last night i read how i live now by meg rosoff. let me stress that again – not started or finished but read in one night. not because it’s some childish romp that you can sidle through in an hour but because its the kind of book that if you don’t stay awake until you finish it (5 am or no) you will in fact die of frustration.
allthough this book is intended for the teenage market, is narrated by a (very believable) 15 year old girl and does include a ‘first love’ plotline it is no meg cabot or even judy blume. simply put this was one of the harshest, heaviest books i have read – regardless of target demographic – for some time. i hate to come over all ‘parental guidance’ but i am not sure i would give it to a faint-hearted 13 year old. not because of allusions to sex (which are present and although not in any way explicit are certainly very plain) but due to a few ‘violent’ episodes that even i found fairly graphic.
without discussing the story in depth (i hate reviews that tell you too much) let me say that whilst there are no ‘clever’ plot twists and despite tackling subject matters which have largely been dealt with before (i would suggest a mixed bag of ‘further reading’ including perhaps carrie’s war, the cement garden and empire of the sun) the sheer quality of writing makes it feeel fresh and unique. i plan on reading it at a more steady pace soon as i was aware of some wonderfuly crafted sentences whooshing past me as i raced towards the end.
i cannont recomend this title highly enough.