How I Live Now

by Meg Rosoff | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0307281841 Global Overview for this book
Registered by msjoanna of Columbia, Missouri USA on 3/24/2008
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, March 24, 2008
Unabridged on 4 CDs, approx. 5 hours
Read by Kim Mai Guest
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From AudioFile
This is a mesmerizing production of a much-discussed young adult novel. Set in the very near future, the story involves unhappy, anorexic 15-year-old Daisy as she arrives in England to visit her cousins. As soon as she arrives, her aunt must depart for a short trip, leaving Daisy and her three cousins alone in their rural farmhouse. Very soon thereafter, an unnamed aggressor invades England. Kim Mai Guest seems to channel teenaged Daisy while making her actually listenable. She also excels with very young cousin Piper without resorting to a high-pitched little kid voice. For that matter, her rural British men are quite believable. Her pacing is particularly lovely, and while the book has received some criticism for its unique punctuation, it's never a problem in Guest's reading.

Journal Entry 2 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The reader for the unabridged audio version does an excellent job of keeping the narrative on track and understandable even though the writing tended to mix the dialogue with the narrative. The book is a teen-angst book set with the backdrop of World War III; the focus of the book is mostly on the coming of age/teen angst, with overcoming general teen concerns in the face of near-starvation and survival as the main struggle. The details of the politics and the war are barely discussed, which works well because the narrator is compelling as someone who was basically uninformed and uninterested in the world stage -- probably not uncommon for a fifteen-year-old.

At around five hours, the audio is also short enough to be a good choice for a car or plane ride.

This is now in the mail to mellion108 as part of an audiobook trade.

Journal Entry 3 by mellion108 from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA on Thursday, November 20, 2008
Thanks so much, msjoanna! You were super-fast with the mailing. ;-)

I'm putting this in my car as my next listen. I just finished listening to Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman, and I'm on a total audiobook buzz because I liked that one so much. How I Live Now seems interesting, so I look forward to listening to it.

Thanks again!

From the audiobook packaging:
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...

This is a story about love.

It's also a story about hate, which is why I left New York in the first place. You don't fly halfway across the world to live with a bunch of people you never met, just for a laugh.

I guess if I'd known where it was all going to lead, I might have thought twice about stepping onto that plane. I might have worried a little more about Edmond being my cousin.

And me being fifteen.

But I didn't. And in the end, those things didn't matter as much as you think they would.

In the end, the world had bigger things to worry about than us.

According to Wikipedia, this book has the following awards/nominations:

2004 Won the Guardian Award
2004 Shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year
2004 Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal
2005 Won the Michael L. Printz Award
2005 Won the Branford Boase Award
2005 Shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize

Journal Entry 4 by mellion108 from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA on Saturday, November 29, 2008
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed listening to this book. I really like Cousin Daisy's first-person narration of her bizarre, stressful, frightening, coming-of-age time in England during an occupation by an unnamed group. This is a dark novel that still manages to be hopeful. This is a Young Adult novel, and there are some very heavy issues here (anorexia, war, murder, teen sex). Although dark, the voice of Daisy rings true, and her fears and hopes are just what I would expect to hear from a young girl trapped in such a desperate situation.

I also really enjoyed Kim Mai Guest's narration. She has the crystal-clear voice just perfect for a fifteen-year-old character.

I read some customer reviews of this book on Amazon.com. Wow. People either really liked it, didn't get it, or absolutely hated it (one reviewer could not go past the relationship between Daisy and her cousin). I am firmly in the "liked it" category, and I'm happy to pass this along to another reader. I'll probably make this available on the Audiobook VBB over on BookObsessed. Thanks again for sharing this, msjoanna!

Journal Entry 5 by mellion108 from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA on Sunday, February 08, 2009
Reserved for lizziwhizz who chose it out of the Audiobook VBB over on BookObsessed.

Journal Entry 6 by lizziwhizz from Fairfield, Maine USA on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
received safe in the mail today, I am really looking forward to listening to this. thanks!

Journal Entry 7 by lizziwhizz from Fairfield, Maine USA on Friday, April 10, 2009
This was a very interesting book, very unusual and well written. It is a "young adult" novel but pretty heavy. I would almost call it a younger contemporary of The Lovely Bones, where things are slightly off center but somehow believable. The reader was wonderful, she embodied the main character perfectly. What I like about this is that we never see anything from an adult's perspective. Everything comes from the main character, or is told to her by another young character. No adult judgments are cast on the young characters and the situations they find themselves in, so a young reader will never feel a heavy handed "and the moral is" that might turn them off such a heavy story. The novel is short (about 5 hours unabridged) and the writer uses this to her advantage; the narrator shares details that only a child might notice, but sometimes glosses over plot points that an older reader thinks of as "necessary" (but aren't!) Recommended to mature young readers (re: sex and violence, the latter in some detail) and older readers of young adult fiction looking for something different.

Journal Entry 8 by lizziwhizz from Fairfield, Maine USA on Friday, June 26, 2009
mailed today to azuki, who chose it from the audio book box at bookobsessed.com.

Journal Entry 9 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Thursday, July 16, 2009
This has arrived more than a week ago, right before a trip, and with all the trip preparation I didn't get to journal it till now. Looks like a good read so I look forward to it!

Journal Entry 10 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The voice actress has a great voice. I didn't care too much for the story in the beginning, I guess I was not use to the vagueness about the "enemy" and many details, but I suppose that's how the author wants the mood to be... everything that is beyond Daisy's immediate concern is all a fog. Towards the end the story did grow on me.

Journal Entry 11 by wingAzukiwing at Audiobook Box, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, October 01, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (10/1/2009 UTC) at Audiobook Box, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

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Adding to Batty14's audio bookbox.

Journal Entry 12 by batty14 from Schuylerville, New York USA on Thursday, October 08, 2009
Arrived home in my cd audio box. Thanks so much!

Journal Entry 13 by batty14 from Schuylerville, New York USA on Thursday, December 03, 2009
Not sure whether I liked it or not. Kind of a futuristic version of a teenagers world. Weird and not sure about some of the details the author included... makes you think though.

Journal Entry 14 by batty14 at Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, December 31, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (12/31/2009 UTC) at Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

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Adding to indygo88's cd box.

Journal Entry 15 by KateKintail from Burke, Virginia USA on Saturday, February 20, 2010
I'm kind of on a young adult novel kick right now. The cover really jumped out at me and then I read the summaries here on the JE, so I'm definitely taking this from the box to earread. *Mine!*

Journal Entry 16 by KateKintail at Burke, Virginia USA on Sunday, December 12, 2010
I love strong young adult stories. I love post apocalyptic settings. I thought those two things would make me love this. I didn't.

It seemed like I was stuck earreading a lot of audio books in the car, one after another, that I didn't like. And this was right in the middle of the chain of disappointments. I don't feel like I missed the point. And I wasn't so turned off by the subject matter that I'd hold that responsible for my disliking the book (you can't help who you fall in love with, especially when there's war and survival situations going on, though it was a little squicky for me, I'll admit). I just didn't love it. *shrug*

I think I discovered that while I LOVE post apocalyptic stories, where characters deal with the fallout and try to build society back up into something that works... I apparently don't care much for novels dealing with the slow build-up into a war... at least not when it comes to a war we never really find much out about. I didn't really need to know more because of the POV. But I suspect that if this book had been about the same war but told from the aunt's POV or the Prime Minister's, I would have liked it more. Instead, you got pretty much no info about what was going on. It was a great technique but just not interesting enough for me.

The book definitely had its moments. That scene as the girls are heading back on the cart to the home of the family they're staying with and the men with guns approach... that whole scene will probably be in my head forever and I think I screamed out loud in the car as I was driving. And the book had a good mix of tender moments, thrilling moments, sad moments (Ding!), anxious moments, etc. There was a good balance with the subject matter. But it didn't pull me in.

It's not that I don't like Daisy... I just didn't really understand her. We get little things about her--how people treat her, how she has food issues, etc. And I did like her voice and the audio book reader. But I just didn't feel like I got far enough into Daisy as to understand her. I felt like I knew her on the surface, and that's about it, with the exception of how she feels about her cousin. The author throws little things in there--some weird mental power?-- that I don't quite understand, even at the end. And what a depressing end. Okay, so war is depressing and perhaps I should have expected it. But... it was just weird. And then it was suddenly over. I almost wish it had ended with that phone call, leaving us to wonder if it were her father or her cousin or someone else on the phone. I think the mystery would have made me think more than this book did. Instead, it just felt like I was forced into accepting what happened to each character, and what horrible things to have happen to them. Ugh.

Journal Entry 17 by KateKintail at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (1/15/2011 UTC) at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA

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Giving this to a friend! Enjoy :-)

Journal Entry 18 by wingmelydiawing at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA on Tuesday, January 18, 2011
KateKintail gave this to me. It looks interesting; looking forward to reading it. Thanks!

Journal Entry 19 by wingmelydiawing at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA on Monday, May 23, 2011
Rebellious American teenager Daisy is sent to England to live with her aunt and cousins, and a somewhat nebulous world war breaks out soon thereafter. It felt a bit like the author was wondering what would happen if World War II broke out today, except without actually picking specific countries to go to war with. Of course, the enemy’s identity isn’t all that important, since Daisy is the narrator and has little interest in politics anyway. The story is told well, with some horrific scenes, some sad scenes, and some happy scenes, and all in all I found it a perfectly believable representation of how such a person would deal with such a situation. I was somewhat confused by the weird psychic powers held by some of the characters, if only because everything else in the tale was completely realistic. In short, I’m having difficulty summing up my feelings about this book. It was almost equal parts trivial and serious, narrated by a character with whom I only somewhat sympathized. I’m glad to have read this, but I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend it to anyone else. If I were to recommend it at all, I’d definitely go with the audio version, as I believe the punctuation issues in the print would drive me absolutely bats.

A note on the audio: Guest was quite good as the narrator, but it was a little strange that none of the English characters had English accents. Even so, she managed to make Daisy both believable and listenable as a pretty typical American teenager - no small task, that.

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