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Extended Audio Sample How I Live Now Audiobook, by Meg Rosoff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (12,584 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Meg Rosoff Narrator: Kim Mai Guest Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2005 ISBN: 9780307207241
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“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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A daring, wise, and sensitive look at the complexities of being young in a world teetering on chaos, Rosoff’s poignant exploration of perseverance in the face of the unknown is a timely lesson for us all.”

    People

  • “A fantastic treat…Daisy is an unforgettable heroine.”

    KLIATT (starred review)

  • “A winning combination of acerbic commentary, innocence, and sober vision…Hilarious, lyrical, and compassionate.”

    Horn Book

  • “A crunchily perfect knock-out of a debut novel.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “This riveting first novel paints a frighteningly realistic picture of a world war breaking out in the twenty-first century…Readers will emerge from the rubble much shaken, a little wiser, and with perhaps a greater sense of humanity.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A daring, wise, and sensitive look at the complexities of being young in a world teetering on chaos, Rosoff's poignant exploration of perseverance in the face of the unknown is a timely lesson for us all. People Magazine
  • This riveting first novel paints a frighteningly realistic picture of a world war breaking out in the 21st century . . . Readers will emerge from the rubble much shaken, a little wiser, and with perhaps a greater sense of humanity. Publishers Weekly, Starred
  • That rare, rare thing, a first novel with a sustained, magical and utterly faultless voice. After five pages, I knew she could persuade me to believe anything. Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Readers will remain absorbed to the very end by this unforgettable and original story. The Bulletin, Starred
  • A winning combination of acerbic commentary, innocence, and sober vision. . . . Hilarious, lyrical, and compassionate. The Horn Book, Starred
  • A fantastic treat . . . Daisy is an unforgettable heroine. Kliatt, Starred
  • Powerful and engaging . . . a likely future classic. The Observer (U.K.)
  • A crunchily perfect knock-out of a debut novel. The Guardian (U.K.)
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2005 Michael L. Printz Award
  • A 2005 Orange Award for New Writers Nominee
  • A 2005 ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • A 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Fiction
  • Winner of Printz Awards, 2005

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ella Whiddett | 2/12/2014

    " So, back in June, I attended the Carnegie Medal 2011, which Patrick Ness rightfully won with Monsters of Men. And it was there that I found myself walking up a flight of stairs, sandwiched between Meg Rosoff and Marcus Sedgwick. It was kind of an other-worldly experience. But how did I recognise them, you might ask? Rosoff's stand-outish hair and Sedgwick's uncanny resembalance to a werewolf. Rosoff's book The Bride's Farewellwas a short-listed contender for the medal. I disliked that book. It made no sense. And I wasn't exactly stoked to read another by Rosoff. However, when Sedgwick turned to me and said 'Hi, I'm Marcus Sedgwick' and I said 'I know, I loved Floodland, it's a pleasure to meet you,' he then grinned at me and shook my head. Meg, seeing this, also introduced herself, all the whilst - we are walking up a very lengthy flight of stairs. She said 'I'm Meg Rosoff,'...and trying to keep with a pattern, I wanted to reply with 'I know, I hated The Bride's Farewell', but obviously I couldn't. So...I said, 'I know, I read The Bride's Farewell'. And lets just thank God that I was then pulled a few steps forward to talk to a publisher from Penguin House by my mentor. Because I would bet my book shelf that the next question she would have asked would have been 'And did you like it?'. And I could not have lied to a fellow writer. I digress. But the thing is, I felt kind of rude after that encounter, and vowed that one day - I would give this appraised, loved and popular author another swing. I was thinking maybe in a few years. So when How I Live Now came to my door through a book-swap, I felt it was fate. And I began to read. This ook is actually Rosoff's first novel which I was quite surprised with. Her writing style throughout was very exact and never wavered. I find this a rare occurence amongst debut authors. At times, I felt as if I was thinking words. She wrote the book in such a way...that it was like the way my mind works. When you construct sentences or phrases in your heads - there is no grammar or speechmarks or precise paragraphs. There is just your thoughts and the 'and's that string them altogether. It made the read fluid and very likeable. The idea of war was very clear in this book. It really sang out in the conditions that charatcers had to live through and the various scenes that unfolded. It was very WW2 in theming; if I hadn't known it was modern day I might actually think it was set in the 40s, but I guess that's the only place Rosoff could have got inspiration from aside from, you know, futuristic nuclear wars or something else equally unbelievable. So I'm happy that it was kind of old-school. Her characters were solid. That's a definite. Whilst all weren't exactly likeable, ahem, Daisy, nobody can deny that they weren't deep and carefully layered. AUnt Penn's children, especially, were so unique and individual that they grew o nme instantly. Each was so distinctly their own person, but also banded with their siblings unbelievably well. Alas, not all was brilliant on the character front. Daisy was a bit of a problem for me. She's fifteen year old from New York, so obviously a bit bratty, and is sour about her dad's relationship with 'Davina the devil' and therefore feels that turning to anorexia is the best option to guarantee attention from her neglective father. Well Daisy, that is where you would be wrong. Because he then proceeds to send her off to the English countryside. There was a certain irony in that, for me. She was overly selfish and annoying for the majority of the book, and whilst it was clear that she cared for her cousins, it didn't stop me from hating her. Nevertheless, it still gave her depth and with characters - you should either love or hate them. It's a sign of good writing, in my opinion. Anorexia wasn't the only 'moral dilemma' we dealt with in this book though. No, incest was also present. And I think...in many ways it kind of ruined the romance between Edmond and Daisy. Couldn't hehave been adopted? Or a family friend? Or...something other than her cousin. It made the situation...well, icky. And what was even more alarming about the fact that they had sex on a regular basis was that the whole family knew - and did nothing about it. In fact, Isaac even went as far as to encourage Daisy. It was weird. The 'love' between Daisy and Edmond, whilst not insta-love, thank God, was too down-played in the beginning. It made for a fantastic finish, but Daisy's, I would go as far as calling it, obsession with him wasn't really justified by Rosoff, and that kind of ruined the whole relationship between them. Oh, as well as the incest thing. Another minor problem with that plot-line was the way that Rosoff's writing was kind of fast. Whole days and nights spent with Edmond would be summed up in one sentence, whole sex scenes and kisses and conversations in another. It was too quick to make it realistic. So, yeah. I'm glad this was sent to me from a swapper up in Manchester. I hope she enjoys the copy of Stolen: A letter to my captor I sent to her. And the next time I meet Rosoff, I won't be able to say 'I know, I loved The Bride's Farewell/ How I Live Now'...but I will be able to lure her into a conversation about the latter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mar *How I see it reviews* | 2/3/2014

    " WHOA, this was... not what I expected... Review coming soon ^^ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandy Monaghan | 2/1/2014

    " This is my favorite teen fiction book. Unexpected as it starts as a seemingly ordinary teen novel and quickly turns into something far darker and original. Highly recommended for adults! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexandra | 1/27/2014

    " I read this when I was about 13-14 and now I am 20 years old and can still say this book has impacted me and continues to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 1/25/2014

    " The first 3/4 of this book was probably a 3 star, but the ending I really liked. Overall this was a really strange book, sad, with a few happy parts that I loved, about love and loss and grief and starting again in life. At the end of the book it says that it won a couple of Children's Book Awards but I really don't think that this is a children's book. The writing style sort of is but definitely not some of the things that are talked about and that happen in the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlene | 1/17/2014

    " At first it was hard to get the rhythm of the writing. A very depressing book, some parts were hard to read. However, I think it will be a great discussion book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori Rogers | 1/7/2014

    " A unique look at what modern war might be like and the influence that it has over people. This coming of age story shows many emotions and some of the values that are part of most human experiences. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fiona | 12/26/2013

    " Irritating. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janelle | 12/21/2013

    " I just couldn't get past the main characters as cousins that were making love to each other. From the narrative of the main character it seemed Ms Rosoff why trying too hard to sound like a snotty teen. One of the worst books I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jrel | 12/9/2013

    " This book is flawless. It haunts me until now. Perfect read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexa | 8/7/2013

    " it was good but a little too much incest and darkness for my liking "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Misti | 3/24/2013

    " Not my kind of book. I couldn't handle the style of writing and the relationship between Daisy and her cousin was a little creepy to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lily | 1/23/2013

    " The beginning was interesting, but I found the writing style kind of annoying after a while. The part when they leave the house and go to the McEvoys was SO BOARING!!! Then afterwards it was really great "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 11/5/2012

    " I finally finished it! It's a very short read, but its so heart breaking that I could only read it early on in the day- it's not a before bedtime book. Once you get used to the train of thought narration it's a very engrossing read. I would recommend it- but not to the faint of heart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Afton Nelson | 7/29/2012

    " Loved the writing and the voice of the main character, Daisy. She had just the right amount of snark to balance out her insecurities, fears and neuroses. Deep down though, Daisy is competent. She's a survivor. A stark portrayal of the ravages of war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi Wayne | 5/2/2012

    " A must read. Strong voice, beautifully narrated. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily A | 4/10/2012

    " I dont know what to say about this book.... It was ALL OVER THE PLACE. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Wakefield | 12/22/2011

    " Moving and powerful. You just don't know where it's going, and that deceptive innocence makes the events that much more shocking. It put me in mind of the Markus Zusak book, The Book Thief, in that it is a book of such impact that it should be read by everyone, not just YA readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 7/11/2011

    " I enjoyed this futuristic novel, which surprised me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 5/18/2011

    " unique writing sytle. once i got into it i couldnt put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 5/17/2011

    " A must read. Strong voice, beautifully narrated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ZoeMeow | 5/14/2011

    " I had trouble getting into it, because there was hardly any punctuation, but it turned out to be a really good book anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 5/4/2011

    " Jane Eyre? More like Wuthering Heights mashed with Catcher in the Rye with a scoop of Hunger Games. I greatly enjoyed Daisy at 15 as the narrator. The plot was interesting, as was the setting. It just did not quite live up to its reviews as a "future classic." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 5/4/2011

    " A group of children are left alone in the countryside during a war. No adults, they must fend for themselves.

    While the first part had me on the floor in fits of laughter, the tne of this book soon changes. It becomes a moving story of loss and love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 4/30/2011

    " Wow, what a great book. I loved the first half so much, the ending was a bit over the top though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim | 4/30/2011

    " why can't I give this a zero? hated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celine___ | 4/28/2011

    " Touchant, poignant, dramatique, beau... J'ai dévoré ce livre du début à le fin!
    Avis complet à venir :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/23/2011

    " The cousin love thing was kind of creepy... But a good, quick read. I enjoyed daisy's voice and loved piper! "

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About the Author
Author Meg Rosoff

Meg Rosoff’s first novel, How I Live Now, won the Michael L. Printz Award, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and the Branford Boase Award for a First Novel. Her second novel, Just in Case, won the Carnegie Medal and is short listed for the Costa Award (formerly Whitbread). Born in Boston, she moved in 1989 to London, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

About the Narrator

Kim Mai Guest is a multilingual voice actress who has worked extensively in animation, video games, and audiobook narration. She has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and was a cofinalist in 2008 for the Audie Award for best science-fiction narration.