I rarely (if ever) do book reviews on this blog but, for this particular book, I felt compelled to put fingers to keyboard and tell the world just how fantastic it is. The book in question is "How I Live Now" by Meg Rosoff.
I can't remember why I bought it - possibly because I read a rave review on someone else's blog* or because I wanted to research the Young Adult (YA) market - but buy it I did and I devoured it in a day. It was the first book I haven't been able to put down in a long, long time.
Strictly speaking "How I Live Now" is a YA novel but don't let that put you off. The language, the voice and the characters sparkle and Daisy, the main character, couldn't be more alive if she jumped off the page and breathed in your face. I didn't know anything about this book, the setting or the plot before I started reading it and, in my opinion, neither should you. This is a book you need to read without any preconceptions. Just open it and let it gobble you up. It's a book about love and loss and hope and desire. It's tender and funny and brave and sad.
It's a book I wish I'd written. I can't give it greater praise than that. Recommended for everyone over the age of 12 with a heartbeat.
* It was shortlisted for the Orange Award for new writers so had quite a lot of press at the time I think.