Andrea thebusybibliophile's Reviews > How I Live Now

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
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's review
Dec 21, 2013

liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, library
Read from August 07 to 10, 2012

This is a very different story, in that it’s insular, mainly just focusing on the kids holed up on a farm somewhere. The adults only appear briefly, and really aren’t needed by the kids, anyway. Not quite dystopian, this is more of a war-time general young adult book that could almost be dystopian in its ambiance.

It was a bit frustrating for me, in that we never learned the answers to what I thought were important questions: what year did this story take place in? Who was fighting in the war, and why? Perhaps we never learned these answers because Daisy couldn’t care less; she even mentioned that the people who were dying in the war weren’t important because she didn’t know them. This made her selfish and unlikable in my eyes. I don’t care how young you are, when there’s something this major going on in your life, you notice. You care, even if it’s just a little.

The characters that we spend the most time with, Daisy, Edmond, Piper, Isaac and Osbert, were varied and they each had their own quirks and personalities. They all grew and matured throughout the story, which I liked. They truly became their own little family unit during the war, they made each other feel safe. Daisy and her love interest do not have insta-love, rather, their relationship was based on friendship and, let’s be honest, mostly convenience. Would it have happened without the war and the situations that followed? Most definitely not. But, it was nice that they found each other when they each needed someone the most.

Even though the audio is a very short 4 hours, the story seemed to move very slowly and it dragged a bit for me. Of course, that could have been because of the story. Though the kids found a way to get along and survive, the general tone of the book struck me as depressing. Besides war, it also covered such dark subjects as anorexia, family relationships, suffering, friendship, mental health and survival.

This is probably one of those instances where the audio version was a better choice than the print version.

The sum up: Sad and a bit long-winded, this is still a book worth reading if you like contemporary stories.
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