How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff: B+

From the front flap:
This is a story about love.

It’s also a story about hate, which is why I left New York in the first place. You don’t fly halfway across the world to live with a bunch of people you never met, just for a laugh.

I guess if I’d known where it was all going to lead, I might have thought twice about stepping onto that plane. I might have worried a little more about Edmond being my cousin.

And me being fifteen.

But I didn’t. And in the end, those things didn’t matter as much as you think they would.

In the end, the world had bigger things to worry about than us.

New Yorker Daisy has gone to visit some English relatives over the summer. At first things are idyllic, but a few weeks after she settles in, terrorists invade and occupy England. Daisy is separated from all but one of her cousins, a 9-year-old girl called Piper. At first, they’re living in the home of one of the military commanders, but soon are on their own as they try to find home and the others.

How I Live Now is a good book, but it seems sort of a surface-level account of what happened, particularly regarding the relationship between Daisy and Edmond. Also, the ubiquitous YA gimmick of missing or dead parents is used liberally.

I did like the examination of how war affects a civilian population, and how Daisy begins to feel responsible for Piper’s safety, her first time loving someone more than herself. Passages of extensive travel usually bore me, but that wasn’t a problem here.

This isn’t really a book about a war, and it is largely a story about love, but it’s mostly a tale about finding a place to belong and realizing what kind of person you want to be. I look forward to reading more by this author.

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