There is nothing more satisfying than finding an unusual and beautiful book on the recommendation of a random person.
This was the case with Meg Rosoff's book, How I live now. I've seen it at Waterstones in the past and thought nothing much of it, until a friend at work recommended it to me. And I was totally blown away by it.
The style is unique, written in a very freeflowing style without the use of dialogue indicators. It's almost a stream of consciousness writing, to be honest. It took me maybe 2 chapters to get used to it, but I was immediately lured into this gloriously beautiful and random world the main protagnonist Daisy created...there are rumours of war, there always is...she comes to the UK to visit her cousins who are very eccentric and unique and slowly but surely they accept her...then war breaks out and things go pearshaped.
There are some truly beautiful pieces in this book, reflecting Daisy's keen eye and her sense of amazement in the world. She initially tries the NY "have seen it all" look but it does not wash in the countryside.
The cousins are separated as the war starts, we never find out who invades England, we just know that they are the enemy. We follow Daisy and Piper on their journey to try and get back to their farm, after being split from the rest of the family. It is heartbreaking and quite scary, but it shows how tough people are in adverse situations.
I seriously enjoyed the book and read it in two afternoons, unable to wait to see how it finished.
I would recommend this as one of those rare books that cross over in genres successfully - children's fiction, into adult fiction, without losing anything in translation.