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!)
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.