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Gone Hardcover – June 24, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—"One minute the teacher was talking about the Civil War. And the next minute he was gone." Just vanished—along with everyone else over the age of 13 in a 20-mile radius around Perdido Beach, CA. The children left behind find themselves battling hunger, fear, and one another in a novel strongly reminiscent of William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Things go from bad to worse when some of the children begin exhibiting strange powers, animals show signs of freakish mutations, and people disappear as soon as they turn 14. Though an excellent premise for a novel, Gone suffers from a couple of problems. First, it is just too long. After opening with a bang, the initial 200 or so pages limp along before the action begins to really pick up. Secondly, based on the themes of violence, death, and implied sexual intimidation, this is clearly written for an older teen audience who may not appreciate the fact that no one in the book is older than 13. In spite of its faults, Gone is a gripping and gritty read with enough creepy gruesomeness to satisfy readers who have a taste for the macabre. Give this one to the readers who aren't quite ready for Stephen King or Dean Koontz.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
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*Starred Review* It’s a scenario that every kid has dreamed about: adults suddenly disappear, and kids have free reign. In this case, though, it’s everyone 14 and older who disappears, and the harsh reality of such unreal circumstances isn’t a joyride after all. A girl driving with her grandfather plunges into a horrific car wreck; gas burners left on ignite a home with a young child trapped inside; food and medical supplies dwindle; and malicious youths take over as the remaining children attempt to set up some form of workable society. Even stranger than the disappearance of much of humanity, though, are the bizarre, sometimes terrifying powers that some of the kids are developing, not to mention the rapidly mutating animals or the impenetrable wall 20 miles in diameter that encircles them. This intense, marvelously plotted, paced, and characterized story will immediately garner comparisons to Lord of the Flies, or even the long-playing world shifts of Stephen King, with just a dash of X-Men for good measure. A potent mix of action and thoughtfulness—centered around good and evil, courage and cowardice—renders this a tour-de-force that will leave readers dazed, disturbed, and utterly breathless. Grant’s novel is presumably the first in a series, and while many will want to scream when they find out the end is not the end, they’ll be glad there’s more in store. Grades 6-9. --Ian Chipman
Top customer reviews
I've read plenty of YA book series in my lifetime (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner series and even Harry Potter though it doesn't quite qualify as YA) but Michael Grant has, without a doubt, produced something entirely unique, much like the FAYZ itself (inside joke). I've never read a series,with as many plot twists and craziness, that I ended up loving as much as the Gone Series.
And the best part? Though I don't advise you to, you can read each book on its own without having read the previous or the next book in the series. So if you want to give it a try but don't want to be forced into reading all 6 books by cliffhangers, then go on. What are you waiting for? But, when all is said and done, you might still feel the urge to read all of them.
Some youth will prove themselves as natural leaders, or maybe even heroes. But others with a natural inclination towards cruelty, and no one to guide and direct them elsewhere, will also emerge as unfortunate leaders.
Sam Temple is at school when everyone disappears. Sam, his best friend Quinn, the beautiful "brain" Astrid, and the new kid Edilio make a ragtag bunch who do their best trying to figure out what is going on in Perdido Beach. One of their first tasks is to find Astrid's autistic brother, Pete. But as they arrive at each of their homes, they find no adults anywhere.
Besides the complete disappearance of all humans over the age of 14, other strange things are being reported. Some kids seem to have developed supernatural powers, including Sam. And others are noticing some of the animals are taking on unnatural characteristics as well. Sam wonders if his "powers" are somehow connected to the problem.
The bullies from school, Orc and Howard, take over the town square. They name it the FAYZ, or Fallout Alley Youth Zone, which is what they end up calling the entire "incident". But they aren't doing a very good job of running things. Most of the kids want Sam to be one of the leaders, but Sam is reluctant to take on the role, and neither Orc nor Howard want Sam around.
Up the road is a private school called Coates and when the Coates kids come into town, things go from bad to worse. The students who attend Coates seem to be troubled kids, many of whom also have supernatural powers. The leader of the Coates group, Caine, is a student who has no problem hurting others for his own selfish purposes. He also attracts other students to him who act in the same manner. Caine also has supernatural powers which cause destruction and chaos in Perdido Beach.
There is also a side story of Lana, a young girl riding in a truck her grandfather when he suddenly disappears. She is in a horrific accident, but eventually heals, encounters a pack of talking coyotes, and finally meets up with Sam and his group.
Everything leads up to a final battle between Sam and Caine. But can that battle take place before they turn 15?
I enjoyed Gone and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I'm looking forward to the rest of the books in the series. Due to the violence in this book, I would recommend it for at least 7th grade and above.
Content: Violence/cruelty to children and language.
PS - order hardcover. The cover is way cuter (and the people!)
Most recent customer reviews
Keeps you on the edge of your seat. The writing style is very descriptive. Very unexpected twists.
Since I was listening to the book I really didn't know how long it was and I was frequently...Read more