Review: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff



“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story

Actual Review:

I’m going to be honest here. The real reason why I decided to pick up this book is because I’ve heard from somewhere that it had incest in it, and it won a Printz.
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Well, I know that the first reason is kinda invalid, but so what? I like me some weird in my books, and I definitely got it in this one and it was most definitely my kind of weird. But, anyways back to the review.

During the first pages of the book, I was very much tempted to just drop the book because I couldn’t see the reason why it deserved an award. The heroine was your typical snarky awkward anorexic teenage girl who definitely wants and needs some sort of attention. She wasn’t likeable at all. Plus, it didn’t exactly grip me, you know? I mean, all I’m seeing in the first pages was that this girl went there to England for summer, the mansion was old yet pretty, and that she had mysterious cousins. It seemed like a coming of age book with a bit of supernatural mixed in. I mean that’s all fine and dandy, “But where was the dystopia?”, i thought to myself. “Where was the war, the chaos…..Everything?”

And then, this thing with Edmond happened. And yes, the whole time I was reading all of the pages dedicated to them, including the ones at the end, my face was scrunched up and I was definitely not impressed. Simply because it was weird that the people around them accepted their relationship just like THAT. They definitely didn’t live during the ages where marrying your first cousin was normal to preserve the bloodline/ riches or something…

And I don’t think the incest and the premature sex they got going on was necessary at all because after the beginning, I realized why this won Printz.

When the war started, I loved how it has shown in this book that children don’t really actually care with what’s going on as long as it wasn’t affecting them and the fact that their “innocence” was shown by the fact that they were actually secretly happy that there was no guardian taking charge of them. They were like in their own little paradise. Then, they got separated from each other, it became action packed, exciting and this is where I began to start loving Daisy.

She became less the selfish character who only cared about herself and became someone who was doing everything to keep Piper safe and being able to be together with the others again. She also started changing her ways and realizing that starving is most definitely not a good idea. She realized the preciousness of food. (CHARACTER GROWTH, EVERYONE!)

I also liked the fact that this book showed how a war deeply affects the people around them and how killing (brutally or not) deeply damages a child’s mind.

But there were a few things that kept me from really loving it. First of all, the incest (the execution of it, to be exact) and the fact that there was a huge lack of punctuation marks. It got me distracted especially The Jokes Implied Like This.

Overall, it was a pretty nice read. Not really something I’d pick up again, but it’s good to read it at least once.




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