Picks and Pans Review: How I Live Now

UPDATED 09/06/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/06/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Meg Rosoff

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Meg Rosoff's first novel may be intended for young adults, but it explores some very grown-up themes: divorce, love, sex, war. Wry and observant, her 15-year-old protagonist, Daisy, is thoroughly original, and Rosoff's narrative poise makes this a book for all ages.

Daisy's odyssey begins when she moves in with her aunt's family in England to escape her step-mother, "Davina the Diabolical." Her cousins live blissfully in the country, insulated from everything the New York teen knows as the real world—until unnamed terrorists trigger a global war. With Daisy's aunt stranded abroad, the youngsters must fend for themselves—and endure trials that make living with Davina seem tame.

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.

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