The first time I read this book was when I was eleven. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have read it at that age. Mainly because re-reading at the age of sixteen I realised I had pretty much remembered it incorrectly, making me wonder if I had understood it in the first place. Regardless, my local library clearly though it suitable to be placed in the children’s section. It also didn’t stop me naming it as my favourite book in my Year Six leavers journal.
So, when the film came out in 2013, I had naturally forgotten the existence of this novel which had me so entranced five years before. Let me tell you, when I saw the trailer play on television it felt like a lost child had come back to me. Especially as I practically jumped out of my chair like “I’ve read that book! I’ve read that!”. I would then see the novel in ASDA and immediately purchase it. Rereading it I would soon realise that although I knew it was good book when I was eleven, I now understand that it is an extremely excellent novel. Of course I wouldn’t watch the film until November 2014, where I would fall in love with the story all over again. Not to mention stay up until 2am scared out of my life because the notion of World War Three is terrifying. I have a very wild imagination and it’s a real burden sometimes.
Regardless of the fact I can’t do anything without feeling terrified (I have friends that love horror movies and it’s a real issue. Why can’t you love happy films where blood isn’t appearing every five seconds WHY), How I Live Now is not only about the outbreak of a third world war. It’s about relationships, survival and ultimately the fact that bad things don’t happen for a reason – and when they do occur, you just have to deal and live with it. That is something I truly admire about the protagonist, Daisy. I will admit, I think that characteristic is more obvious within the film, but still admirable. Too often, something terrible happens and people just give up. Although, the only time I see this in my real life is within coursework essays and what not, not exactly the same as a war.
Another thing I like about the story? The inclusion of ‘sensitive’ issues. So little novels, any type of media really, fail to include topics that exist within the world, specifically anorexia. Which is hinted within the story. Another sensitive issue that is not hidden – falling in love with your cousin. Whilst this is an extremely hot debatable topic, it does happen in the book. I don’t resent this story line, but that’s not to say I agree with it. I suppose, this just follows the aspect I mentioned earlier – things, not necessarily bad, happen and we have to move on.
Finally, I would like to apologise if this seems a little rushed and all over the place. I’m trying to write this as quickly as possible so I can begin writing my extended project, an independent research project that results in a 5000 word dissertation. I know in my future life I’ll look back on this and laugh because I’ll have to write 20000 words or whatever, but it’s extremely important that I get it done to a high standard. This is the first time I’ve done anything like this independently, without a teacher guiding me and helping. Scary times (not really). My history coursework is also meant to be handed in this week. Also, update: I applied to university a few weeks ago and all five have replied with offers, so yay I guess.
Have you been checking out the Indiependent? I personally feel like my music taste is getting better because of it, even though I only write about books and Doctor Who.
Okay, I must leave you now. Goodbye,
Ps. I’ve had this blog for over a year now, whoa! Who knew I could continue this for so long? Thanks for reading my blog posts that are sometimes excellent.
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