Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

A few months back, I saw How I Live Now, and while there were certain aspects of the film that I enjoyed, it was also really confusing. I concluded that certain parts of the book had been edited out, so, I decided to read it. It turns out the book is better than the movie.

Both the book and the movie tell the story of Daisy, an American teenager who goes to live with relatives in England. There's a war brewing, and it isn't long before England is under occupation. The war changes everything on a macro level, and also serves as the catalyst for the growth of the characters.

I thought that the plot and the representation of war (both of them are closely interconnected) were handled well. The plot moved at a quick pace, but still left enough room for the characters to grow. The occupation was fairly well thought-out, but also managed to differentiate itself from many other depictions of war or life on the home front.

The style of writing, something akin to stream of consciousness, felt intuitive, and it was refreshing to see a writer exploring interesting narrative possibilities, especially in a book that was designed for a wide audience.  While I like more unusual or lyrical styles of narration, I can see how someone who doesn't might not like this.

The characters were well constructed, and even ones that were not central to the plot were still interesting and well-rounded.

Overall, a highly recommended read.

Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 90%