Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Recommendation: 'Tomorrow when the war began' by John Marsden

 If your homeland was invaded, what would you do? This story offers a glimpse inside the lives of a group of teens who find themselves at the centre of this question.

This is set in an unnamed rural Australian setting, and begins when a group of seven teenagers go on a trip to explore ‘Hell’ – a beautifully-described lush paradise of cliffs, trees, and pools. On returning home, they find out everything has changed, and Hell becomes a refuge for them. The characters really bring this story to life. Childhood friends Ellie and Homer are foils for each other; both are resourceful and gutsy – and wanting to lead.

The plot is full of heart-stopping action. If you love adventure, you will be thrilled at the twists and turns, as the crew evade capture, find out the truth about their predicament, and manage to engage in a lot of creative sabotage.

Though these situations are larger than life, I found they come off as devastatingly realistic. It is easy to find yourself in the character’s shoes as they battle with the invaders, clash with each other, and reflect on the serious consequences of their action. You wonder what you would do in the same situation. This is not a Hollywood blockbuster with “good guys" and "bad guys”, bulletproof heroes, and a trite happy ending.

I would highly recommend this for all teenage readers, or older readers that love action, but not the mindless kind. You may find yourself hooked.

Title: Tomorrow When the War Began
Author: John Marsden
ISBN: 9780330403801
Published: 1993
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

 - Stanley, Ranui Library


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