Book vs. Film: How I Live Now

Posted April 26, 2016 by Charlotte in Book vs. Film / 0 Comments

Today’s post for Book vs Film  focuses on How I Live Now. On this occasion I will briefly review both film and book before giving my opinion on which is better. Read and let me know if I am correct in my assessment.


Be warned! Spoilers may occur!

The Book:

I adore this book. When I first read it in 2004 I wasn’t exactly enamored with the book.  But over the years this book has grown on me to become a firm classic of my childhood reading.

The major theme of the book is survival-ship and how love can conquer all, war, separation and expectations. And I thought it showed the confusion of war really well. It’s not clear who the enemy is or what their motive is.

I liked that the book is told from Daisy’s perspective, what she knows we know everything else is lost to us. So we do only get half the picture but that is the only picture that matters here. The writing is puzzling and limited, but this is necessary due to what is going on.

Despite my initial feeling about this book, it clearly captured my heart and has left me talking about it for over a decade.

The Film:

So this film is pretty good right?

I thought that the casting of the film, with Saoirse Ronan playing the lead Daisy and the others, suited the film. Daisy’s character is so much more bitchy here than I remember but it makes for a better film, as it enables in the short space of time Daisy to grow and develop into a mature adult who is responsible rather than a whiny teenager.

How I live Now

We also get more details, more about why Daisy is the way she is and the scene when the first bomb goes off in London, the contrast is well done and quite dramatic. And is better played out in the film than it ever was in the book.

I did enjoy this film more than I thought I would. From what I remember this film wasn’t that well received and I think it passed me by originally, ok it definitely passed me by because I’m only just getting round to watching.


While the film is a great adaptation and is a good film in itself, it is no match for the book, which is more heart-wrenching and emotional for me.

The tweaks made for the book to film adaptation do work. However the film don’t have the same level of intensity or feelings as the book. Because the changes were not needed and some of them, like getting rid of Osbert and Edmonds’ twin becoming  a younger cousin, gets rid of the humanity and difficulties that happen in the book.

However both the film and the book have the same issue – the relationship between Daisy and Edmund. It still makes me uncomfortable that they are cousins, and if in the film they can age up the kids, why can’t they change this fact?



Have you watched or read How I live Now? Do you think my assessment for Book vs Film How I Live Now is correct? Please let me know!

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