Saturday, 19 July 2014

Review: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.

Book: How I Life Now

Author: Meg Rosoff

Pages: 224

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days.

Read On: Paperback

Plot Summary: “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.
General Thoughts: This is a dystopian novel. I am very over all things dystopian. So very over. But this book is different, it's a literary fiction more than your run-off-the-mill YA dystopian- now nothing wrong with that genre but I am personally a little over it.

I have wanted to read this book for a long, long time and I really want to watch the movie.

This book was a tricky one for me. I struggled with this book, I really struggled with it. By page 87 I was *this* close to leaving it unread. The writing style was the main reason for this. It was a bit off and took a hella lot to get used to. The punctuation was unique and it was a stream of consciousness sort of thing which was jarring at times because it was jumpy and choppy. This book, at page 87, gave me a dull headache. I was not enjoying this book in the very least.

Then I went to bed, turned away from my phone and iPad and just read with concentration. And things changed. I got used to the writing style and begin to enjoy this book.

What I Liked: 

1. I liked that for a short book there was lots going on- war, falling in love, taboo love, incest, finding family, coming of age, survival and a couple of other things as well. It was amazing how the writer managed to do all of this in such a short novel.

2. I liked the cousins bonding and making friends and trying to take care of themselves. It felt real and natural how they went from total strangers to being close.

3. I loved how Daisy's character-growth. I liked how she went from a fairly whiny and selfish girl to a girl who goes above and beyond to take care of her cousins, especially a her youngest cousin, with whom she spends most of her time during the war.

4. The war itself was shown very well. The chaos, the not knowing every bit of information and the feeling of being so lost and out of control was depicted well.

5. This book to me seemed more like a book of survival more than anything else. And it was a great book that showed surviving very well.

What I Didn't Like: 

1. The writing style...any book that gave me a headache in under 100 pages has got to be a deal breaker. Even though the writing and I got on better as the book progressed, I still was not the biggest fan of the writing.

2. Even though I appreciated how much was put into this book, it was a bit much. Like one book had waaayyyyyyy going on and too many issues cramped into it. Anorexia, incest, war- seriously bit much.

3. The way in which Daisy cures her own anorexia was a bit simplistic and not very realistic.

4. The book jumped from war to post-war too fast and the ending seemed a bit rushed.

5. I would have liked to read more about Daisy's life during the war in America. That entire portion was just briefly mention and done away with.

6. There were also certain supernatural elements..meaning some of the cousins had 'special abilities', this was just too weird and not needed in the book at all.

Rating: 3/5 

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