What I Was
Toward the end of his life, H looks back on the relationship that has shaped and obsessed him for nearly a century. It began many years earlier at St. Oswald's, a dismal boarding school on the coast of England, where the young H came face- to-face with an almost unbearably beautiful boy living by himself at the ed...more
I LOVED How I Live Now, so much so that I even consider it one of my favourite books of all time, and when Just In Case came out, I snapped it up immediately. It too was a bit of a let down. This novel was well-written and immersive but ultimately I didn't come away from the book feeling like I'd been changed or learned something significant having read it. As a matter of fact, it didn't even feel like Rosoff was trying to tell me anything at all.
What I Was is the story of H. 16 years old and shuffled off to...more
What I was follows our nameless hero's life in his 3rd boarding school where he has to cope with the school 'rules' and his disgusting perverse roommates. A chance meeting with a boy living alone on the beac...more
I thought it was really good, if not as unexpectedly excellent as HILN. The last pages sort of spun out, and left me a bit confused and disappointed. To be fair, I’ve never liked epilogue...more
Meg Rosoff does write beautifully. Her prose is haunting and perfectly captures the intensity of the relationship between the main character and Finn, and the backdrop against which the story is played. There’s a particularly beautiful bit in which a storm is described that left me feeling like I was right there in the heart of it.
What’s Not So Good
It should probably be said at this point that I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Rosoff’s books. I had to read How I L...more
Meg Rosoff's novel What I Was will early on remind readers of John Knowles's classic coming of age tale, A Separate Peace. Both books feature an adult narrator reminiscing about his time as a 16-year-old in a boarding school and the dark events that changed his life forever. Though the similarities are undeniable, Rosoff manages to give her story a unique touch that will haunt the reader long after the final page.
Rosoff gives a nod t...more
The easiest way I can t...more
The narrator of this story is 16 years old, sent away to suffer at a bleak, isolated boarding school on the North Sea coast. Rosoff masterfully establishes nature as a force. The sea has been battering the shoreline for centuries, an honest malice in contrast to school’s manufactured cruelties. The boy’s one solace is a reclusive friend named Finn, who lives alone in an abandoned island hut.
To this, Rosoff adds so...more
I picked this book up on sale as an impulse buy, and I actually really enjoyed it. Rosoff gives a quick, easy read. At first I felt pretty detached as a reader, but since I finished the book I have found myself re-imagining the scenes and action through Rosoff's subtly powerful descriptive language.
The story style of a mature man, H., reflecting on his naïve boyhood and on his desire to be someone he is not, proved very compelling to me. Plus, the character Finn is such an enigma that the story...more
I was in two minds whether to give this just two stars, as I didn't find this book at all addictive, and very nearly gave up on it. That seems like a mean comment considering the fact that this book is really very well written. Meg Rosoff gives us an impeccable narrative, honest and bold, and the descriptions in the book are delectable, no doubt about it.
I like a book with a bit of action, I need content, which is lacking in this novel. However, not all books are action...more
*EDIT* I don't know what happened, but yesterday I just felt like I couldn't abandon this book and I finished it. I'm glad I did. The second half of the book picks up and slides back into Rosoff's comfortable prose. She just has a way of creating a magic bubble around her characters so for...more
Overall, it's a good book and all but it's got...more
What really threw me, as I'm sure it was meant to, was the revelation that Finn is a girl. What I can't figure out is-- why? It reminds me a little of the story I wrote in colleg...more
But I couldn't stop listening. When a boy is sent for his third attempt at boarding school, he is disenchanted, depressed and just wants to be left alone. He happens to meet another boy, living along and free in a little shack by the sea. He becomes enchanted, obsessed, in love with this boy (who is not inclined to conversation or company or anything else much, sociall...more
Toen ik de eerste bladzijden van dit boek las, dacht ik:
'Oh nee, weer het onderwerp kostscholen en kostschooljongetjes?!'
Gelukkig waren de teksten helemaal niet zwaar
geschreven en las ik dus dapper verder.
Dit boek zit echt vol verrassingen.
Het is lang geleden dat ik bij een verhaal
een 'fout voorgevoel' had over wat er zou gebeuren.
Ik dacht eigenlijk dat het verhaal over de eerste
homorelaties in de jaren stillekes ging.
Big mistake. :'p Dus toen ik ontdekte dat Finn eigen...more
Share This Book
There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes?
I know you are unable to imagine this.
Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.”