Tomorrow, When the War Began – by John Marsden
A few months ago, I saw the 80’s movie Red Dawn for the first time. I thought that the concept, in which America is invaded and a group of teenagers hides out in the woods and becomes a band of guerrilla fighters, was a fascinating one, full of potential, but that in practice, it left a lot to be desired. A lot of character development was skimmed over to make room for the action sequences, which are necessary too, but I didn’t feel like I knew the characters very well, or what their relationships with each other were. I wanted to know who they had been before, how they had changed, and how they related to each other. And then I found the Tomorrow series.
Tomorrow, When the War Began has a plot similar to that of Red Dawn except that it takes place in Australia, and it’s only the beginning of the seven-book series. Ellie and her friends go out on a camping trip and when they return home, they find only empty houses and neglected pets. The country has been invaded and everyone in their town is being held captive in a large camp. They have a decision to make: surrender, hide, or fight back.
This book is so excellent. It is chock full of action and fast-paced plot, but doesn’t lack for character development or teen drama either. There’s even some romance in between all the explosions and espionage. I don’t know what it is about the teens-forced-into-guerrilla-warfare thing that strikes such a nerve with me, but I didn’t ever want this book to end, and luckily for me, there are still six more books to devour.