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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How I Live Now

Author: Meg Rosoff
Reason for Reading: YA Reading Challenge
Rating: 4.5/5

How I Live Now is a book that sneaks up on you subtly and takes over all of the other things you thought you were reading at the moment. Daisy, our teenage narrator, travels to England in order to escape her evil stepmother and soon-to-be half sibling. She knows that she will be living with her aunt and cousins, whom she has never met.

The description of the book on the jacket cover is very vague. Actually, my description in the preceding paragraph is even more than you would know from the cover. I had no clue starting out where the book was going to head, and very subtly, the themes emerged. So I won't ruin your experience by telling you any more about the plotline. Rather, I'll share a few passages and you can decide if this is the book for you.

Introducing us to her story:

It would be much easier to tell this story if it were all about a chaste and perfect love between Two Children Against the World at an Extreme Time in History but let's face it that would be load of crap.

Meeting her cousin Edmond for the first time:

Now let me tell you what he looks like before I forget because it's not exactly what you'd expect from your average fourteen-year-old what with the CIGARETTE and hair that looked like he cut it himself with a hatchet in the dead of night, but aside from that he's exactly like some kind of mutt, you know the ones you see at the dog shelter who are kind of hopeful and sweet and put their nose straight in your hand when they meet you with a certain kind of dignity and you know from that second that you're going to take him home? Well that's him.

What it is like to have lost her mother:

It was times like this when I let my guard down for something like half a nanosecond, that Mom had a habit of strolling into my brain. Even though she was dead, which made people put on this sickening pious kind of face and say Oh I'm SO sorry, like it was their fault and in fact if everyone wasn't so busy apologizing all the time about asking a perfectly normal question like Where's your mother? I might have managed to get more information out of someone than just She Died To Give You Life, which is the party line on Good Old Mom.

I know, I know it's hard to accept a recommendation on a book when you haven't even been given a clue to the plot. But take my word for it, this is a book worth reading, and you're better off not knowing until you read it for yourself.

Other reviews:


Debi said...

Happy to hear this one qualified as a winner for you. I've got in my pile, but need to wait until Book Awards II starts. It sounds wonderful!

Chris said...

I've heard that this book was great from everyone who's read it, so I'll take your word on that as well! It's on my wishlist now thanks to your review :)

Nymeth said...

This one was already on my wishlist thanks to Dewey, but thank you for reminding me of it! Your review intrigued me and renewed my interest in it. And I really like those passages you shared.

Kim L said...

debi-I bet you'll like it :-)

chris-I hope you like it as much as I did.

nymeth-hopefully you'll like it!

Seachanges said...

Sounds like a good read. I think you're right not to give the plot away - a good review shouldn't tell too much.

Trish said...

Sounds interesting--and from the quotes that you've provided the narrator sounds honest and forthcoming, even blunt. Thanks for the review!

Stephanie said...

Sounds fantastic! It's a must add to my TBR pile! Nice review!