Do you believe a person can really change? In How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff gives
readers a chance to follow a teenage girl’s journey through a life changing war. The
characters felt very real, as the book is narrated in first person by a sixteen year old girl
named Elizabeth who likes to be called Daisy and the writing style suits her personality.
The book is used as Daisy’s dairy, telling us first hand her experiences from the war.
Daisy’s style of writing is very informal and doesn’t use much punctuation. However, the
way she writes is easy to understand, and gets the message and feelings across.
“……Anyway, he says Mum couldn’t come to the airport ‘cause she’s working……..”
When Daisy writes, she doesn’t use speech marks, making it difficult for the reader to
keep up with the dialogue. Six years after the war, Daisy reflects on her writing at the end
of a chapter. She says, ‘When I go back over my writing now, I can barely read it.’ At the
time, she was young, and could only bring herself to write short sentences with sloppy
punctuation. But now, with all she’s experienced, Daisy has learned to write properly,
adding in the correct punctuation and grammar when needed.
The basic plot to the novel, How I Live Now, is about an American teenage girl who has a
messy background. She goes to England for the summer to visit her Aunty and cousins,
thinking that it might be a chance to escape some of the problems she is faced with at
home and school. When she gets to her aunty’s house, her cousins welcome her. But
just as Daisy was getting comfortable with them, something bad happens. War.
I enjoyed the book because of the fact that they never bought up who, or what was
causing the war. It was said multiple times that nobody knew the real reason of the war,
and it makes it more interesting for the reader because they’re left guessing as to who
or what started it. The war just appears, and you’re left wondering where it came from.
The characters are very beleiveable, as they start off as just normal teenage kids, which
is easy to relate to. It is shown that things can change suddenly, especially when you’re
least expecting it.