How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Daisy, 15, a troubled New York City teen with a distant father, a wicked (and pregnant) stepmother, and an eating disorder, is sent to England to stay on a rambling farm with her deceased mother’s sister’s family. It is made up of Aunt Penn “who always has Important Work To Do Related to the Peace Process” and her brood of children: Osbert, 16; 14-year-old twins Isaac and Edmond; and 9-year-old Piper. As the kids spend more and more time together, Daisy warms to them, beginning to tune in to a seemingly psychic bond that the siblings share. When Aunt Penn travels to Oslo, Daisy begins a sexual relationship with Edmond. At the same time, hostile forces invade England. Originally enjoying the freedom of a world that seems to have forgotten them, the cousins are inevitably separated, leaving Piper and Daisy to struggle across the countryside and rejoin the others. Daisy’s voice is uneven, being at times teenage vapid, while elsewhere sporting a vocabulary rich with 50-cent words, phrases, and references. In addition, Rosoff barely scratches the surface of the material at hand. At times, this is both intentional and effective (the enemy is never named) but for the most part the dearth of explanation creates insurmountable questions around the basic mechanisms of the plot. There is no explanation of how a small force could take out all communications (including cell phones) and proceed to overrun and to control an entire country.
This book was very strange but I still enjoyed it. I was intrigued by this book and found myself enjoying the stream of consciousness writing narrated by Daisy. It was shocking at the end when she started using correct puncuation and giving characters actual lines but I think that was the point. The book took me a few days to read because it dealt with so many different things I had to put it down and reflect. Daisy is a character that sticks with you because of her problems such as anorexia, falling in love with her cousin and surviving a war.