What I Was
In the not too distant future, a one-hundred-year-old man called H sails the eastern coast of England with his godson. H recalls when he himself was sixteen —his godson'’s age— as they search for the site of H’'s life-altering friendship with a boy named Finn. Finn lives alone on an...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.
I figured ...more
What I Was is the story of H. 16 years old and shuffled off to ...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
I knew from experience that Meg Rosoff doesn’t pen your “average” young adult fiction; indeed, How I Live Now was one of the more offbeat, compelling and disturbing YA books I’ve ever read. I finished it almost four years ago, yet I can recall certain passages and turns of phrase all these books later.
In the vein of the colorful, unusual and incredibly well-written is this slim novel: What I Was. The tale of H, our relatively unnamed narrator, and his long-ago frie ...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
Why I Read It: I read Rosoff's award-winning How I Live Now a few years ago and while I didn't fall head-over--heels in love with it, I still LIKED it and have been curious to check out her other works. This went on sale at work for $2 for the hardcover (!!!) AND I get 30% off on top of that so I couldn't resist picking this title up. It's languished in my TBR for too long, so I finally picked up and gave ...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
I had started it once before, but it didn't grab me in the first few pages and, at the time, I didn't have the free time to focus on it. I set it aside, which I now realize was a mistake.
I finished the book in less than 6 hours. I devour books usually, but th ...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
*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
It had a similar flow to How I Live Now, but the voice was not as interesting.
I usually ...more
I found this book both disappointing and entertaining. It grabbed my attention immediately and I didn't stop reading it because their friendship was interesting to the point that I couldn't put the book down, but I felt that the ending was a bit off. Shocking to realize Finn was a girl and I just really hoped that his flu went away over the course of a couple of weeks and then Finn and H would just live together peacefully in the fishing shack. I was also quite surprised when I read ...more
Today, as most days, it is 1962. The year I discovered love.
I am sixteen years old. (1)
You know how you wait months and months for summer vacation, and when it finally arrives you take in a huge breath, let it out, grab a cool drink in a perspiring glass and go outside to lie in the sun, with the grass tickling your legs and bugs crawling over your arms as you ...more
As a story of a teen seeking to break away from the shackles and constructs of a middle class life that left much to be desired in the way of intellectual and emotional freedom, it was an interesting read. Finn served as a catalyst for the protagonist's decision to reach for the individuality for which he so yearned. His obsession with Finn was mo ...more
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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.”