Review of How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Review of How I Live Now by Meg RosoffHow I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Published by Random House LLC on 2004-11-30
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 194
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

“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.

I read this book as part of Bart’s Bookshelf Dystopian YA Challenge and Books On The Nightstand DistopYA Challenge

Other Reviews:

Books And Needlepoint

Confessions of a Wandering Heart

Persnickety Snark

Trailer, because it’s awesome!

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Bookalicious says

    I loved this book too! True, it's rather disturbing and raw, but I loved Daisy's narration and its uniqueness, I guess. Thanks for posting the trailer too, I hadn't seen it before. I can't say I think it's the best trailer ever, but it sums up the book!
    Thanks for posting links to other reviews too, I always like to see additional reviews. 🙂

  2. I read this book a couple of years ago, but I don't remember that I LOVED it. I do know that I decided I really liked Meg Rosoff as an author, though!

  3. sharonlovescats says

    Wow it's so odd that you tweeted this to me as I was typing up my comment.

    I've had this one on my dysopian lit wishlist for some time, but the cover has always turned me off. After reading this it is now on the top of my list.

    Flowers in the Attic? please tell me she doesn't have sex with her brother. Is this a stand alone book? I'm too lazy to go on goodreads and look that up.

  4. Amazing review. I now want to read this one!

  5. Frakken amazing? Wowzers.

  6. I loved your review; too bad I didn't love this book. Perhaps if it was written with the personality that you wrote your review, I might have liked it more.

    I know I am in the minority but it was just flat to me. I will admit I read it right after it won the award, so maybe I should reread it.

  7. Jess13angel says

    I read this book last year, and I loved Daisy,she's a strong character 🙂
    Great review!!

  8. Jill of The O.W.L. says

    I haven't heard of this book. Thanks for sharing. It sounds really good. I'll be heading over to Goodreads to add it to my TBR pile!

  9. Sheila (Bookjourney) says

    Sounds good and looks good too! I will be checking into this one further. Thanks!

  10. Juju at Tales of says

    oooooo I need to read this.

  11. ~The Book Pixie says

    I've seen all kinds of reviews on this book. The great, the awful, and the inbetween. Which just makes me even more glad that you liked it because I've really been wanting to read it. Thanks for this review. 😀