BookBrowse Reviews What I Was by Meg Rosoff

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What I Was

by Meg Rosoff

What I Was
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2009, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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Rosoff captures the rush and the cruelty of adolescent desire and the imprint it leaves on a person

After Meg Rosoff's much-loved How I Live Now defied its YA category and made its way onto adult shelves to much critical acclaim, What I Was is her first novel to be packaged as an adult book. The story is simple but compelling: a 16-year-old boarding school boy happens upon the mysterious young Finn who lives alone in a shack by the sea. The protagonist becomes utterly obsessed with Finn, wants to be him so badly that it reads like love – that rare and singular kind of platonic first-love that exhibits more as self-love, as the desire to be the object rather than possess it. Coming-of-age is Rosoff's territory, but too much of this one doesn't ring true. The extreme tenderness and depth of H's ...

About the Author

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, in 1956, the second of four sisters, grew up in the Boston suburbs, went to "ordinary suburban schools" and then to Harvard. After three years of thinking ‘I’ve got to get out of here’, she packed a bag and got on a plane for London where she applied and was accepted to art college to study sculpture. She says that art school was a disaster, "I was obviously a writer not a sculptor, but I didn’t know that then .... but the rest of the year was a revelation. There was an unbelievable amount of fun to be had in London in 1977-78. I’m still reeling."

Eventually she returned to the US and finished her degree, then moved to New ...

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