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What I Was by Meg Rosoff

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Teenage Book of the Month

What I Was by Meg Rosoff
Published by Penguin, 2007

What I Was is a story of friendship and love, recounted by Hilary in his old age and is another wonderful book from Meg Rosoff. This novel along with its predecessors How I Live Now and Just In Case displays the uncanny ability that the author possesses to get inside the adolescent mind.

It is 1962 and Hilary, a difficult and unhappy 16 year old is at a boarding school in Suffolk. In fact the only good thing about school is that without having been sent there, he would never have met Finn, a boy of his own age who lives alone in a fisherman's cottage. Much to Hilary’s envy the education authorities have no record of Finn’s existence.

Hilary’s life becomes a struggle between not being able to actually realize his love for Finn and also not being able to leave him and it is for this reason that he dedicates his life to the study of Finn’s beloved natural world of the East Anglian coast.

Just in Case by Meg Rosoff won the 2006 Carnegie Medal Award.