Book: How I Live Now
Author: Meg Rosoff
Review: Fifteen year old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to stay with an aunt and cousins she's never met. Soon after she arrives at their remote farm, her aunt leaves the country on a business trip and London is bombed and then occupied by an unnamed enemy. The cousins bond quickly but life changes when the war catches up with them.
I enjoyed this book. The book is written entirely from Daisy's perspective so we literally know only what she knows. Rosoff really nails the teenage psyche with Daisy. Her attitude about her father, stepmother, lack of interest in the war at hand and life in general was very believable. I loved her cousin Piper and how they survived the war together. A large part of the story is a relationship Daisy develops with her 14-year old cousin Edmund (he smokes and she likes the smell of his tobacco breath...gross). I understand the love story was critical to the story (after they are separated she must get back to him) but I'm not sure why it was necessary to make them first cousins. While it's not really considered incest in England, it's certainly not common in the US and Daisy herself noted a few times that it was wrong. I just think she could have been a family friend and the story wouldn't have suffered.
Overall, I liked this. The author doesn't use quotation marks (apparently this is her signature style) so it very frustrating read until I got used to it.