Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book 1/40: How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff



About the book:
After a very random (literally) and unscientific (think drawing straws) way of choosing the first book of my 40x40 Challenge, I found my first book of forty. Wouldn’t you know it? It turns out to be the 2005 Michael L. Printz Award winner, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.

The debut novel of Ms. Rosoff was published by Wendy Lamb Books in 2004, after a bidding war between publishers. Other than the Printz Award, the novel was bestowed with the Guardian Award in 2004, and the Branford Boarse Award in 2005.

About The Author:
Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, MA, and lives in London with her husband and daughter. She first enrolled at Harvard University, and after a couple of years, studied sculpture at Central St. Martins in London. She eventually returned to Harvard to complete her degree.

She began writing novels after her sister, died of breast cancer. Ms. Rosoff herself lives with the disease, after receiving her diagnosis weeks after the first book was published. Ms. Rosoff has gone on to write other young adult books such as Just in Case, What I Was: A Novel, and The Bride's Farewell. She has also written four illustrated children’s books.

She left her advertising job the day she received her contract advance, and has never looked back since.

Meg Rosoff’s website

Synopsis:
Set against the backdrop of a fictional 21st Century World War, Daisy, a fifteen year old Manhattanite is sent to live with her relatives in London. She falls in love with her cousin Edmond, and they embark on a love affair as the war comes knocking on their door. Soon, the harsh reality of war dawn upon them and Daisy is forced to learn how to cope and shift from the carefree state-of-mind, to a startled adult in the time of war.

First line:
“My name is Elizabeth, but no one’s ever called me that.”

My Initial Thoughts:
When I first read the blurbs and reviews of this story, I was rather off-put by the “falling in love with your cousin” thing. But the fact that this debut novel received three awards right off the bat is very compelling. I cracked open the book yesterday and have found myself on Chapter 4 already. The chapters are short though.

The first thing I noticed is that she doesn’t use any dialogue punctuation. One of the first things I had to learn when I began writing is the use of punctuation around dialogue, so seeing this style is rather startling to me. But then again, I remember reading some author say, “Know the rules, but know when they need to be broken. “

Sources:
Random House Author Spotlight
Wikipedia
Bookbrowse.com”> Author Interview

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