How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff
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.