Book Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began

Tomorrow, When the War Began

John Marsden

Scholastic

276 pages

Honestly, before you go any further, I would suggest not even reading this review.  Instead, you should just go out and get a copy of this book and start reading NOW.  It’s not the best literature around, by any means, but I promise you’ll be entertained.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is the story of some Aussie teenagers who decide to go camping in the Outback over school break.  They are gone for a week and the grouping is sort of odd.  Ellie and her friend invite five other teens that are somewhat of a mish mash.  They all get along—for the most part—and have a fun little getaway.  But then they go home.  And they discover a lot has changed since the left a week before!

The seven pull up in Ellie’s driveway to discover four of her dogs dead.  They are all chained up as usual, but for whatever reason, Ellie’s home has been deserted, to the point where the dogs died from neglect and starvation.  Ellie immediately realizes something has gone terribly wrong.  She and her friends rush off to investigate each of their own homes only to discover the same conditions—no humans and dead or dying animals.  The teens eventually realize that their families and friends are all being held hostage in the city.  Guards patrol the streets and try to capture, wound or kill anyone that has escaped imprisonment.  The friends retreat back to the woods but are torn between saving themselves or attempting to help those they love that have been imprisoned.

One interesting factor of the book is the idea that life goes on despite major upheavals such as the one Ellie and her friends have experienced.  They are all deeply worried and fearful of the new circumstances of their country, and yet they still are subject to basic human emotions.  Love is still blossoming despite the ordeal they are all dealing with.  Ellie, for one, is caught in a love triangle, and although she becomes a fugitive dealing with a sudden war on her country, she is still affected by love, lust and romantic tendencies.

If you are a fan of YA dystopian fiction, you will love this novel.  It kept me completely engaged—I read it in the span of a day and although it has been a week since I finished it, the excitement I felt while reading it has yet to wear off.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Other reviews:

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Bart’s Bookshelf

The Ya Ya Yas

Becky’s Book Reviews

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Whimpulsive

A Book Blog. Period.

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3 Responses

  1. I’m still upset about all of the pets dying but this does sound like a good one.

  2. I loved this, too – thanks for linking to my review!

  3. I loved this book, and it is the book that got my daughter reading – it was part of her English curriculum in Yr 8 – she just wasn’t interested in reading until she read this book, then we went on a mad borrowing spree to get all the books from our local library. I ended up getting the whole seven books in the series for her last Christmas. We have seen the movie and surprisingly it was really good. I say surprisingly because the book was so good, but the movie was really enjoyable..

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