How I Live Now

Paperback | April 11, 2006

byMeg Rosoff

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“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.

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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...

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 unnam...

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

other books by Meg Rosoff

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see all books by Meg Rosoff
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.98 × 5.19 × 0.48 inPublished:April 11, 2006Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553376055

ISBN - 13:9780553376050

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fresh Voice I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book on a plane. I was pleasantly surprised to find a fascinating read that sets itself apart from other dystopian titles. The slight hint of the supernatural was also an interesting addition. I really liked Daisy's voice, which was very much that of a teenager, but not at all annoying. Better than the movie.
Date published: 2014-10-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from How I Live Now I read this book because I had watched the movie trailer and it seemed very interesting. Honestly it did not live up to my expectations but I know it's different from the movie so I'm praying for the movie to not be as big of a waste of time. I never quite figured out in which time period this book took place in and the fact that Edmund and Daisy are cousins is just gross. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless they don't have anything better to do.
Date published: 2013-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Once you get use to the dialog, the story moves at a good pace. Overall story of survival and self actualization echoes the true life experiences of people trying not only to survive a war but their own internal battles. The author didn't hold back the immediate shock of war and the lingering affect on our sensibilities. A very good read.
Date published: 2013-09-25
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 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

Extra Content

Read from the Book

1My 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.2I’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 You must be Daisy. And when I look relieved he does too and says I’m Edmond.Hello Edmond, I said, nice to meet you, and I look at him hard to try to get a feel for what my new life with my cousins might be like.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 into 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.Only he took me home.I’ll take your bag, he said, and even though he’s about half a mile shorter than me and has arms about as thick as a dog leg, he grabs my bag, and I grab it back and say Where’s your mom, is she in the car?And he smiles and takes a drag on his cigarette, which even though I know smoking kills and all that, I think is a little bit cool, but maybe all the kids in England smoke cigarettes? I don’t say anything in case it’s a well-known fact that the smoking age in England is something like twelve and by making a big thing about it I’ll end up looking like an idiot when I’ve barely been here five minutes. Anyway, he says Mum couldn’t come to the airport cause she’s working and it’s not worth anyone’s life to interrupt her while she’s working, and everyone else seemed to be somewhere else, so I drove here myself.I looked at him funny then.You drove here yourself? You DROVE HERE yourself? Yeah well and I’M the Duchess of Panama’s Private Secretary.And then he gave a little shrug and a little dog-shelter-dog kind of tilt of his head and he pointed at a falling-apart black jeep and he opened the door by reaching in through the window which was open, and pulling the handle up and yanking. He threw my bag in the back, though more like pushed it in, because it was pretty heavy, and then said Get in Cousin Daisy, and there was nothing else I could think of to do so I got in.I’m still trying to get my head around all this when instead of following the signs that say Exit he turns the car up onto this grass and then drives across to a sign that says Do Not Enter and of course he Enters and then he jogs left across a ditch and suddenly we’re out on the highway.Can you believe they charge £13.50 just to park there for an hour? he says to me.Well to be fair, there is no way I’m believing any of this, being driven along on the wrong side of the road by this skinny kid dragging on a cigarette and let’s face it who wouldn’t be thinking what a weird place England is.And then he looked at me again in his funny doggy way, and he said You’ll get used to it. Which was strange too, because I hadn’t said anything out loud.

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.)