Flashback Friday: How I Live Now

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight — and you’re invited to join in!

Here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:

How I Live Now

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

(published 2004)

From Goodreads:

“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story.

I absolutely fell in love with this book when I read it, pretty much from the very first page. While I’ve seen it described as “dystopian” fiction, I’m not sure that I’d categorize it in quite that way. One of the most spellbinding aspects of this story is that it feels completely contemporary — and yet also timeless. It’s easy to imagine these events taking place in today’s world, not necessarily in some unknown future. The story of Daisy and her cousins, unintentionally left on their own to at first enjoy their isolation and then struggle to survive, is moving, beautifully written, and emotionally powerful. I’ve since read all of the author’s other works for young adults, and while How I Live Now remains my favorite, I just can’t help being impressed by the richness and variety of all of her novels.

How I Live Now was the recipient of the 2005 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

And — whoa! In looking up information on How I Live Now for this post, I just discovered that there’s a movie version in production starring Saoirse Ronan! (Jumping up and down in glee… sorry, can’t type any more!)

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join the Flashback Friday fun, write a blog post about a book you love (please mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the Flashback Friday host!) and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!

2 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: How I Live Now

    • Meg Rosoff is so talented! And all of her books are so completely different — but this is definitely my favorite. Thanks for stopping by and for participating in Flashback Friday!

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