How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

how i live now

This is a very odd book. I am struggling to put my finger on quite why but I think it is because the teenage voice is so very authentic. I so rarely speak to teenagers that I cannot be sure.

This is about an American fifteen year old from Manhattan being sent to rural England by a wicked stepmother. She then falls in love with her cousin (whoa!) and then World War III breaks out (double whoa!).

For the first few chapters I could not work out what time it was supposed to be set in; current time or a few decades ago. I eventually worked out that it was just the slightly clichéd view that some Americans have of rural England having been unchanged over the past one hundred years or so. Then I could not work out quite where it was set, but I eventually worked that it was the clichéd view that some Americans have of England being made up of London and some small hamlets with nothing but a pub and a farm. Then I could not work out quite why there was a war, but I think that is where the authentic teenager’s voice comes in, because they do not seem to really know anything about anything these days. Or is that a slightly clichéd view of my own?

The book is short and every paragraph gets to the point. There is no wasted text in this book, so it moves along nice and quickly. Apparently it has been made in to a film, with a slightly more socially acceptable situation of the cousins falling in love.

This is an OK young adult book, but does not make me question things in any way, the way that many YA books I have read recently have done.

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One Response to How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

  1. I think the movie is much better than the book. I’m convinced that I did read the book, or at least the first few pages of it. While the movie is about kids, it’s a very grown-up movie.

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