Sheziss's Reviews > How I Live Now

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
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Saw the movie, came back home, went to Amazon, bought this book.



I must say I read the book because I loved the movie. Not the other way around. A very high bar was doomed to be overcame. They are nothing alike, the movie is more thrilling, the book is more touching, but I recommend you to watch it, because it’s a great movie about youth and love and family and war and survival. The book uses a lots of “ands” to compensate for the lack of quoting and the sentences are quite long, resulting in an "intimist" mess about everything mentioned above. It was very odd in the beginning but soon I was pulled into Daisy’s mind and I just couldn’t close my eyes. I love this kind of style but it has a tendency of beating around the bush and not talking about the love per se because the narrator wanders around every detail of his/her life, even those I could never have considered interesting.

But I liked Daisy’s voice A LOT. She’s a fifteen-year-old with food issues whose father has just got married with a woman she despises and with a baby on the way. The father decides to send her with her not-that-normal cousins in England for the summer, but once there the war erupts and all five kids are stuck alone in a big house in the countryside when the aunt leaves trying to avoid it abroad.

As she says, this sets the perfect scene for a sin to be committed. She falls in love with fourteen-year-old Edmond and lives it in all its glory. The world is in chaos but in a little piece of heaven they are happy. Till adults enter their little bubble and break it in tiny dirty soap particles. They are separated and they only can think about being together again. But the path will be hard. Very hard.

There are some hard issues to be developed: very young and incestuous love, special kids in the wild trying to survive the reality of a war, adults doing more bad than good and what else. I liked pretty much how the world is described in this modern war. A war in which the guy next door can be your enemy or your ally because there is no well-defined adversary. A war where roads are useless and the woods are safer. A war in which civilians are forgotten or driven apart from loved ones. A war in which soldiers milk cows. A war in which everybody speaks the same language and nobody wears uniforms. A war where everything is half mess half anodyne. A war in which terrorists replace squadrons. A war in which there is no oil and no electricity and no hospital. A war in which they need people to work in libraries and doctors knock your door and ask for pills. A war in which we return to our natural origins and marvel at how useless modern advices could be when you can’t eat them. A war in which problems we considered big now are just plain stupid to think about. A war in which you just say let everybody else fight their battles because my battle is getting home with my beloved.

The WWI began with horses and ended with tanks. The WWII began with camps and ended with penicillin. The WWIII here begins with a bomb and ends with farming. A new stone age. This is more realistic than most, believe me.

The book is not perfect. It’s not a romance story so if you want to feel a slow burn and see all the periods in the process of falling in love, you will be disappointed. There is a weird Edmond, there is a sarcastic Daisy, and the result is immediate. That didn’t give me satisfaction, but the feelings and thoughts Daisy provides did. Everything here are chimeras, in the sense that there is no sense of time or place or age. It’s all atemporal and intangible, in a way that could adapt to my life or your life or anyone’s life. The dialogues are with no quotation marks and that can drive you crazy till you get used to it. And suddenly there is a big black dot in a page and from then on everything changes into a normal pace. More or less. That’s the part I liked the most, the part that is not in the movie. The part about Daisy and Edmond together and the part about why Edmond has scars on his arms and body. The most romantic part, the part with the traumatic past and its effect in a peaceful life. The hate, the love, the family.

If I’m honest, these kind of books leave me starving and full at the same time. There is a lazy manner of telling everything, in the sense that it’s all explained in a superficial way just to give some clues, and going on with the next subject in the following paragraph so I’m always with the indescribable feeling there is something missing but I can tell I loved it and I don’t regret how the events are told. So if I have to complain about something in the characters' actions, there is no reason to do so, as it is all very otherworldly until it happens to you.

***************************************************

These are gifs from the movie, you can watch safely, it's nothing like the book.

(view spoiler)

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Quotes Sheziss Liked

Meg Rosoff
“I don't get nearly enough credit in life for the things I manage not to say.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“There was no need for courtship; they simply met one day and were together after that.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I was dying, of course, but then we all are. Every day, in perfect increments, I was dying of loss.
The only help for my condition, then as now, is that I refused to let go of what I loved. I wrote everything down, at first in choppy fragments; a sentence here, a few words there, it was the most I could handle at the time. Later I wrote more, my grief muffled but not eased by the passage of time.
When I go back over my writing now I can barely read it. The happiness is the worst. Some days I can't bring myself to remember. But I will not relinquish a single detail of the past. What remains of my life depends on what happened six years ago.
In my brain, in my limbs, in my dreams, it is still happening.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Things Happen and once they start happening you pretty much just to hold on for dear life and see where they drop you when they stop.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
tags: life

Meg Rosoff
“The things that break your heart when you think there`s nothing left to break”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Every war has turning points and every person too.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“After all this time, I know exactly where I belong. Here. With Edmond. And that's how I live now.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“The facts of his existence are plain. I know that he will never silence those unspeakable voices. He heard how people killed, and how they died and their voices infected him, coursed through his body, poisoned him. He didn't know how to turn off the noise, or turn the hate back out onto the world like the rest of us. He turned it on himself. You could see that from the scars on him.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“If you haven't been in a war and are wondering how long it takes to get used to losing everything you think you need or love, I can tell you the answer is no time at all.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
tags: love, war

Meg Rosoff
“After all this time, I know exactly where I belong.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I noticed that once you realize
someone's watching you it's pretty hard not to find yourself
watching them back.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
tags: stare

Meg Rosoff
“I didn't seem to have that effect on anyone but it would have been a waste for both of us to be saints.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“On the warm stone walls, climbing roses were just coming into bloom and great twisted branches of honeysuckle and clematis wrestled each other as they tumbled up and over the top of the wall. Against another wall were white apple blossoms on branches cut into sharp crucifixes and forced to lie flat against the stone. Below, the huge frilled lips of giant tulips in shades of white and cream nodded in their beds. They were almost finished now, spread open too far, splayed, exposing obscene black centers. I've never had my own garden but I suddenly recognized something in the tangle of this one that wasn't beauty. Passion, maybe. And something else. Rage. ”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Staying alive was what we did to pass the time.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Somewhere along the line I'd lost the will not to eat.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“And after awhile of this my brain and my body and every single inch of me that was alive was flooded with the feeling that I was starving, starving for Edmond.

And what a coincidence, that was the feeling I loved best in the world.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I guess the difference between Gin and me is that when Gin got shut in the barn she thought Edmond didn't love her anymore but because I could feel Edmond out there somewhere always loving me I didn't have to howl all night.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“If there was ever a more perfect day in the history of time it isn't one I've heard about.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Osbert was the only one who didn't seem suspicious. He was so interested in the Decline of Western Civilization that he missed the version of it taking place under his nose.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“But I would like to make an important point before this
goes any further and that is if anyone feels like arresting me
for corrupting an innocent kid then all I can say is that
Edmond was not corruptible. Some people are just like
that and if you don't believe me it just means you've never
met one of them yourself.
Which is your loss.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“The real truth is that the war didn't have much to do with it except that it provided a perfect limbo in which two people who were too young and too related could start kissing without anything or anyone making us stop.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Now let's try to understand that falling into sexual and emotional thrall with an underage blood relative hadn't exactly been on my list of Things to Do while visiting England,but I was coming around to the belief that whether you liked it or not, Things Happen and once they start happening you pretty much just have to hold on for dear life and see where they drop you when they stop.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I frightened myself. I became the ghost Piper was so scared of.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I was pretty far gone, but not so far gone that I thought anyone with half a toehold in reality would think what we were doing was a good idea.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I guess there was a war going on somewhere in the
world that night but it wasn't one that could touch us.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
tags: life, war

Meg Rosoff
“The soldier had stamped my passport FAMILY in heavy black capital letters and I checked it now for reassurance and because I liked how fierce the word looked”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Every war has it's turning points, and every person too.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Maybe he's lonely, she said, and I just looked at her wondering if she expected me to open a Home for the Socially Challenged or what. Then she started giggling and I had the feeling we were thinking the same thing, namely, some people are lonely for all the right reasons.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“That was it. I never bothered filling in the details. The
details didn't matter.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I was dying, of course, but then we all are. Every day, in perfect increments.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I was starting to think that except for the deli counters and five or ten thousand other total essentials, supermarkets were pretty much a waste of time.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I mean, why? Why did I go on believing? Did it make sense? Why did I go on thinking, even when [he] slammed me around, that if you are good enough, patient enough, for long enough, your reward will come?”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“...she sometimes makes me think of a planet rocketing along in a parallel universe”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Fighting back is what I've discovered I do best.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“That's it,” Piper said. “That's the end.” But I knew it wasn't. They'd left out a chapter. The one where the hero comes home to find me gone.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“some people are lonely for all the right reasons.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I came across Piper deep in conversation with Jet one afternoon and when I asked her what they were talking about she shrugged and said Dog Things. Sometimes the loneliness of being the odd man out in these conversation got to me but most of the time I just ignored it. I like old movies. She talks to dogs.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Edmond just lay there smoking and telling me he loved me without saying anything out loud and if there ever was a more perfect day in the history of time it isn't one I've heard about. The”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I guess there was a war going on somewhere in the world that night but it wasn't one that could touch us.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Things happen and once they start happening you pretty much just have to hold on for dear life and see where they drop you when they stop.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
tags: life

Meg Rosoff
“But I would like to make an important point before this goes any further and that is if anyone feels like arresting me for corrupting an innocent kid then all I can say is that Edmond was not corruptible. Some people are just like that and if you don't believe me it just means you've never met one of them yourself. Which is your loss.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“but it was like some witch's curse where the more we tried to stop being hungry the more starving we got. It”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“It was the first time in as long as I could remember that hunger wasn't a punishment or a crime or a weapon or a mode of self-destruction. It was simply a way of being in love. Sometimes”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“The only thing I knew for certain was that all around me was more life than I'd ever experienced in all the years I'd been on earth and as long as no one shut me in the barn away from Edmond at night I was safe.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“After an hour or so when I was sure Piper was calm and safe I slipped off to be with Edmond and we said even less than usual only climbed inside each other for comfort and oblivion and fell asleep that way wrapped in black sheep blankets and together dreamt a single dream that there was no one left in the world but us.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I was happiest when he just came and lay down next to me, and I could almost feel the weight of his body against mine.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“I spent some of my endless hours of leisure learning how to shoot a gun, which I thought might come in handy someday, if not in the war then back on the streets of New York.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“When I finally got to sleep I found Edmond and told him everything that happened, and he stayed with me for hours and whether I was dreaming or just borderline schizophrenic I didn't know and didn't care either. At”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“Now this was clearly one of the greatest improvements on the education system since time began and I was greatly looking forward to being enrolled but Aunt Penn said that I didn't have to do much of anything until autumn term, which didn't start until September, and by that time no one was going to school anyway due to the You Know What.”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff
“because we were all catching on to the fact that some questions were better not asked. Piper”
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now


Reading Progress

October 12, 2014 – Shelved
October 22, 2014 – Started Reading
October 22, 2014 –
page 10
5.15% "Nothing to do with the movie! But I like it :) .\n \n "
October 23, 2014 –
page 76
39.18% "This is so weird, not what I expected.\n \n "
October 24, 2014 –
page 126
64.95% "\n \n I love it a lot :D ."
October 25, 2014 –
page 194
100.0% "Wow, I loved it. I loved the ending even more than the one in the movie. I understand a lot of things of the movie, too. I shouldn't compare them, because they are nothing alike. But... WOW.\n \n "
October 25, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Irina (new)

Irina Amazing review, Ale! This is book is probably not for me, but I loved your thoughts on it. Especially about the war. It hits too close home. Glad you enjoyed the movie and the book!


Sheziss Thanks Irina. i don't think I would have read it either, but as I said, I loved the movie, so I gave it a try. I'm happy I did :P .

I rec the movie, though ;) .


message 3: by Irina (new)

Irina I wish I was more tough-skinned, Ale. I'm trying avoid all the war-themed movies for now. But I'll make a note of this one for the future. Thank you!


Sheziss It's a beautiful love story. I felt it more in the movie. The book is more about life during war around Daisy. It's weird to compare the book and the movie because similarities are coincidences.


message 5: by Baba (new)

Baba  They are nothing alike, the movie is more thrilling...
Movies and books are usually different. :)
Fab review, Sheziss! xxx


Sheziss Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "They are nothing alike, the movie is more thrilling...
Movies and books are usually different. :)
Fab review, Sheziss! xxx"


I know, I know... But mostly they are adaptations and they feel wrong. But here it's a different story altogether. The only similarity is the names of the characters, the rest is totally random.

I prefer it that way, don't get me wrong. I want a good book and a good movie. If that awesome movie is literally the same or just the opposite, I don't care. A Room with a View has a movie that is word by word the same thing. But then we have The Lord of the Rings, a movie I love but a book that bored me to tears, because only the idea is portrayed, the rest is Jackson's doing. But I love both movies a lot because they are awesome movies, I don't really care if they are copies of the book or not, because that's totally different.

I'm rambling, sorry, just saying that I loved the movie, and I loved the book, but for different reasons :) .


message 7: by Baba (new)

Baba  I don't mind your ramblings, Sheziss. :)
BTW, I neither saw the movies you mentioned nor did I read the books. :P


Sheziss Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "I don't mind your ramblings, Sheziss. :)
BTW, I neither saw the movies you mentioned nor did I read the books. :P"


That's great, because sometimes I lose focus lol.

Oh, you should watch them, forget about the books, not that awesome :P .


message 9: by Baba (new)

Baba  Nah, I prefer reading books; I don't watch movies anymore. :)


Sheziss Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Nah, I prefer reading books; I don't watch movies anymore. :)"

Any? I watch one each week :) . But I never interact with the TV :P .


message 11: by Baba (new)

Baba  Nope, no movies for Baba. :P


Sheziss Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Nope, no movies for Baba. :P"


That surely makes your boys happy! You don't argue with them about what to watch on TV! :D


message 13: by Baba (new)

Baba  Lol Exactly! You know men need to be in control. *cough* :))


Sheziss Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Lol Exactly! You know men need to be in control. *cough* :))"

^^

I'll keep your secret, Baba XO .


message 15: by Baba (new)

Baba  That's nice of you. :)) xxx


message 16: by * Meli Mel * (new)

* Meli Mel * Wonderful review, Sheziss!! ;)


Sheziss Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "That's nice of you. :)) xxx"



Don't doubt that, I'm the nicest person on Earth! :P


Sheziss Meli Mel *Ty and Zane's Creeper* wrote: "Wonderful review, Sheziss!! ;)"


Thanks Meli! ;)


message 19: by Baba (new)

Baba  Sheziss wrote: "Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "That's nice of you. :)) xxx"

Don't doubt that, I'm the nicest person on Earth! :P"


I never doubt you. :)


Sheziss Great! :D


message 21: by .Karéz. (new)

.Karéz. Wonderful review, Sheziss! :-))


Sheziss Thank you, maja ;) .


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