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194 pages, Paperback
First published August 24, 2004
"I guess there was a war going on somewhere in the world that night but it wasn’t one that could touch us."How I Live Now may have destroyed any motivation I had to go running tomorrow, but I’m glad I read it. I want to read more books—especially in YA—about the people who aren’t overtly special, who aren’t the Chosen Ones. Daisy is a normal teenage girl facing an extraordinary situation. She is a reminder that life persists even in epochs of death.
Now let me tell you what he looks like before I forget because it's not exactly what you'd expect from your average fourteen-year-old what with the CIGARETTE and hair that looked like he cut it himself with a hatchet in the dead of night, but aside from that he's exactly like some kind of mutt, you know the ones you see at the dog shelter who are kind of hopeful and sweet and put their nose straight into your hand when they meet you with a certain kind of dignity and you know from that second that you're going to take him home? Well that's him. (p. 3)
"I guess there was a war going on somewhere in the world that night but it wasn’t one that could touch us."Recommended with some reservations.
"No matter how much you put on a sad expression and talked about how awful it was that all those people were killed and what about democracy and the Future of Our Great Nation the fact that none of us kids said out loud was that WE DIDN’T REALLY CARE. Most of the people who got killed were either old like our parents so they’d had good lives already, or people who worked in banks and were pretty boring anyway, or other people we didn’t know."Daisy is spoiled and a pain in the ass. Her mother died giving birth to her, and in essence, Daisy thinks of herself as a murderer, having killed someone as she draws her first breath. Her father remarried a woman named Davina...and Jesus, how Daisy hates Davina.
"...Davina the Diabolical, who sucked my father’s soul out through his you know what and then got herself knocked up with the devil’s spawn which, when it pops out, Leah and I are going to call Damian even if it’s a girl."Her pettiness and attitude towards her mother is not uncommon, but Daisy's hatred is so spiteful and bitter and over the top that I can't help but hate her for it. Daisy yammers on for a considerable amount of time about how she hates Davina...but it's never made completely clear WHY we should hate Davina so much besides for the very fact that she happened to be the woman who married her father.
"I really tried to explain about at first not wanting to get poisoned by my stepmother and how much it annoyed her and how after a while I discovered I liked the feeling of being hungry and the fact that it drove everyone stark raving mad and cost my father a fortune in shrinks and also it was something I was good at."Yeah...she's not the most likeable character. Her first-person narrative style also drove me crazy. The story is written almost from a stream of consciousness style, and it really annoyed me. Added to my dislike of the main character, and I was not a happy reader for the first half of the book. I just wanted to yell at Daisy "What? Are you too fucking good to use quotation marks for speech like everyone else?"
"That was a bomb that went off in the middle of a big train station in London the day after Aunt Penn went to Oslo and something like seven or seventy thousand people got killed.Everything from the war is described similarly in this impersonal, disinterested manner. It frustrated me to no ends. Daisy does grow up, she does mature...she does wake up from her ostrich-in-the-sand status when things literally hit close to home, and her character grows in complexity, although so gradually that I hardly noticed it happening myself. I actually enjoyed the subtlety of her character development.
This obviously went over very badly with the populace at large and was pretty scary etc. but to be honest it didn’t seem to have that much to do with us way off in the country."
"There were thousands of stories just like this one, and mostly they didn't end happily."