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Don't Stop Readin'

Hi guys, I'm Anushka (or Annie, if you like). I'm a serial reader and a more-than-occasional reviewer and I like to mention authors by their names in my reviews. (Ha! Suck it GoodReads!)


How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff

3 to 3.5 Stars 

First thought after finishing the book: Boy, this book was weird.

Second thought: What a weird book.

Third thought: So freaking weird.

Skipping my next fifty thoughts let me try to actually talk about something other than the weirdness of this book.

How I Live Now is essentially a survival story but it doesn’t begin as one, we get a snarky Manhattan resident protag sent off to England to live with her cousins where she surprises everyone by adjusting very easily with them. So, at first I thought this book would be about whiny-teenager-living-in-countryside but then she falls for her doggy-like cousin (her words, not mine) and they start doing the deed because no one’s around to object. Well, now I was led to believe that this book would be about an incestuous relationship, which I’m not really fond of but I went on reading anyway. All of a sudden people started running around and running away from gunfires and bombs and this book unexpectedly turned into a Quest to Survive. 

The real charm of this book lies in its narration which is kept very simple and honest, while reading you would get the feel of a 15-year old who has some issues in her head narrating it. This narration contributes to more than half of the weirdness of this book. The heroine is neither a Mary Sue nor a kickbutt diva, she is just a teenager with some issues of her own. She touches very briefly upon her weight issue and visits to a psychiatrist but she develops into a responsible person while saving her cousin from the wrath of war. 

Despite liking several things about this book I don’t feel like awarding it anything more than 3.5 stars and certainly not a Printz award but what do ya know? Some people think this book was brilliant.

I enjoy war survival stories but I just don’t see anything greatly special about How I Live Now, I wouldn’t even go around recommending it because it’s only catch is the “freak” factor and nothing more. 

I was quite disappointed by the ending which I’m going to spoiler mark, don’t read it if you plan on reading this book. 



See, here’s the thing. I don’t believe that teenage love lasts forever. She fell in “love” with her cousin Edmond in three months but carried on that love for six whole years. Six years?! What, she didn’t date anybody else all this time because the cousin she feel for ages ago was the one? I don’t believe that. I would have liked her to move over him, not go back and decide to live with him. I don’t know, doesn’t settle well with me, maybe it’s the ick factor incest brings but I did not like the way it ended. 


(show spoiler)