This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

When I started this book, I noticed that this was categorized as a "YA" book at the library, meaning "Young Adult". No problem. I am OK with that, as the Twilight Series and several other good books I've read are categorized as Young Adult.

Instantly, I loved the writing style. It is from the perspective of Elizabeth, AKA Daisy, a 15-year old teenager in modern times. The paragraphs are long, rambling sentences with improper punctuation that I had to read a couple of times to understand the meaning.

But not always.

And it was a perfect style.

The story started with Daisy flying from NY to England to stay with her Aunt and cousins, while her step-monster and her dad deal with the baby they are about to have.

Daisy's mother died while in childbirth with Daisy. And she was looking forward to learning more about her mother through her Aunt Penn, someone she had never met.

Very quickly, she bonds with her cousins: Edmond, Piper, Isaac and Osbert. The lightheartedness of Daisy's life with her cousins, her attitude about life, and her disdain for eating, is pretty atypical of a great story about a teenager growing up.

There is a connection with Edmond, yes, a first cousin who also shares the same attraction. The story seems to veer towards the eerie ability of Edmond to 'hear' Daisy's thoughts. He responds to her thoughts out loud. Isaac also has an uncanny ability to be an "animal whisperer" type person.

A great, beautiful story and then...

...the twist that I was not anticipating.

I had all along thought "Hmmm, CJ would probably enjoy this story too." Even with the taboo relationship Daisy has with her cousin, I think it's a story she may enjoy.

Then the Occupation occurs; the bombings; a War.

And though no one is ever mentioned who was at war, what countries, who the true enemy was, the story begins to sound like a setting from WWII, only it's technically NOW. No e-mail. Not cell phone service. No flying anywhere.

No power. No petrol. Food is rationed. Aunt Penn, who flew to Oslo to speak at a peace conference, could not come back to the teenaged children are left to their own devices.

And while a few pages have the teens relishing this, the story turns dark very slowly and I felt dread at every turn of the page: what horrific thing will happen next.

It's an amazing story. I was ecstatic to have had two wonderful books to read, back-to-back.

This story is a must-read. It's an eye-opener, IMO, of what can happen to any of us, in this day and age.

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