousins, because she wanted to get away from her stepmother. She has never met her cousins, but it seems the perfect summer. Daisy comes from a big city, New York. Now she lives at the countryside. She gets a new life, and she hasn't expected that. But suddenly everything changes. She falls in love with her own cousin. Edmond and Daisy develop a sexual relationship but is it true love? An unnamed enemy attacks London and war breaks out. Daisy, Edmond, Piper, Isaac and Obert don't care about it. They live in their own world, at the isolated farm. They have a lot of fun together, because there are no adults in the neighborhood. There are no rules. Miss Penn is a working mother and she's abroad for an international meeting. Because the threat of the war, the children have to be evacuated. The kids are separated, the girls to one location and the three boys to another. Will they each other ever see back?

I liked the story a lot, because there are many different topics in it: war, love, sexuality, responsibility, ... The relationship between Daisy and Edmond is very special. They are family, but the feelings that they have for each other are wonderful. I was most interested in their relationship, sometimes I forgot the rest of the story. I didn't really liked the writing-style of Meg Rosoff, sentences are too long. Daisy wants to tell so many things that she can't stop. You have to be very concentrated to read and understand the book.

HF
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 26 Dec 2009
This review is from: How I Live Now (Paperback)
Set in the near future where the news is filled with talk of war, 15-year-old Daisy is sent to England to live with her cousins. Outwardly cynical and tough, Daisy suffers from an eating disorder and clearly has issues following her father's marriage to a step-mother she despises. Her life changes forever though when she is met at the airport by her cousin Edmond, a boy with whom she shares an instant connection, who brings her to her aunt's house in the country. There she bonds with her other cousins Isaac (Edmond's twin) and Piper and Osbert and finds happiness for the first time. However, shortly after Daisy's aunt goes to Norway for peace talks, the cousins' idyll is spoilt by the outbreak of war and the five cousins find their lives thrown into chaos.

This is a difficult book to describe in that it's set in a speculative future but has supernatural undertones. These are incidental points to the main story however, which explores Daisy, her reactions to the events overtaking her and the relationship that she has with Edmond. It's Daisy's narration that makes the novel utterly beguiling - her dry sense of humour and ironic commentary work to illuminate events but at the same time cannot prevent her vulnerability from seeping through the cracks.

Edmond is a mysterious character - possessing a strange cool and an ability to know what Daisy is thinking. His twin Isaac has a similar uncanny ability to understand animals while 9 year old Piper is a font of knowledge about countryside lore. By contrast, Osbert is more of a cipher, there to move the plot along.

The story moves along quickly and while it would have been interesting for some events - notably details about the war and the circumstances leading to it - to be drawn out, given the focus of the story it isn't a problem until the final couple of chapters where there is a time jump that's perhaps a little too abrupt and left too many questions.

That said, this is an extraordinarily accomplished novel, the more so given that it was Rosoff's debut. Although it's aimed at the young adult market, it's a novel with a lot of cross-over appeal (evidenced through its many nominations).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fish out of water tale with a twist, 25 May 2008
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How I Live Now (Paperback)
This superb novel starts off fairly conventionally as 15 yr old New Yorker and anorexic Daisy is sent off to stay with her English cousins while her hated step-mom has a baby (Daisy's mom had died giving birth to her). Needless to say, the cousins are unconventional but Daisy starts to slot in and soon falls for Edmond. Her Aunt has to go to Oslo for a conference, leaving the kids to fend for themselves, and things start happening. A series of terrorist attacks mean the borders are closed and Aunt Penn can't get back. Then 'the enemy' takes the country, and the kids are split up to be billeted elsewhere. The rest of the story is how Daisy and nine year old Piper survive and try to get home and find the brothers amidst carnage in the countryside.
Unconventional in style, the first person story has the dialogue blended into the narrative with no punctuation, and important things are capitalised - as a New Yorker would!? But you quickly get used to it.
It was the introduction of the alternate time-line as the country is invaded that takes you by surprise after you're lulled into security by the bucolic setting which is reminiscent of a modern day 'Cold Comfort Farm'. I would have loved to have heard more about the boy's experiences, but it is Daisy's story after all. She and Piper manage to overcome tragedy and hardship, discovering hidden reserves to get home, only for Daisy to be whisked away back to the USA as soon as reach their goal. So the last section sees Daisy return to her cousins after several years recovery. But for this cop-out ending I would have given five stars, but it is a great read for teenagers and adults alike.
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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
This review is from: How I Live Now (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is one of the best books ever, 22 Dec 2005
By 
laura (rochfrod, essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How I Live Now (Hardcover)
i first saw this book when i was browsing the shelves of the local waterstones and i read the blurp and i thought it sounded good but i decided against it i kept looking at it for months after and i finally decided to bhuy it when it was released in paperback. i can only say that i wish i had bought it sooner. the story is about a teenager who is shipped over to britain to stay with her aunts and cousions. upon being left alone with her cousins due to her aunt going on a bussiness trip there is an outbreak of war. with no adults the five teenagers go about their lives as normal and we begin to be told of food shortages and differences in life style.it is only when you reach the middle of the book that you gain real clarity into the book but i won't say what it is because to truely gain from the book you need to be confused at the beggining just as they would have been. this is a story of romance, love ,war ,politics, survival action and the human cost of war. the ending is thought provoking and it caused me to think seriously about the saying make love not war especially as i read it shortly after the attacks in london. this book is a definate read for those who want an unputtdownable novel and an uncertain ending i would recomend it to anyone 14+.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book ..., 3 May 2006
This review is from: How I Live Now (Paperback)
... Daisy is such a Great Character, and writes with such Wicked Teenage Humour, her use of Capital Letters reading to me as if she was doing that thing teenagers do with two fingers on each hand (no not that one) to illustrate a sentence in "quotes". I love the way she handles the transition from street-smart New York to eccentric English country life, and my heart ached for the way she was accepted into this new family with the sort of unquestioning love she had never experienced before.

Her relationship with Edmond is magical in its innocence, and the psychic connection between them gives her strength to survive the awful hardship of the years of war and separation that follow. The way in which the war unfolds is a terrifyingly bleak vision of the future, but very believable.

The suspense at the end is almost unbearable - will there be a happy ending or not? True to life, the answer isn't a straightforward one, but have the courage to read to the end and you won't be disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely brilliant book, 29 Oct 2006
This review is from: How I Live Now (Paperback)
The book 'How I live now' is an emotional and dangerous times when a group of children experience the horrors of war. It is set in the near future, creating a realistic view point. The mood changes within the story as the group of children are split up and face different experiences. The special telepathic connection between the group causes the book to be an emotional one! With happiness and love quickly changing into isolation and disturbing times. This book is star quality and DEFINITLY worth reading!! It is the best book I have read!(and I've read lots of books!!)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, 20 May 2007
This review is from: How I Live Now (Paperback)
It is always said that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but in this instance, I did. I was rush buying for a holiday and the dark yet beautiful cover caught my eye, telling a story of beauty and fear.

The novel delivered exactly what I had seen on the cover. The story is engaging and for a girl aged 14 (I am now 16) I could totally relate to Daisy. The subject matter is different from anything else seen in childrens books today, which some may think makes the book harder to read, when in actual fact makes the story far more interesting. Some aspects are rather upsetting, but I felt this to be a good transition into slightly more mature novels. The relationship between Daisy and Edmond in particular was an introduction to adult themes that teenagers come across on a much more regular basis as they grow.

Two years have passed and I still read this, finding it as moving as I did the first time. I don't feel either that there is a set audience for this novel, anyone could read it and enjoy it as much as I did.

Its cover shall forever be imprinted in my mind as an image of what I wish my life could be, and the story will never be forgotten.
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How I Live Now
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
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