Monday, July 28, 2008

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

book 10 of 12 for the 2008 Young Adult Challenge

Shortly after moving to England to live with her cousins, Daisy’s teenage life takes an alarming turn for the worse. England becomes occupied by an Unnamed Enemy – and suddenly Daisy is living in a modern day war zone and while the conflict doesn’t affect her countryside manor right away, eventually just surviving is almost more than she can handle.

What I liked most about this book was Daisy’s narrating voice. She’s a quick-witted, smart-aleky city dweller, and her new circumstances are constant fodder for her sarcastic commentary. For those who have read any Barbara Park, Daisy is what I imagine Junie B. Jones will be like when she turns 15. For example:

I didn’t really understand The Occupation because it didn’t seem like the kind of War we all knew and loved from your average made-for-TV miniseries.

All in all I felt a little guilty about the fact that while us kids had been living the Life of Riley, a whole bunch of other people had been scurrying around like lunatics trying to keep the Social Fabric from Unraveling.

The war being fought in this book is incredibly intriguing because it seems so plausible. The enemies don’t look any different than we do. Instead of sending our soldiers to some foreign country to fight, our enemies are in our midst. A country is thrown into chaos for two main reasons: electricity is cut off and access to petrol disappeared. I think this final point, about electricity and gas being the king pins in our entire comfortable civilization, is what truly made this story frightening.

I can highly recommend this book, unless you’re squeamish about “intimate” familial relationships, since Daisy’s love interest in this book happens to be her cousin. It’s strange how when the world gets to be terrifyingly unstable, those rules seem to fall apart at the seams. However, Rosoff deals with it in a tasteful way and I think this might be one of my new favorite apocalyptic novels. Its’ Printz Award was well deserved.


katrina said...

I love this book, its great

Trish said...

I've seen this one somewhere else, but I can't remember where. Sounds really good! I'll definitely have to check it out--Thanks Corinne for the review!

Charley said...

I enjoyed this book as well. I thought Daisy was a wonderful protagonist, but Piper was my favorite character.

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