This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for year and now I have finally read it. After starting it multiple times and putting it back down, as soon as I really got interested in the story I enjoyed every moment reading this book.
Title: Tomorrow, When the War Began
Author: John Marsden
Date published: 1993
Page Count: 286
The astonishing adventure begins
Ellie and her friends leave home one quiet morning, wave goodbye to their parents, and head up into the hills to camp put for a while; seven teenagers filling in time during the school holidays.
The world is about to change forever.
Their lives will never be the same again.
Would you fight? Would you give up everything?
Would you sacrifice even life itself?
Tomorrow, When the War Began asks the biggest questions you will ever have to answer.
Putting aside the likeliness of Australia actually being invaded (I live here, albeit in the most isolated capital city, though It is a good strategic position and isolated) ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ is one of the best written books about teenagers in a stressful and confronting situation I have read so far
My enjoyment of the book stemmed from the perfectly constructed characters, the group of friends from a remote country town that after a week away in the remote bush, arrive home to find their town captured by an international army and the country on the brink of war. The primary focus is on Ellie, as she is the one tasked with writing down the events of the .’Tomorrow, When the War Began’ of the few books that captures teenagers in a genuine way- I felt everything they did, felt and the decisions they made could be done by real teenagers, even myself when I was their age.
Like I mentioned previously, I have to suspend my disbelief that Australia would be invaded-though the fact that the book is set in the 90’s could make it slightly more possible. But putting that aside, the story and setting combine to make a thrilling read. It did take me a good 50 pages to get into the story as it is a very slow start. Ellie introduces herself, her friends, gives a general overview of the town and then details their week long trip to ‘Hell’, a piece of remote bush land a couple hours outside town. This slow start pays off as the story and action starts once all of this exposition is out of the way.
While some scenes are not ‘action-packed’, Marsden creates tension as each of the characters are confronted by the changes in their day to day life and the realism of a town at war. The initial feeling of uneasiness on their drive home from their trip, the disbelief that something may be wrong as they search their houses and find them deserted and unkempt, dealing with their actions that may have injured or killed another person and at times the feeling of helplessness to do anything to save their families or friends. We don’t see these teenagers become immediate heroes, but slowly grow into each of their roles within their small group . We get constant reminders that they are only teenagers-their love of ‘junk food’, initial joy of not having to go back to school, and the ‘boy problems’ that Ellie faces despite commenting that in context, there are bigger things to worry about then her contrasting feelings for Homer and Lee.
This is quite a short review, but fitting for ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’. Despite the slow start the plot is solid and there are moments of suspense as I rapidly continued reading, hoping that all the characters were alright and that their plans worked. The characters are what makes this story-how they deal with the situation they are placed in, and how we see each of them grow and develop due to these extreme circumstances. I was not planning on continuing the series when I first started this book, but after finishing it I think I might pick up the second book in the series sometime in the future.
Here is my quick review of ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began.’ I am trying to work on writing my reviews and making them easier and more interesting to read. I’m not a natural writer (my calling is as a scientist), but im working on it and hopefully i’m getting better!
As always, GIVE ME RECOMMENDATIONS!!!