Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Even My Life So Far Has Been Plain"

How I live Now

Daisy is sent to live with her aunt and cousins in England though she has never met them before. At first she thinks it will be horrible being on a farm after growing up in a New York City apartment. But she feels an instant connection with her cousin Piper and even deeper feelings for Edmund. Shortly after her aunt leaves on business, terrorists invade England and war breaks out. Alone on the farm the children are able to live how they want with no rules and no adults telling them what to do. What could be better? Their Eden-like existence is interrupted when the army takes over their farm.

Meg Rosoff, doesn't pull any punches in showing the horrors of living through a war, with famine and death all around, but because Daisy herself is telling the story everything is kept very age appropriate to the older teen readers. The relationship that develops between Daisy and Edmond might be hard for some readers to grasp, especially younger ones, but as one teen said "you can't help who you fall in love with."

I liked the style of narration because it captures the voice of a fifteen year-old and the reader can see how the voice changes as Daisy does. Particularly at the end (I won't spoil it for you) when Daisy grows up there is a distinct difference in the writing style.

There are great discussions to be had with this book and teen readers. It is a thin volume and a quick, engaging read.

The paperback version also has a sample chapter of her next book Just in Case.

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