All parent member reviews for How I Live Now

Parents say

(out of 13 reviews)
age 13+
Review this title!
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written bystarbox June 29, 2009

A worthwhile but haunting high school book with difficult themes.

First of all, this book does contain non-explicit descriptions of a sexual relationship between two young (14 and 15) first cousins. Although this is described as incestuous in the main review, it is, in fact, legal in many states (including Georgia) and marriage between first cousins is common throughout history. The sexual affair is not dealt with in a tawdry way, and I did not feel that it was graphic or glamorized. The ramifications of the affair are dealt with, and the two characters are irrevocably bonded - with a fidelity that transcends war, distance, time, and trauma. The novel does contain some graphic descriptions a fictional future war that are all the more horrifying because the reader feels that the events in the novel could potentially happen. The fact that the violence is realistic and plausible could give more sensitive readers feelings of fear or anxiety and parents/educators should be sensitive to the potential. The book handles many difficult issues in a way that I felt gave a very positive message. The main character, Daisy, responds with courage and strength in the face of horrific circumstances after a series of terrorist attacks leave the country in chaos. In the absence of adults, she protects her young cousin and survives by living off the countryside and learning map/navigational skills. She is anorexic at the start of the novel, but realizes the selfishness of intentionally starving after living through a genuine crisis. Daisy and her cousin Edmund have an intense emotional and sexual affair in the face of what could be the end of the world. As mentioned previously, they are faithful to one another through the most horrible events, distance, and trauma - Daisy stays with Edmund as an adult even after he is horribly scarred by the war. The lack of consequences (pregnancy) is explained by Daisy's ammenorrea. While some may feel that any sexual behavior by teens is inappropriate, I felt that this novel dealt with sexuality in a way that was fair and not-glamorized. There is one scene where the girls accidently eat bad mushrooms while foraging for food to survive and hallucinate. The depiction of the night is horrific and it is a clearly negative view of a drug experience. Positive messages in the novel surround themes of fidelity, self-sacrifice, survival, and self-reliance. There is a strong message of self-sustainable life choices at the end. Proponents of am ecological, back-to-the earth, sustainable farming/living vision will find much to admire. I would not hesitate to recommend this novel to high school students and would not have any qualms about my children reading it in 9th-12th grade.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great role models
Parent of a 5, 9, 11, and 14 year old Written byJamesRobertson January 4, 2009
Parent of a 14 and 15 year old Written byMarkAMDG May 11, 2010

Who Gives a Book Like This an Award? Ugh!

I think this book is entirely inappropriate for teens. There are no positive authority figures. (The father is described in derisive language and the aunt is distant and uninvolved in her many children's lives.) The anorexia is defended by the protagonist and it vanishes when she is forced to care for a young cousin in a war zone. The incest between a 14 and a 15 year old is portrayed as a positive relationship. The violence and gore is included with the intent of being "shocking" and cutting edge, but the overall descriptions of the war and the protagonist's response to it are completely unrealistic. The people who give these kind of books awards and push them towards librarians for teens do not have teens themselves, or if they do, they have lost all conscience and have no desire to maintain the power of childhood, but view it as a vacuum to fill with "REALITY", i.e. the worst this world contains, as soon as possible.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 5, 8, and 10 year old Written byElizabethAverett January 22, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bytaylorgavin97 December 7, 2009

THE BOOK IS AWSOME!!!!! KIDS SHOULD READ THIS

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the book!!!!!!!! i cried at end poor edmund!!!!!!!!!!!! but the book was very good !!!!!! I LOVE IT !!!!! I WISH SHE WOULD RIGHT A 2ND BOOK TO THIS ONE !!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE HOW I LIVE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This book helps you understand what true and first love feels like! I also helps to understand what life is like when your in a war. Then ur lover is seperted for a 6 year time ! but he is so messed up he was diffrent!!! im so sad for him even though it is just a book !!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant year old Written byLizbeth1990 February 18, 2009
Parent of a 11, 15, and 18+ year old Written byJulieKryger1970 January 5, 2009
A beautiful and sad little book. There is no incest in this book. Marriage between cousins is legal in most countries. Besides, to call the love between Daisy and Edmond incest is downright hateful.
Parent of an infant year old Written byChristianKight January 18, 2009
Adult Written bySettingXSail January 11, 2009
Parent of a 2 year old Written byDesiredLoginName January 8, 2009
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byYBNormal January 7, 2009
A great story for teenage girls. The cousin romance plot gives a unique perspective on love.
Parent of a 3, 6, and 8 year old Written byJessicaBurton1980 January 5, 2009
Adult Written bydenmarkriot April 9, 2008