How I Live Now

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How I Live Now

by Meg Rosoff

Random House Children's Books | April 11, 2006 | Trade Paperback

How I Live Now is rated 4.1818 out of 5 by 11.
“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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8 × 6.4 × 0.52 in

Published: April 11, 2006

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553376055

ISBN - 13: 9780553376050

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from children of war Daisy, our narrator, is sent from her New York home to England to live with her Aunt and cousins. We are told it is because her stepmother doesn't like her, but by picking up the clues along the way we realize that they just didn't know what else to do with Daisy and her anorexia (which seems to be a mini side plot). We see through Daisy's narrative how the children deal with living in a war torn country with no supervision, as Aunt Penn leaves shortly after Daisy arrives to do anti-war protesting in Oslo. At first you kind of watch as the youngsters just spend lazy days doing anything they want since they are living on a farm in the country, far away from the war itself. As things start to move closer to them, the older ones start taking on the parental type rolls of foraging for food and making sure everyone is safe. Throughout the story I found myself drawn to Daisy's protectiveness of Piper as she takes on the role of big sister and sometimes mother. And Piper is like a shining star trying not to fade away amid all the darkness. It's like watching them age quickly within a matter of months instead of years – and it has quite a few moments that made me upset and angry that the war was taking away their innocence. Without giving away any of the plot, I would have to say that as you read along you see how family is important no matter what you consider “family” to be, you watch the characters mature so quickly and take on tasks that normally would not be required by people their age, and we see how adaptable and resourceful people can become in times such as war. I think the war itself helps Daisy to come to the realization that her life is important and means something and self image is not worth starving yourself or dying for. It's a great story about surviving and having hope when everything you care about is lost. Sidenote: There is a love that develops between Daisy and one of her cousins, Edmund, but it is not really portrayed as an incestual thing as it is more about the love developing between two young people in a time of chaos and the unknown. It may offend some, but it really isn't meant to be more than I've just stated above.
Date published: 2010-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An incredibly moving book... Daisy, 15, is sent from New York City to the English countryside to live with her Aunt Penn and cousins, Osbert, 16, twins Edmond and Isaac, 14 and Piper, 9. She and Edmond feel an immediate attraction to each other that goes beyond familial love, but their relationship is further complicated by a war that starts in London and then spreads out into the countryside, affecting the children in ways that are often horrific. My daughter, 12, and I read this book at the same time and then shared our thoughts about it at my blog (www.theludicreader.wordpress.com). It was fun to read something together and interesting that we had similar feelings about Daisy, the novel's funny, intelligent and damaged heroine. Although there's nothing graphic in the story, it might be too disturbing for some readers (the book is geared for readers 12 and up). The prose is crisp and Daisy is a wonderfully observant narrator. Both my daughter and I really liked it.
Date published: 2010-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I read it for a book club Daisy goes to England to live with some relatives. After her arrival, London is attacked with bombs. This is the story of how she coped with the war and her new family.
Date published: 2009-04-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wasn`t how I thought it would be When I picked up this book, and read the back, I knew it was going to be good. All the way, I could see what happend and why it was happening. You`d think a good book would have an ending. But it wasn`t the best ending imaginable. It was a satisfying ending, but it wasn`t the best. 3/5
Date published: 2009-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Incredible Read This book is a very moving examination of the effects of war on children. Rosoff won an award for this book, and it was well-deserved. Set in the Britain of the very near future, she sets up an idyllic childhood world of gardens, playmates, and first loves... only to dash that world cruelly against the harsh realities of war and the serious games that adults play. In the process, characters you love and yearn for are changed forever as they, too, begin to experience adulthood, and by the time the book was finished, I am not ashamed to say I was crying. I read it in a single evening--though it's touted as a Teen book, I think it would be valuable for anyone.
Date published: 2008-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from best book ever this book was very good at one point i cried and was ful of joy
Date published: 2008-07-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Utterly Perplexing So much about this book was confusing, yet absolutely enticing, I couldn't put it down. I found the relationship betwen Daisy and Edmund strange and at points, just plain wrong. Over all though, recommend this, it opens up alot of questions and interesting discussions. An incredible success and astonishingly so for a first book.
Date published: 2007-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book This book really shows what you go through in reality. A very unusual but amazing twist. It shows how you sometimes have to start all over from scratch. I strongly recommend this book to mature children.
Date published: 2007-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's a really good Book! This book was really good. I didn't want to put it down, but Since I read it for class, I had to, and I'm glad I did. Reading books slowly is something I don't do, but for this book, it was a great idea. There is so much to think about and there is so much going on (but definitely not in a confusing way). This book really makes you think about everything, and about how family is important, and how you can really get to know someone. The book is about an American teenager who is sent to England to live with some relatives. At first she hates it there, but it quickly grows on her, as do the people. Then something happens and their worlds are shook and they learn how to live tohether and to appreciate al the little things! I abslolutley loved this book. It's so good! I recommend it, but some may be offended by the theme of love in this book, though I don't want to spoil why!
Date published: 2006-12-01
Rated out of 5 by from IndigoKids Recommends: Experts' Favourites Part love story, part story of survival, this is a chilling account of what could quite easily take place in the blink of an eye in our present time. How I Live Now leaves you feeling unsettled and uncomfortable but it is a very compelling read. This is an award-winning book, having won both the Michael L. Printz Award and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.
Date published: 2006-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pleasant surprise! I really loved this book. I normally don't read teen/youth fiction, but I picked this book up because the short write up on the back looked very interesting. I'm certianly glad that I did! Meg Rosoff did a wonderful job with this story. I loved the characters; I was charmed from the very start and I felt deeply for each of them as situations arose. I would recommend this book to adults (in, fact I have!), as well as teens. The terrorism plot is very relevant to everyone in this day and age.
Date published: 2006-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from how we live now Meg Rosoff has struck gold with her original first book How I Live Now. The novel offers a snappy, fresh look at all the complexities of being a teenager in a dystopia that is to near in the future for comfort. It is a war story. A love story. A coming-of-age story. And it is all told in the voice of a witty and sarcastic 15-year-old. The prose is crackling and intelligent, and the plot, rather than consisting of curvy, meandering lines, is composed of sharp and direct angles. This book captures Meg Rosoff's complex views on terrorism, as well as a dire warning concerning the path the world is taking.
Date published: 2006-08-11

– More About This Product –

How I Live Now

by Meg Rosoff

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8 × 6.4 × 0.52 in

Published: April 11, 2006

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553376055

ISBN - 13: 9780553376050

About the Book

In a riveting debut, Rosoff pens a novel told from the point of view of 15-year-old Daisy, an American girl who is sent to her aunt's farm in England. When London is attacked and war breaks out, Daisy forges an extraordinary bond with her cousins.

Read from the Book

1 My name is Elizabeth but no one’s ever called me that. My father took one look at me when I was born and must have thought I had the face of someone dignified and sad like an old-fashioned queen or a dead person, but what I turned out like is plain, not much there to notice. Even my life so far has been plain. More Daisy than Elizabeth from the word go. But the summer I went to England to stay with my cousins everything changed. Part of that was because of the war, which supposedly changed lots of things, but I can’t remember much about life before the war anyway so it doesn’t count in my book, which this is. Mostly everything changed because of Edmond. And so here’s what happened. 2 I’m coming off this plane, and I’ll tell you why that is later, and landing at London airport and I’m looking around for a middle-aged kind of woman who I’ve seen in pictures who’s my Aunt Penn. The photographs are out of date, but she looked like the type who would wear a big necklace and flat shoes, and maybe some kind of narrow dress in black or gray. But I’m just guessing since the pictures only showed her face. Anyway, I’m looking and looking and everyone’s leaving and there’s no signal on my phone and I’m thinking Oh great, I’m going to be abandoned at the airport so that’s two countries they don’t want me in, when I notice everyone’s gone except this kid who comes up to me and says
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From the Publisher

“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 Jacket

""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.

About the Author

This is Meg Rosoff’s first novel. The author lives in London.

Editorial Reviews

"A daring, wise, and sensitive look at the complexities of being young in a world teetering on chaos, Rosoff''s poignant exploration of perseverance in the face of the unknown is a timely lesson for us all." - People Magazine

"This riveting first novel paints a frighteningly realistic picture of a world war breaking out in the 21st century . . . Readers will emerge from the rubble much shaken, a little wiser, and with perhaps a greater sense of humanity." - Publishers Weekly, Starred

“That rare, rare thing, a first novel with a sustained, magical and utterly faultless voice. After five pages, I knew she could persuade me to believe anything.” —Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

“Readers will remain absorbed to the very end by this unforgettable and original story.”—The Bulletin, Starred

“A winning combination of acerbic commentary, innocence, and sober vision. . . . Hilarious, lyrical, and compassionate.”—The Horn Book, Starred

“A fantastic treat . . . Daisy is an unforgettable heroine.”—Kliatt, Starred

“Powerful and engaging . . . a likely future classic.”—The Observer (U.K.)

“A crunchily perfect knock-out of a debut novel.”—The Guardian (U.K.)

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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