How I Live Now: Review

Book: How I Live Now

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Author: Meg Rosoff

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Pages: 194

About the Book:  Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

Review:

How I Live Now seems to be a book that divides people, they either love it or they are a bit “meh” about it.

I’m one of the “meh” ones.

I just had a lot of trouble connecting with this book.

Aesthetically, I didn’t like the cover of the book (the one pictured above) which is why it sat on my TBR shelf for about two years before I finally picked it up. I know, you shouldn’t judge a book, blah, blah, but I did.

I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. Rossoff wrote the entire thing as Daisy recalling the plot in her mind, so there was no quotation marks  or anything like that. And while I do think the author wrote this very well, she did sound very much like a fifteen year old girl, I just did not like the style. I really, really wanted some quotation marks to appear when a character was speaking.

They never did.

In terms of the plot, I really liked the concept; fifteen year old girl with an eating disorder travels to England, meets long lost family, has an incesteous relationship with a cousin, war breaks out, they all get separated, typical YA really, but the entire thing felt a bit bare to me.

Even though so much happened, the relationship, the outbreak, the separation, trying to find each other again, I felt like Rosoff skimmed through most of it. Daisy’s eating disorder was touched on but never fully, the relationship with Edmond and Daisy, we knew it was happening but it Rosoff never went into detail and it to me it felt like a bit of a cop out. For the entire plot there were no real “milestones”, things just happened and I think the book suffered for that.

The ending too felt very abrupt. Daisy, Piper and Isaac reunite at their old farm house, the phone rings for the first time in months and Daisy is swept back to America, ten years pass and she comes back, cue the possibility of a happy ending with a now emotionally and physically scarred Edmond.

As far the relationship with Daisy and Edmond; underage incest. I didn’t mind it. It happened and I just went, “Oh Okay,” but I found it very odd that every other character in the book accepts it without question. Not a single other character goes, “Hmm, guys maybe stop, wait for someone you don’t share blood with.” But, just like the quotation marks, that also does not happen.

Overall, I was disappointed by this book. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters, certain aspects of the book were just unbelievable, there were a lot of loose ends. I think it had the potential to be incredible if only it was a bit longer. The book is very short, not even two hundred pages, and I definitely think the book could have benefited from maybe another fifty to a hundred pages.

2.5/5 Stars.

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In Which I Bought Some Books

So, last week I ordered some books and they arrived yesterday and I thought, why not share?

I ordered five books from Waterstones.com (In celebration of not failing my exams) and some of them are new, one or two have a few years on them, but I have heard great things about all of them and I’m really excited to read them.

1) The Isobel Journal: Just A Northern Girl From Where Nothing Really Happens.

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Author: Isobel Harrop.

Publisher: Hotkey Books.

About the Book: THE ISOBEL JOURNAL is no ordinary snapshot of a contemporary teenage life. A charming and vivid narrative scrapbook of the eighteen-year-old author’s sketches, mini-graphic novels, photographs and captions, it captures her wit, her observations and her creative talent as she takes us through the three central themes in her life: ‘Love’, ‘Friends, Art and Otters’ and ‘Me’.

Why I Am Excited to Read It: Soooo many reasons. Firstly, the artwork looks absolutely incredible, really youthful and fun and makes me really excited to turn the page. Secondly, everyone has been raving about this book! At the moment I believe it has 4.5 stars on goodreads, so that is always encouraging! Thirdly, finally, what really sold this book for me, the phrase “Friends, Art and Otters.” What can I say? I’m a girl of simple tastes.

2) Fangirl

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Author: Rainbow Rowell.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin.

About the Book: Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Why I Am Excited To Read It: I feel like this doesn’t need much explanation. I think anyone who identifies as a fangirl or boy is going to interested in picking this book up. I have been excited for this book for ages! (Even though it came out in September and it’s now Feburary.) and a lot of it has to do with the cover which was designed by Noelle Stevenson aka Gingerhaze who I follow on Tumblr. It’s just so pretty! But moving on from aesthetics, much like the Isobel Journal, this book is getting excellent reviews, I think it’s averaging about just above four stars everywhere (Goodreads, Amazon, Waterstones, etc.)

Also, anything that involves cute guys and fanfiction gets my vote.

3) The Diviners.

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Author: Libba Bray.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books.

About The Book: 

Evie O’Neill has caused a great scandal in her boring Ohio town and sent off to the bustling streets of New York City. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with dreamers, Ziegfeld girls, and annoying pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his strange obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her deepest and darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol called a pentacle and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch the killer. In the city that never sleeps, something dark and evil has awakened.

 Why I Am Excited To Read This Book: The reasons are threefold:

1: It is set in the 20s

2: The 20s in New York.

3: IT IS A SUPERNATURAL STORY SET IN THE 1920’S NEW YORK.

4) Anna and the French Kiss.

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Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

About the Book:

Anna can’t wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

Reasons Why I Am Excited: Much like my reasons for the Diviners, they are threefold.

1: It’s Paris.

2: It’s set in Paris, France.

3: It’s an adorable love story set in a boarding school in Paris.

(Previously said; Girl of Simple Tastes.)

5) The Night Circus

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Author: Erin Morgenstern.

Publisher: Doubleday.

About the Book:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance

Reasons Why I Am Excited: Did you see the cover? Beautiful! And the plot sounds like Romeo and Juliet set in a magic circus. How could you not be excited?