Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Travel the World: England: How I Live Now

Rosoff, Meg. 2004. How I Live Now. 194 pages.

My name is Elizabeth but no one's ever called me that.

When Elizabeth (a.k.a. "Daisy") comes to England to visit her British cousins (and aunt), little does she know that life as she knows it--as everyone knows it--is about to change forever. Suffering from an eating disorder, Daisy has been sent far from home--just as much to 'help' her out as to help the evil step-mother who's expecting. She meets her cousins--Osbert, Edmond, Isaac, and Piper--and they seem to be off to a great start. Good thing too, as they'll be spending loads of time together. Daisy's aunt is off on a business trip. A trip from which she'll never return. Why? Long story short, terrorists. An enemy has invaded England--and other countries as well; bombs having gone off in at least the U.S. and England, and probably other places as well though I'm not exactly sure on that. England is now occupied by the enemy. (And the British soldiers have to regroup to try to invade and reconquer their own country.) At first, these changes don't effect the kids (Piper's the youngest; the rest are teenagers). Food rationing here. No electricity. Inconvenient, yes. Life-and-death altering? Not really. You can live without TV and the telephone. But soon the threat comes closer...and closer. Impacting some more than others. But unsettling, disrupting all. Now this war, this invasion means fight for survival. And Daisy has to grow up quickly. And now that food is a scarcity, Daisy realizes just how sick she was to choose to starve.

Daisy's voice is unique: full of snark but not without heart.

It would be much easier to tell this story if it were all about a chaste and perfect love between Two Children Against the World at an Extreme Time in History but let's face it that would be a load of crap. The real truth is that the war didn't have much to do with it except that it provided a perfect limbo in which two people who were too young and too related could start kissing without anything or anyone making us stop. There were no parents, no teachers, no schedules. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do that would remind us that this sort of thing didn't happen in the Real World. There no longer was a Real World. (46)

Every war has turning points, and every person too. (68)

What I liked about this one? I liked the snark for the most part. Daisy's voice is original. You'll either love her or hate her. You'll either think the snark is funny, or you'll be annoyed. I liked the pacing of this one. It is short, yes, but a lot happens. It doesn't drag at any point. Rosoff knows how to tell a story.

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Anonymous,  11:06 AM  

This sounds perfect for Nona...I'm betting she'd love this.

Kailana 12:45 PM  

I really enjoyed this book when I read it last year. :) One day I am going to read more from her!

Ana S. 3:02 PM  

I also really enjoyed this! And I agree, Daisy's voice is so unique.

Faith 3:08 PM  

I am so glad you enjoyed this book. I love it! It's one of my favorite and Rossoff is one of my favorite authors. Her style is so unique and memorable.

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