I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up.
“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. (Goodreads)
How I Live Now is by far one of the strangest books I have ever read. It is also one of the best. With that being said, I could see why a vast majority of people would not like it.
I found out about this book through the movie. I heard that Saoirse Ronan was going to be starring in it and I was immediately interested. This book deals with some hard topics that not many people like to talk about but that need to be discussed. Meg Rosoff manages to balance these complicated ideas without making them the center of attention. The plot of this book is surviving a World War and the characters trying to find their way back to each other. It just happens to include, anorexia, extreme PTSD, and incest between cousins.
The writing style in this book is extremely different and a little hard to get into. There are no quotations marks, many run on sentences, and very little punctuation. Without spoiling it, the reasoning for this style of writing is explained near the end of the book and it makes the story that much better and even more heartbreaking. Even though the writing was strange, that didn’t stop Meg from being able to write some beautiful passages and quotes through out the book.
Most books about wars are action packed and fast paced because they usually take place in the worst part of the war. How I Live Now took place at the very beginning of it. It was a very slow build, which I loved, and the main characters were left unaffected for quite a while. It reminded me of if you were to read a book about the very start of a zombie apocalypse. It would take a very long time for the virus to start affecting everyone in the world.
The characters in this book were all very distinct, different, and realistic. It was interesting to see how the four siblings, ranging from ages nine to sixteen, shared many of the same ideas and also disagreed on many. They each dealt with the war in four very different ways. Then, there was Daisy. She started as a negative, spoiled kid from New York and she had to learn how to fit in with a bunch of positive, nature loving siblings who lived in the country side of England.
I have yet to watch the movie, but I would love to do so soon. I know that it is very different from the book when it comes to characters and character deaths, but I’ve heard many positive things about it.
This book was absolutely incredible and probably one of my favorites of the year. It is definitely a book that I have thought about constantly since I finished it and I wish that more people, teens especially, would read it. I feel like it would be a good book to have on a required reading list for school.
Violence: 4/5 Stars: 4/5
Sex: 2/5 Pages: 194
Language: 2/5 Buy Book Here: Amazon