Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1)Title: Tomorrow When The War Began 
Author: John Marsden
Publishing Date: March 27th 1993
Pages: 277
Genre:  YA Post Apocalyptic
Series: Tomorrow #1
Source: Audio


When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back. 

This book was mentioned in book club and it sound interesting. The teen who had read it gave it raving reviews. The library copy was always out so I decided to pick it up on audio. It was a pretty awesome book. I loved it from beginning to end. I was captured by the plot and I fell in love with the characters. This book was very thought provoking, action filled, and even full of some humorous moments.

5 Teenagers go camping during their winter vacation. They are gone a week camping in a place called Hell. They have no communication with the world, it’s just them an nature. While they are enjoying themselves, relaxing, having a good time, Australia is taken over by another country. After a week of being gone they return home to no one, no family, no electricity, nothing. Confused they venture out to each other’s houses and so on until they discover what really happened. In the interim of them staying safe, trying to stay hidden, finding out more of what is going on, they wreak havoc, major havoc.

I will start by saying this is Red Dawn in Australia, just a bit more involved. I loved Red Dawn and love these books. They are enough different that I didn’t mind the similarities but it is the same concept. The country is taken over and teenagers kick the enemies buttocks. That said …

I loved the book. First off.. there is action throughout the entire book. Fun action, chases, gun fire, things blowing up… it’s a lot of fun. Second, great characters and character building. Finally… great writing and very thought provoking.

I love the plot! I know it’s not completely original but this storyline never gets old. I love to see patriotic teenagers taking matters into their own hands. There is a lot of that in this series. I think the idea of a country being taken over is so realistic that the unrealism of a group of teenagers fighting back makes it just a tad bit less scary to think about. There were times I was holding my breath, many surprises, and the author does not hold back on tragedy. The writing flows and the style works very well this type of book. The book is very fast paced when needed and slows down a bit when more time is needed for the situation.

The characters really bring this book to life for sure. I just love Ellie. She is a bit immature at times yes, but for the most part she is courageous, determined, and very loyal to her country, family, and her friends. Corrie is sweet, the great best friend, seems pretty down to earth but in a perky kind of way. Robyn is the peaceful one. She is strong in her faith and will stand for what she believes. Lee is quiet, the thinker while Homer is the planner and doer. Then we have sweet, girly girl, Fiona and the stoner Chris. All together they make quite a cast that bring out the best and the worst in each other. They work well together and become one huge not always happy family.

The book really is well written and full of action and edge of your seat moments. It’s a very small book and it never slows for even a moment, so it takes no time at all to get it read. I was definitely wanting more after that last page.

If you like action, teens that kick butt, lots of blowing up, and a bit of drama, pick this book up. I don’t think you will be disappointed.


  1. This book was first published in 1993, so maybe Red Dawn copied off of it! ;)

  2. But Red Dawn came out in the 1980s.
    I love the Tomorrow series too, both the books and the film. It's a shame they did not break through in the USA and the UK.
    Our Island War by Bark Mason reminds me of Tomorrow, when the war began.


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