What I Was

What I Was An unusual coming of age story that examines the fluidity of identity and the ways in which people consciously redefine themselves in the face of love In the not too distant future a one hundred year

  • Title: What I Was
  • Author: Meg Rosoff
  • ISBN: 9780670018444
  • Page: 371
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An unusual coming of age story that examines the fluidity of identity and the ways in which people consciously redefine themselves in the face of love.In the not too distant future, a one hundred year old man called H sails the eastern coast of England with his godson H recalls when he himself was sixteen his godson s age as they search for the site of H s life altering fAn unusual coming of age story that examines the fluidity of identity and the ways in which people consciously redefine themselves in the face of love.In the not too distant future, a one hundred year old man called H sails the eastern coast of England with his godson H recalls when he himself was sixteen his godson s age as they search for the site of H s life altering friendship with a boy named Finn Finn lives alone on an isolated slip of land and follows no rules he spends his days swimming, fishing, and collecting driftwood for his tiny beach hut H, on the other hand, is an upper class boarding school boy stifled by monotony and endless rules They meet by chance on the beach, and H is immediately awed by and jealous of Finn s way of life They strike up an unlikely friendship but the gap between their lives becomes difficult to bridge, and before long the idyll that nurtured their relationship is shattered by heart wrenching scandal Meg Rosoff was formerly a YA author, but her work transcends categorization and we are delighted to bring it to adult readers for the first time What I Was is a timeless, enthralling story destined to become a classic.

    One thought on “What I Was”

    1. Onvan : What I Was - Nevisande : Meg Rosoff - ISBN : 670018449 - ISBN13 : 9780670018444 - Dar 209 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2007

    2. I think I'm losing faith in Meg Rosoff.I LOVED How I Live Now, so much so that I even consider it one of my favourite books of all time, and when Just In Case came out, I snapped it up immediately. It too was a bit of a let down. This novel was well-written and immersive but ultimately I didn't come away from the book feeling like I'd been changed or learned something significant having read it. As a matter of fact, it didn't even feel like Rosoff was trying to tell me anything at all.I figured [...]

    3. “And still the brain continues to yearn, continues to burn, foolishly, with desire. My old man's brain is mocked by a body that still longs to stretch in the sun and form a beautiful shape in someone else's gaze, to lie under a blue sky and dream of helpless, selfless love, to behold itself, illuminated, in the golden light of another's eyes.” Wow this was bad.Meg Rosoff's wrting style is absolutely beautiful, hence it still deserves one star. Still, it was so hard to read and I dragged myse [...]

    4. I miss books like this. It’s been so long since I’ve come across one. What I Was found me today at Chapters. I can’t even tell you where. Was it on a table (20 books to read before you’re 20? Maybe New & Hot Teen Fiction?), or maybe just there on the shelf. I have no idea now. But anyway. I picked it up and read the back and got chills up my spine. This was a book I had to read, even if it tore my guts out (which it did, mostly).What I Was is the story of H. 16 years old and shuffled [...]

    5. Meg Rosoff's tale of friendship and longing takes place in 1962 East Anglia, where our narrator has been sent to St. Oswald's, a boys' boarding school of "long history and low standards," after being sent down from two other schools, having failed to show proper enthusiasm for sport and Empire. The food is wretched, the dormitories freezing, and soon this particular sixteen-year-old finds himself drawn to a simple hut on the coast, where a boy his age called Finn lives alone, what we would today [...]

    6. This book was quite boring. Reading this book felt like a waste of my time, I'm just glad that it was only 200 pages so it didn't waste too much of my time. There was no message and this book didn't impact me at all. There wasn't even a good story. There was no real plot and that bugged me. The characters were lacking. Apart from the two main characters, H & Finn, no other character was really brought to life. They were vague one-dimensional fillers to H's life. H himself was okay. I didn't [...]

    7. My favorite Meg Rosoff book so far. How I Live Now was good, but I was stunned by this one. From the dust jacket annotation I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to buy the plot, but once I started the story I found it perfectly plausible. The twist ending is something I hadn't seen coming, which is unusual -- usually I guess surprise endings ahead of time, which is kind of a drag. Best of all is the atmosphere of the story. From Rosoff's descriptions I could practically see the North Sea fog [...]

    8. I don't know what to rate this book I don't know what to make of it. I would prefer to give it a 3.5 but since halvsies aren't allowed I rounded up. This book immediately drew me in and I could not put it down (would spellbinding be too strong?). I was absolutey captivated, and Rosoff threw in a unexpected twist totally throwing my predictions out the window (and I was happy to do so). But I don't know if I had closure I just don't know.

    9. Dear Meg, next time you find yourself thinking "There are not too few books for marginalised young people," take a moment and think again. And again. And again. Keep thinking until you realize that there are never enough books. In the meantime, do not write anything else. Thank you.

    10. Review published here: hipsterbookclub/reviewMeg Rosoff's novel What I Was will early on remind readers of John Knowles's classic coming of age tale, A Separate Peace. Both books feature an adult narrator reminiscing about his time as a 16-year-old in a boarding school and the dark events that changed his life forever. Though the similarities are undeniable, Rosoff manages to give her story a unique touch that will haunt the reader long after the final page.Rosoff gives a nod to A Separate Peace [...]

    11. As of right now this is a DNF. It will be unrated because there's honestly nothing wrong with it. I personally found the plot just too slow, the writing just a little too slow, and myself uncaring about the main character and the story he was telling me. I am slightly interested in what the book is actually about (as there was no hint of it by page 50) so I may skim, but I don't think I have the inclination to actually read it.

    12. Puh. Keine Ahnung ob ich das Buch damals zur falschen Zeit angefangen habe, denn ich kann mir absolut nicht mehr erklären, warum ich es langweilig fand. Klar, es hat kaum "richtige" Handlung, es ist eine ganze Zeit immer nur dasselbe. Aber heute morgen habe ich wieder angefangen zu lesen und dieser Schreibstil wow. Der holt alles wieder raus. Es ist so unglaublich poetisch und schön geschrieben. Und vor allem detailgenau, jedes Mal wenn ich darin gelesen habe, konnte ich wieder in meine kleine [...]

    13. What an intriguing little book.I knew from experience that Meg Rosoff doesn’t pen your “average” young adult fiction; indeed, How I Live Now was one of the more offbeat, compelling and disturbing YA books I’ve ever read. I finished it almost four years ago, yet I can recall certain passages and turns of phrase all these books later.In the vein of the colorful, unusual and incredibly well-written is this slim novel: What I Was. The tale of H, our relatively unnamed narrator, and his long- [...]

    14. This was a strange book and very different from How I Live Now by the same author which I really enjoyed. It tells the story of a teenage boy at boarding school and the relationship he forms with the enigmatic Finn who lives near the sea. Even though the book is beautifully written, not very much really happens and I found the twist downright confusing! How was it possible for the nameless lead character to spend so much time with Finn and not guess their secret? The twist also changed the entir [...]

    15. såå det räckte tydligen med tsatsiki och så var denna intressant igen? läste den långsamt, långsamt förutom de sista, kanske 50 sidorna som jag läste med andan i halsen. så himla bra avslut, samtidigt som det var rätt så typiskt. men snygg story överlag!

    16. This is a lovely book. “H”, the narrator, is an old man looking back, telling the story of his youth and first love. Beautifully written – even poetic – it takes you on a journey to a place you can clearly picture in your mind. (Of course, I once lived in East Anglia so maybe that helped!) The setting is wonderfully evoked including the all-boys boarding school where H lives, & the cottage by the sea where his friend Finn lives. This is one of those books that will make you think abo [...]

    17. I read this when it first came out and absolutely loved it, so when I had the opportunity to re-read it I took it for two reasons: 1. to see if I still loved it and 2. to see if I could figure this book out.Number 1. is still correct. I absolutely loved this book, reading it for I think the third or fourth time? But about six years since I last read it. The characters, the writing, the setting, I love all of it. Once again, I was completely sucked in, with no choice but to let Meg Rosoff take me [...]

    18. What’s Good About ItMeg Rosoff does write beautifully. Her prose is haunting and perfectly captures the intensity of the relationship between the main character and Finn, and the backdrop against which the story is played. There’s a particularly beautiful bit in which a storm is described that left me feeling like I was right there in the heart of it.What’s Not So GoodIt should probably be said at this point that I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Rosoff’s books. I had to read [...]

    19. This book was absolutely phenomenal. I brought it on a camping trip because it was relatively small (and therefore easy to carry) and I bought it for $5 so I wasn't particularly worried about it. I had a day to relax, and I started the book.I had started it once before, but it didn't grab me in the first few pages and, at the time, I didn't have the free time to focus on it. I set it aside, which I now realize was a mistake.I finished the book in less than 6 hours. I devour books usually, but th [...]

    20. I've always enjoyed everything I've read by Rosoff, and this was no exception. This book has an elderly man looking back at the year he was sixteen. The year was 1962 and he was in his third boarding school, having been kicked out of the previous two. He has no real ambition and tries to keep to himself and do as little as possible, that is until he meets another young man, who lives alone in a hut on the beach. When he meets Finn, he finds himself drawn to the life Finn lives, simple, doing wha [...]

    21. Honestly, I spent more than half this book wishing it wouldn't end in the way it ended. But there was something overally beautiful and touching that I can't really put my finger on. So I give this book five stars for it's heartwarming, realistic story and more so for the feeling it gives you.What I was follows our nameless hero's life in his 3rd boarding school where he has to cope with the school 'rules' and his disgusting perverse roommates. A chance meeting with a boy living alone on the beac [...]

    22. I think Meg Rosoff is writing some of the most relevant YA fiction out there. She is literary, accessible, in charge of her own language, and most importantly, she is not afraid to pose and explore questions that don't really have any good answers just yet.For instance, this book is, in part, about gender. It's about gender without being "about gender." And since it's not "about gender," it manages to get at the heart of some truly complicated issues surrounding gender variance and queer identit [...]

    23. Not as brilliant as "How I Live Now," (really, what can be?), but still a thoroughly good read. I really enjoy Ms. Rosoff's way with words, she is really skilled at describing a scene and various characters' reactions to it without spelling it all out for you. Perhaps because I have always been partial to stories of children & teens surviving out in the wilderness on their own with no adults (i.e My Side of the Mountain, Julie of Wolves, The Boxcar Children, etc, etc), I really enjoyed her d [...]

    24. This book was so incredibly beautiful to begin with. The first half left me speechless - the writing, the characters, the setting, the relationship achingly beautiful to read. The last half was not nearly as satisfying, and the end was not at all. And yet, four stars for such a brilliant start that I thought this one would end up on my forever shelf for sure. I won't soon forget the relationship between the two boys in this story.

    25. What can I say? I love Meg Rosoff! A wonderfully and beautifully told story with a shocking twist that begs to be read in book clubs! In terms of YA appeal, I think the story is best suited for older teens high school and college aged 's a coming of age story which many teens may relate to, but there are complex themes that are better suited for sophisticated readers.

    26. A beguiling book, with strange and mysterious undertones. Beginning with the life of a school boy at St Oswald's school, who feels isolated from the other boys and though an intelligent lad finds it difficult to fit in at the school or at home, both proving to be hostile environments.Then he meets Finn, who manages to survive alone in a primitive hut, very self sufficient, a handsome person with whom our hero swiftly falls in love. This love story is the main focus of the novel, the way that our [...]

    27. (Original review posted on my livejournal account: intoyourlungsvejournal/)Why I Read It: I read Rosoff's award-winning How I Live Now a few years ago and while I didn't fall head-over--heels in love with it, I still LIKED it and have been curious to check out her other works. This went on sale at work for $2 for the hardcover (!!!) AND I get 30% off on top of that so I couldn't resist picking this title up. It's languished in my TBR for too long, so I finally picked up and gave it a go. This re [...]

    28. I started reading this book before Christmas and I just can't seem to finish it. I fell in love with Rosoff's writing with How I Live Now - what an amazing book that was - but this novel is missing something. *EDIT* I don't know what happened, but yesterday I just felt like I couldn't abandon this book and I finished it. I'm glad I did. The second half of the book picks up and slides back into Rosoff's comfortable prose. She just has a way of creating a magic bubble around her characters so for [...]

    29. I definitely recognized this as having been by the author of How I Live Now. The title, something about the tone, the writing style, maybe even the set-in-the-future-but-not-really-ness of it. And, like HILN, What I Was could just as easily be YA as adult fiction. (The library shelves this one with the adults’.)I thought it was really good, if not as unexpectedly excellent as HILN. The last pages sort of spun out, and left me a bit confused and disappointed. To be fair, I’ve never liked epil [...]

    30. I got to the end of the second disc and just could not get myself to move on. The language seemed excessively wordy and even though she excessively uses language to try and describe the surroundings and characters, I was not able to fully picture them. I cared less about the characters and their relationship. The story was bland and uneventful and I really could not decipher what the point of the story was.It had a similar flow to How I Live Now, but the voice was not as interesting. I usually l [...]

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