How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
When I first started reading How I Live Now, I felt the same way as I did when I began to read All the Truth That’s in Me. I really wanted to fall in love with this book especially because I am excited to see the movie adaptation with the lovely Saoirse Ronan and compare the two (even though 99% of the time, the book is always better).
Fifteen year old Daisy leaves Manhattan for England, thanks to her dad and her lovely new step-mom, to visit her four cousins and an aunt she doesn’t know. Shortly after arriving to England and settling in to her cousins’ home, her aunt has to leave for business. The next day the first bomb goes off in London, making it impossible for her aunt to return home. At first it’s nice having no adults around and no rules, even though Daisy and her cousins won’t admit it out loud. In the midst of all the chaos and all the town rumors going around about small pox and terrorists, Daisy feels alive and happy for once, and is getting particularly close to her one cousin. But soon, the war is everywhere and Daisy and the others must face difficult decisions and soon they realize how dangerous and scary the world is around them.
I will warn everyone now that there is a bit of incest, although it is hardly said, it’s pretty obvious what is going on. Anyhow, it took about 20 pages or so for me to get into it and once I did I couldn’t put it down. I was so happy I ended up loving this book and that my expectations were met. I loved the characters and the bonds between them. I felt as if I were in the story with them and scared for my life at points, wondering if I was going to survive or not. I wouldn’t say this book was a thriller by any means, but it definitely a page turner and will have you holding your breath waiting to see what happens next. There are no direct quotes although there is dialogue between the characters in the book, if that makes any sense. Instead of beginning with quotes when Daisy or someone else was talking, the letter of the first word was capitalized. It was easy to follow along though and know when someone was talking. I often found it easier to understand who was talking in way. Towards the end the chapters start over which did confuse me a little bit and I don’t know why she couldn’t have continued on or even said something like, ___ Years Later, or something along those lines. The end also made me a little mad, more or less because it wasn’t the end that I had wanted and was hoping for. The story though is beautifully written and conveys such raw emotions. I know this book is older, but I’d love to see a sequel and see where Daisy and her cousins are years later and what has happened to all of them.
I would recommend reading How I Live Now before watching the movie because the characters will be completely different in your mind, because I have seen pictures of the cast and Daisy and Issac are the only two that are close to what I had pictured in my head and if I’m not mistaken by reading the cast list it appears Daisy only has three cousins in the movie adaptation. I am hoping it’s just a mistake on IMDB’s part because even though some of the cousins have smaller roles/impacts than the others, they are all essential to the story and some of the decisions and choices made are because of them.