I’m not quite sure of the purpose of this post, but I feel you can never have too many pictures of pretty books. I’ve just come back from watching the adaptation, with Saoirse Ronan as Daisy, which is extremely realistic and harrowing at times, and well worth watching if you enjoyed the book.
I first read How I Live Now in 2005, when I was sixteen years old. (An actual teenager! Reading YA!). I bought my copy when I had absolutely no connection to the bookish community. I hadn’t heard of it previously and I probably would not even have called it ‘young adult’. I’m not quite sure what made me pick it up, but I think it must have been the pretty cover and intriguing title. I actually didn’t think much of it when I first read it. I remember posting a short book review on Amazon, which I’ve now deleted because it was so badly written, saying that it could have taken place in any MEDC (More Economically Developed Country). (I studied A Level Geography and clearly thought I was being clever). But a few years later, when I decided to pick it up again, it had much more of an emotional impact. Perhaps because I no longer saw ‘war’ as an abstract concept, but as something that genuinely was happening around the world. Because it’s set in England, especially, it made me think that it could really happen to me. (And the clips and descriptions of London blown to smithereens, in the movie, was heartbreaking!).
Three years ago, on Pretty Books, I said that it was my first dystopian novel, but now I’m not sure it fits into my definition of ‘dystopia’. It’s less about the government imposing deplorable social control, but more of a realistic reaction to a sudden outbreak of war. I also noticed that it was not as audacious as Tomorrow, When the War Began, which, on the surface, sounds like a similar story.
How I Live Now is a wonderful novel (from what I remember!) and movie and I’ve now been spurred on to pick it up again… I wonder what I’ll think of it this time?