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Tomorrow, When the War Began (The Tomorrow Series #1) Paperback – June 1, 2006
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About the Author
He read vast numbers of books, acquired a love of language, and became insatiably curious about other people. He also had a variety of jobs, 32 at the last count, including working in abattoirs, hospitals, morgues and a haunted house.
In 1985, rather to his own surprise, he found himself teaching English in the Australian bush, at Timbertop School. Noticing a complete lack of interest in reading among his Year 9 students he tried his hand at writing a short novel that he thought they might enjoy.
The rest is history. John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow series and Ellie Chronicles, is now the world's most successful author of teenage fiction. He has sold a million and a half books worldwide, and has won awards in Europe, America and Australia. His first love however is still teaching, and he spends most of his time running writing camps at his property, near Hanging Rock, Victoria.
Top customer reviews
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These were exactly the worries I had when I started listening to the audio of Tomorrow, When the War Began. I read the first book a few years after it was first published, when I was 8 or so (ok ok! So when I was about 14.....whatever) and I read all the available books one after the other. Each time a new one was released, I re-read the whole series again and then the new one - so I've read Tomorrow at least 5 or 6 times over the years. I've also own the movie adaptation on DVD, and although it does cut out some parts of the story, it's actually very well done.
Now I'm done with reminiscing, down to the serious business of reviewing a beloved teen favourite. The setting of Tomorrow, When the War Began is infinitely familiar to me - it literally smacks of Australia in a way that few other books I've read does. It evokes feelings of being a teenager, trying to be independent, first loves, the whole nine yards. It has always amazed me, and has done so again, how John Marsden can write books that resonate with both the teenage and adult audiences.
The plot is pretty straightforward - a bunch of teenagers go camping in an isolated part of the outback/forest and emerge to find that their country has been invaded, their parents and friends taken captive and suddenly they are thrust into a very adult situation, with very real, and scary consequences. Despite the fact they could quite easily hole up and hope for the best, they decide to take matters into their own hands and fight back.
All the characters are so well known to me, it's a little difficult for me to take a step back and see how they would come across to a new reader, but I'm certain they could definitely stand up. Ellie will always be one of my favourite teen characters - outwardly tough and brave, inwardly kind, caring and fiercely loyal. Homer, Fi, Robyn, Lee, Chris, Corrie and Kevin are all unique and lovable in their own ways, and together they make a strong, almost unified team. (I didn't even have to look all those names up, I remember them so well!).
Everything about Tomorrow, When the War Began is plausible, imaginable and well-considered. There's no sudden appearance of weapons and unexplained natural ability to kick arse, it's just simple, believable situations and reactions, both positive and negative.
I loved this book on audio - the narrator is a fantastic voice for Ellie, and the whole story holds up just as I remembered it. This is YA as it should be - it has the appeal for any reader of any age and despite the fact that next year it is 20 years old, it's not at all dated.
First thing you should know is that the prices of the other books are greater than the first. I got #1 for$1.99, the others were all 7 to 9 bucks a pop. This would be fine with me but there are copious typographical errors in the kindle versions. I find this very distracting and unacceptable when paying this amount of money.I really should give it three stars because of this.
They are relatively quick reads, I think 250 pages was about the average.
Ultimately, the content is what matters most. The action is sparse, but when it does happen it can be shocking. The real story is what happens before the action and violence ensues. From the comfort of home we get to see the kids learn, mostly on their own, how to think, act, and plan like soldiers. After every action they deal with the consequences as well as they can. The consequences being reactions from the enemy, as well as the emotional and psychological costs of what they face.
Marsden goes further than just the violence of the conflict and gives us great views of the kid's day to day lives as they hide in the bush, go on food and information raids, and interact in their limited social circle. I did grow to care about all the characters, and my one wish was that we could have seen the story from the perspective of the other kids sometimes. This was not a complaint however as we learn a lot about Ellie,not just from the story she tells, but the way in which she tells it.
Hopefully the weird typos will be corrected soon. I suspect it must have been a problem with the transfer to digital, not because John Marsden forgot to proofread.
Most recent customer reviews
Writing was a bit flat.
Compelling and frightening plot that made me question our current times