Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What I Was by Meg Rosoff

What I Was by Meg Rosoff
The author has written Young Adult, but this book, I believe, is marketed as adult. 209 pages
2007, Doubleday Canada

The Way I Was is one of the best books I read this summer. It takes place in 1962 when a 16 year old boy (whose name you only discover near the end of the story) is dropped off at a third-rate boarding school in East Anglia, England. He meets another adolescent, Finn, who lives completely alone in a hut by the sea. Our hero winds up leading a double life where he's sneaking off to meet up with Finn and awkardly learning about himself and life (not sexual).

From the flap: The two become friends, the boy risking scandalous rumour and expulsion from school. But they can't hide forever. Disaster invades from all sides, and the boy discovers that nothing has been what he believed.

There's a wonderful and huge plot twist about 3/4 of the way in. A twist which totally knocked me for a loop. One review I read called the twist predictable. But, uh, not for me.

This is a link to that review, but be careful as there are lots of spoilers.

In her own life, Meg has known difficult and vulnerable times. She's one of four sisters. Three of them have had cancer. At only 39, her youngest sister died from it. Meg was in hospital with the disease when her first book, How I Live Now, was released (2004).

Here's how Meg described her mindset: Every day a piano doesn't fall on my head is good luck. So I am terribly worried now because things seem to be going awfully well. I spend a lot of time planning my funeral.
That's from this interview

Here's the link to Meg's website.

I have already ordered How I Live Now and Just In Case. I do love that feeling. When I know I have a couple of really good books waiting in the future for me.


Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely sounds interesting, although not quite my cup of tea.

Alyson said...

Thanks for the recommendation! Sounds really interesting.

Trace said...

I went over and read your interview. I tried to comment there.( ???difficult??) Very interesting learning about this process of getting your books published. I am very happy and proud that you are my friend!!!

Barrie said...

Aw, thanks, Tracy, I'm glad we're friends too!

Charley said...

I liked How I Live Now - it was different than many other YA books I had been reading at the time - and my co-worker recommended What I Was to me yesterday. After reading your positive review, I'll add it to my list.