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Gone by Michael Grant

August 24, 2008

Gone, the first novel in a planned six book series, starts off with a bang. Or, should I say, with a poof?

Sam Temple is in history class when the teacher suddenly disappears. As in, was there one moment, and the next he was gone. Sam and his classmates soon realize that EVERYONE over the age of 14 disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach. While the other kids in town quickly look to Sam for leadership, Sam just wants to find a way to escape and discover what really happened, worried about his recently discovered ability to create light from his hands and to do harm with the light. Into this leadership void step the Perdido Beach School bullies and, eventually, a small group of students from Coates Academy, a boarding school for wealthy troublemakers, who have an agenda of their own. Led by the charismatic Caine Soren, they quickly move to consolidate power, enforcing order and creating new rules. Caine immediately realizes Sam is their biggest obstacle, both because of how the Perdido Beach kids look to him and because the strength of Sam’s superpowers may rival Caine’s own. And if the Coates kids need to eliminate Sam to retain power, then that’s what they’ll do.

Even at 558 pages, Gone is a pretty quick read. Despite its length, though, there isn’t much character development, something I’m willing to let slide since it’s plenty entertaining on plot alone and this is the first book in the series, setting things up for future books. For readers who like action or who just want to be entertained, the lack of extensive character development won’t be a problem, as Grant manages to sustain the fast pace by combining multiple sources of suspense—why did people disappear? What do the hours and minutes running down before each chapter mean? Why can’t the kids leave? Will they have enough resources to survive?* What caused all the superpowers and mutations? Will there be a Coates Academy vs. Perdido Beach showdown—in such a way that enhances the momentum of the story instead of bogging it down. Just be sure to let them know that this is the first book of a series, since this is not mentioned anywhere on or in the book, and that while some questions are answered, there are still a lot of loose ends.** A part of me feels that more issues (maybe even all of them) could have been resolved in this book, though it would necessitate more pages or perhaps two shorter books, but I am still sufficiently intrigued to look forward to the next book.

Among the reviews: Book Envy and Teen Book Review.

* You can tell how much you’ve been affected by Life as We Knew It and the dead & the gone when you immediately start worrying about food running out.

** Why? Why do publishers do this? I had a teen complain about the same thing with Lauren Henderson’s Kiss Me Kill Me, which had an abrupt ending and no mention of it being the first book in a series.

83 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2008 9:25 am

    I couldn’t get through Gone because I wasn’t invested in the characters. And Life as We Knew It is my middle school book club read of September. I think it will be a hit! Those kids love destruction and disaster!

  2. Ellen permalink
    August 30, 2008 11:38 am

    i have just finished gone by michael grant. i had no idea that it was the first in the series of 6 books until i read the end and found out that there needs to be a sequel. even though this was a good book, it didn’t need to be so long. lots of the ideas were stretched out and i hope that the next books would be more to the point.

  3. Mae permalink
    August 31, 2008 4:12 pm

    I loved this book. I can’t wait for the next book. I hope in the next book there is more information about the characters.
    Does anyone know when the next one comes out?

  4. Natalia permalink
    September 1, 2008 7:09 am

    Gone was a fantastic book. The plot and subplots always had me thinking. I was hooked from the beginning! I cannot wait for the next book!!!!!! I’m sure it will be just as amazing as the first.

    Mae, I checked a website. It says the next book should be coming around the summer of 09. Its supposedly called Hunger. But that’s just one resource. But anyways, can’t wait!

  5. bridget permalink
    September 2, 2008 11:05 am

    I absoulutly loved Gone.
    At first it started out pretty dull.
    I couldnt past the characters ages at first.
    but as the book continued it became pretty good.
    I dont see the need for this book to be a series though.
    i believe it should of ended with the first one or at most
    have one more sequel. I hope it doesn’t drag with six books.
    I still cant wait to figure out what happens.

    • Cords permalink
      March 22, 2011 10:25 pm

      Gone is the best book ever of course there should be 6 books

      • Charlie permalink
        March 25, 2011 7:55 pm

        I think there should be more than just 6, the books are amazing!

  6. Zoe permalink
    September 4, 2008 11:11 am

    Oh! I saw it at the library and am waiting for it to come back in so I can read it.

  7. September 8, 2008 4:25 am

    I keep hearing mixed reviews on this, but I’m really looking forward to reading it.

  8. September 15, 2008 10:56 am

    I am a YA Librarian, and the second I received this book from our delivery of new stuff, I started to devour it. I have about 1/4 of the book left, and it’s still like candy. I love it, I can’t put it down! Been staying up late just to get a few more chapters in each night. I am thrilled to hear that there will be more!

    I tell my teens that they’d like this book if they are: Lost (t.v. series) fans, Sci-Fi fans, if they liked Lord of the Rings, and I also recommend Neptune’s Children. Different, but similar. I haven’t read Pfeffer’s books yet, but they’re on my list!

  9. Samantha permalink
    September 22, 2008 4:59 pm

    im a librarian and i saw this in a bin waiting to be checked in and i picked it up interested. i talked to a fellow librian friend of mine to she what she thought about the book. she said she couldn’t make it through it b/c it was too long and not interesting enough. i read it any way and i just want to say that i beg to differ with her. i loved this book. i have talked to a few other people who have read this and i have gotten mixed reviews about it. however, i can’t wait for the next one. its quite scifi, so if you’re into that kind of stuff give it a try. it also has some romance between the two main characters, and of course there is action. i say give it a try and if your not hooked by the first 100 pages, its probably not for you.

  10. robin permalink
    October 1, 2008 6:07 pm

    I dont know what all you people are complaining about with the length. It really wasn’t that long. I just finished it and was so diappointed with the end until i found out there are more books to come which relieves me a lot. I think the book is absolutely amazing. I aswell had a hard time getting past the ages of them all, but i did, and i think every piece of the story was creatively planned and written.

  11. taylor permalink
    October 19, 2008 8:40 am

    I thought Gone was amazing. I’m so happy that it’s a series because it gives me something to look forward too.
    I keep wondering if they’ll ever make a movie about it..
    I guess only time will tell.

    • claire permalink
      July 17, 2010 7:43 pm

      I really want them to make a movie with it, it is my favourite book. I’ve read Hunger and Gone, and i’m still waiting for Lies to come out. Does anyone know when it is coming out?

  12. abi permalink
    October 21, 2008 2:10 pm

    i luv this book!!!!! i luv the characters and the plot!!! i dont see why some people dont like this book!?!?!

  13. taylor permalink
    October 24, 2008 12:32 pm

    Does anyone know the model’s name who plays Sam on the cover?

    • Rae permalink
      August 15, 2009 4:27 pm

      did you find out that guys name? because i am looking for it too cuz he is gorgous!

      • i_love_gone permalink
        February 10, 2010 6:12 am

        If they make a movie then they HAVE to use the models on the book

      • Julia permalink
        April 11, 2010 3:26 am

        I agree I want to know his name! I hope he plays Sam in the movie

      • July 4, 2010 5:02 pm

        Did yall ever find the name of the guy on the cover of the book?! I’m obsesssinngggg soooo much over it!

        • Elyy permalink
          January 15, 2011 1:54 pm

          His name is Erich Hayes

    • August 15, 2011 6:10 pm

      I think its Hutch Dano off of Zeke and Kuther on disney XD

  14. Dess permalink
    November 15, 2008 5:47 pm

    This book is amazing! It’s so realistic and the characters are very beleivable.

  15. Daniel Kwak permalink
    November 16, 2008 1:51 pm

    this book is amazing. i know that i’m a guy but when i saw the cover, i thought it might be kind of fun because i love mysteries. well you guys have to try and read a book called neptune’s children by bonnie dobkin. it’s very similar except they are on a cluster of islands which is an amusement park. hope you guys love to read and have fun reading neptune’s children.

  16. alice permalink
    December 1, 2008 2:08 pm

    i loved this book! it was so so so interesting and kept me at the edge of my seat!!! i would, however, have liked to see more of the characters’ own characteristics. but, all in all i loved it!! i really would like it to become a movie. that would be amazing! =]

  17. Amanda permalink
    December 28, 2008 7:34 pm

    I love the book GONE (By: Michael Grant) I’m still reading it but so far its amazing…I can’t wait for the sequel…I’ve been reading this book for hours and I just cant find the will power to put it down…I really think that this book should be turned into a movie…I know I’m only 13 and all but I would definitely go see it… Mandee

  18. January 2, 2009 5:27 pm

    After finishing Gone i have to say this book is one of my favorite books i have ever read.

    I can’t wait until the next book comes out in June and I like the title >>>>>>>>>> [Survival] <<<<<<<<<<

    I’ve bought the first book already and there’s nothing stopping me from buying the next five. When I afficially become a 8th grade Language arts teacher i want to read these set of series to my students I am right now 14 years old

    (Can’t Wait )

    • soph permalink
      June 18, 2009 6:44 pm

      the seconde book is called hunger just to let you know..

  19. Kaitlyn permalink
    January 15, 2009 2:10 pm

    Gone was a fantastic book. I finished it in a week and got my friend to read it as well. The relasionship between Diana and Caine is humorous and those two are my favorite characters i love the way the author wrote from different perspectives. this book would make a great movie. Absoulutly without a doubt my favorite book of all time.

  20. January 18, 2009 4:19 pm

    The title caught my eye, and I opened to the first few pages. After the first sentence, I slammed it shut and bought the darn thing, and I can’t’ put it down!!!!


    I’m more of a fantasy gal (Twilight is my favorite book, and Harry Potter is my bible, plus, I love Narnia) but it’s so great! I haven’t read sci-fi since third grade, when I was into Animorphs, but let me tell you


    • Rachel permalink
      December 9, 2009 12:42 pm

      I love the books you said u liked except I think twilight is really stupid. Before these books, vampires and werwolves were totally lame and then it’s just a whole romance thing that people like but in the movie it is a really bad movie.

  21. Sam loves Astrid permalink
    January 20, 2009 12:56 am

    this is so AMAZING! i just thought what’s the name of the models in the book cover. Coz as i read the book, it was them, the models in the cover that i imagined as the characters in the book! please mail me if u know them! ^_^

  22. Hannah permalink
    February 12, 2009 8:19 am

    hey does anyone know the models on the cover of the GONE books names? because Caine on the back cover is amazzingly cute. i luv caine more than sam. because he is bad. and didnt he want diana to marry him? if i were diana i would be just like ” yes yes yes yes!!!” but does anyone know their names? email me if u know them

  23. Destiny permalink
    February 22, 2009 10:01 am

    This book amazing! once i started reading the book I could’t stop.Im looking forward to the next book. and does anybody know the name of the model that plays Sam if you know his name email me at
    I have to know!

    • blasteroids permalink
      July 2, 2014 4:16 am

      His name is Erich Hayes

  24. Sophia permalink
    February 25, 2009 3:02 pm

    Warning: Major Spoilers!
    I just finished this book about 10 minutes ago and I am still in shock. This is one of the best books i have Ever Ever Ever read. even better than the Hunger Games (even thought that was amazing). The character development didn’t bother me. I just wish Sam had gotten into the leadership thing a bit more before the end.
    The Sam-Caine powers fight was so awsomly cool. One of the best parts. I was really unsure how smart it was to let Caine go, though. As for Drake, he is like the devil. Worse. He’s a 14 year-old kid and yet he kills and finds enjoyment, more than enjoyment!, in others pain. Setting the coyotes on the children? The babies? I don’t think there is a word bad enough for him.
    Oh, and by the way, I couldn’t get to sleep for hours last night becuase the Darkness and Pack Leader freaked me out.

    • Rachel permalink
      December 9, 2009 12:36 pm

      I personally liked the hunger games better although I love gone too! Catching fire is so good though- it is way better than any other book ever

  25. ansley permalink
    February 26, 2009 9:34 am

    i just finished this book yesterday and i loved it….
    i had no clue this was a series soon to be six books…
    i knew there was going to be a second one so i went online to see…
    i CANNOT wait until june for the second book…..but since its that good i will haVE TO WAIT
    i want to talk to the guy who plays caine….
    you cannot hide….come out wherever you are:)
    and when you do decide to talk my email is oh yeah!:) my name is ansley PEACE

  26. blackstarj7 permalink
    March 11, 2009 1:02 am

    I thought this book was AMAZING!i saw one of my friends reading it,so i checked it out. I couldn’t but the darn book down!I hope Grant makes a sequel to this one.Or that it becomes a movie or TV series.In my opinion,its one of the best books ive EVER read.

  27. March 21, 2009 5:01 am

    hahahahahaha wow that was a waste of time… god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i could have done something better with my life

  28. Anaaaaaaa Woahh. permalink
    May 15, 2009 10:53 am

    Okaaay, I readdd the bookk. It was amazingg<3
    But I reallyyyy wanteddd to knowww who the guy that is Samm on the coverrrrr is.
    If youuuu knowwwwww senddd me an emaaaillllll heaaa:
    Yesss double h.
    So yeahhh. Please and Thank you (:

  29. Majken permalink
    May 31, 2009 4:49 am

    I am in the middle of this book and I love it!!!!!!!!!! I read the second one first but I suggest reading the first one first because you would then know what the great thanksgiving battle is. If someone knows what the peoples names on the cover are please post here. I think that Astrid on the cover is tiffany thorton write if you agree.

    • Samantha permalink
      August 5, 2009 7:55 pm

      I completely agree it’s Tiffany Thornton… well… most probably, at least 😉

      • natalie permalink
        December 31, 2009 8:06 am

        no its deffinately not tiffany thornton…the stuructures of their faces are too different

  30. June 8, 2009 12:40 pm

    I’ve read both books. They were great. I can’t wait until LIES, the 3rd book comes out. Did anybody notice that close to the end of GONE, Astrid said that she had some power that in her mind she saw streaks and that Sam’s was the brightest, yet that was never mentioned in HUNGER. If I’m right or wrong, email me at:

    • natalie permalink
      December 31, 2009 8:07 am

      yea i noticed that too…i guess michael grant didnt think it was as important in the second one or something

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