What I Was by Meg Rosoff
A Novel

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Synopsis

Read Meg Rosoff's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Finn was a beautiful orphan. H was a prep school misfit. On a September afternoon many years ago they met on a beach on the coast of England, near the ancient fisherman’s hut Finn was squatting in with his woodstove, a case of books, a striped blanket and a cat. H insinuates his way into Finn’s life—his blazing wood fires and fishing expeditions. Their friendship deepens, offering H the freedom and human connection that has always eluded him. But all too soon the idyll of their relationship is shaken by a heart-wrenching scandal.

What I Was is the unforgettable story of H at the end of his life looking back on this friendship, which has shaped and obsessed him for nearly a century.


 

About Meg Rosoff

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MEG ROSOFF was born in Boston and currently lives in London, with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, How I Live Now, won the Michael L. Printz Award and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Just In Case, won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. What I Was, Rosoff's third novel, was shortlisted for the 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal.Meg Rosoff (www.megrosoff.co.uk) was born in Boston and currently lives in London with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, How I Live Now, won the Michael L. Printz Award and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Just in Case, won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. What I Was, Rosoff's third novel, was shortlisted for the 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal.
 
Published January 24, 2008 by Plume. 236 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for What I Was

Kirkus Reviews

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Though he tries to nurse Finn back to health, the strain becomes too much, and on a devastating night, one that implicates Reese as well, the narrator is forced to unite his two worlds, and learns that mysterious Finn has been harboring a secret of his own.

Jan 28 2008 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

The Guardian

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What I Was by Meg Rosoff Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop An old man casts his mind back to 1962 and his time as a 16-year-old boarde...

Aug 10 2008 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

The Guardian

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What I Was by Meg Rosoff 199pp, Penguin, £10.99 According to Penguin Books, Meg Rosoff is an icon and a brand, but don't let that put you off.

Sep 01 2007 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

The Bookbag

Its intensely romantic in the most classical sense and in many ways - despite the lack of any sex in a physical sense - it's a sexual coming-of-age novel in the vein of Colette or Sagan.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

San Francisco Chronicle

At St. Oswald's, a third-rate boarding school on the coast of East Anglia, where Hilary's father deposits his son with a bit of stiff-upper-lip advice and a handshake, the school code might as well be the Law of the Jungle, "Obey."

Feb 01 2008 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

Teen Reads

Publishers and the general reading public are finally getting wise to a truth that those of us who review young adult fiction have known for a long time: some of the best, most profound novels in recent years have been published in the "young adult" category.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

People

It's 1962, and the 16-year-old narrator of Rosoff's third novel is on his third boarding school in as many years, his last strike a crumbling outpost on the North Sea.

Feb 04 2008 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

Monsters and Critics

The first is a dystopian novel in which teenagers are fugitives, the second a novel in which a teenage boy becomes fate’s plaything.

Feb 21 2008 | Read Full Review of What I Was: A Novel

Reader Rating for What I Was
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