Monday, 22 August 2016

How I Live Now - Some Discussion Points

As you guys should know, I chaired/moderate a YA Book Club this Saturday just gone for the Southbank Centre, as part of their Festival of Love (and hopefully, they will continue to do this in the future. They are some great books coming out in YA and in crossover that will be great to discuss - not just do we like the book or not, but on bigger subjects such as race, sex, gender identity, feminism, mental health, what it means to be human, etc). As you know, this month's book was How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Now, I know most of you love this book and, if you have read my review yesterday, I strongly disliked it.

But what I found with this book (and last month's, I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson [review for I'll Give You The Sun is here and discussion points are here]) is that these books are rich with discussion! And because I am feeling kind, I thought I would, again, share some of my discussion points - yes, it's that bit at the end of some books that are super useful for books clubs.

Before I hand over some of my points, I just want to say thank you to the South Bank Centre for asking me to moderate the YA Book Club & the the people who came! Now, with that done, let's show some discussion!

Before we talk about the book at length, how do we feel that the book was only just over 200 pages when it touched on a range of topics? Did you wish it to be longer? 
Also, how do we feel about the writing style? In both parts, it feels like a trail of thought with no quote marks (but these appear in Part 2). But did we like this style?
Cover - does the cover reflect the story and the issues within the book?
Edmond smokes. Why is this important to note? Is this what first makes Daisy notices Edmond? 
Let’s talk about Daisy and Edmond’s relationship. When they first meet, they are cousins. But as the story develops, they start an underage sexual relationship (Daisy is 15 and Edmond is 14). How do we feel about this? How did you react when they first kissed/slept together? Do we approve of this relationship? 
Are Daisy and Edmond in love? Or in lust? Or is it a form of Survivors Guilt? Also, how do we feel about the relationship? Is it a happy relationship or quiet toxic? 
The war starts. It’s start far away and then comes slowly creeping into Daisy’s life. Do you think this reflects war as slow and creeping? Or do you feel war is much faster? And why do you think Daisy didn’t worry about this when she first came the UK? 
The enemy were never identified. Why do you think this is? 
We see Edmond and the others suffer for PTSD. Was this tackled in a way you liked? 
How do we feel about how Daisy's eating disorder was handled?

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