Published by Random House LLC on 2004-11-30
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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“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.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff is a totally amazing dystopian book. It won a Printz award in 2005. I found How I Live Now to be compelling and impossible to put down until the very end.
The protagonist is named Daisy. Essentially Daisy is having some trouble with her father and stepmom in America, so she hops a plane and visits her aunt and cousins in the English countryside. When, oh hell no, a war outbreaks in England. Her aunt leaves the kids alone to go fix the war. Well, the aunt doesn’t come back and the kids are left to fend for themselves.
As a character, Daisy has a vivid personality and a unique voice. To me, she felt real and earnest. She could honestly have been a flesh and blood teenager. I liked that she wasn’t a cardboard cutout character. She certainly had her faults, but damned if I don’t admire her strengths.
Another of my favorite characters from this book was Piper. She is one of Daisy’s cousins. Piper is adorable and seemed so sweet. I know I would have wanted to protect her too.
As for the war/dystopian elements, it is disturbing. I am haunted by what one of the characters had witnessed. War is not glory, y’all. It’s disturbing. After the initial battle/take over by terrorists (I think), the people weren’t really sure who was in charge, confusion is king. I hate to say this, but anarchy is really scary. Give me order please, and some semblance of rules.
Now, certain parts may disgust you, think a book with some Flowers up In The Attic. There’s sex and I think cussing. I’m not bothered by that, but I know others are. If you want to read an excellent dystopia with someone who will become real to you, read How I Live Now with a glass of chocolate milk and a plate of cookies. The cookies will comfort you through the disturbing parts, and the chocolate milk is so you appreciate being able to have chocolate milk basically whenever you want it, because when society falls apart you’ll probably be stuck drinking boring old water.
Trailer, because it’s awesome!