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Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

September 28, 2009

tomorrowIt had been Ellie and Corrie’s idea, going bush for a few days over the Christmas holidays. They gathered some friends and supplies, went camping, and returned to find their homes deserted, their families missing. A fax Ellie finds at Corrie’s house seems to confirm the group’s worst fear: Australia has been invaded by a foreign army. The country is at war.

The fax from Corrie’s dad tells them to go bush again, and, living in the country, Ellie and some others in the group do have the skills they need to survive. After a few harrowing trips into town to do some reconnaissance and check on their homes, they head back out to the place they had been camping when everything went down. But soon they feel the need to do more than just survive. They want to fight the invaders.

John Marsden‘s Tomorrow, When the War Began, the first novel in the Tomorrow series, is absolutely riveting. It’s told by Ellie, elected by the group to write down what has happened as a way of “telling ourselves that we mean something, that we matter. That the things we’ve done have made a difference. I don’t know how big a difference, but a difference. Writing it down means we might be remembered.” (p. 2)

Ellie tells us from the beginning that she is recounting events in chronological order and we know from the back cover that the country had been invaded during the original camping trip, so I did not feel impatient as I read this first part of the book, waiting for the action to begin. And there is a lot of action. Marsden writes in a style that is immediate and accessible, making Tomorrow, When the War Began a fast-paced read, exciting and full of tension. Chilling, too, in how realistic and plausible everything seems, how people are forced to change, and with a lingering sense of fear as the group can only hope that all their families are still alive, held with the rest of the town in the Showground. That their actions will make a difference. That they will all survive.

Cross-posted at Guys Lit Wire. A film version of Tomorrow, When the War Began is currently in production.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 3:50 am

    Oh, wow. I’d never heard of this book before, but the premise sounds amazing. I will keep an eye out for it!

  2. September 28, 2009 4:27 am

    Ooh, this book is a first, heady sip of dystophia for many, and is a classic.

  3. September 28, 2009 5:12 am

    I reviewed this one today too🙂

  4. September 28, 2009 5:33 am

    This looks intriguing! I’ll keep an eye out for it.🙂

  5. September 28, 2009 1:21 pm

    I love this series. I didn’t know about the movie, either. That’s great news!

  6. October 10, 2009 9:57 am

    I just bought this book based on your review and the many recommendations I see for it. Thanks.

  7. October 13, 2009 8:44 pm

    this book is grea, it really discribes the emotions show between the group. it is sad how almost all of the dogs die.

  8. Clark109 permalink
    November 23, 2009 9:57 am

    This book is awesome! You never stop feeling the emotion. If I had to rate it i would rate it 9/10 !
    You have to be tough because there is a million sad moments.

  9. Clark109 permalink
    November 23, 2009 10:06 am

    I had to do an assignment for it and for a blurb thing I wrote, ¨In an Australian country town, 7 run of the mill, high school friends, go for a camp in a valley called Hell. Coincidentally the town show is on. That night in Hell they here some loud jets going over head. They think it´s just the town´s jet show. But is it?

    When they come back they return to ¨HELL¨! ¨

  10. Sonia permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:29 pm

    Hey, I just started reading the book, I’m up to chapter 7 and it’s awesome! I like the story, its very unique. It’s my first time reading war book, but this book totally changed my mind about it.I’m really looking forward on the movie, even though it would not be as awesome as the book but still! Comes out on 2nd September 2010!!!!
    I would recommend this book. And the series.:)

  11. kathleena permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:30 pm

    i think that this book is great. to understand what war is like without actually being there just seems to take my breath away. to see 7 sixteen year old people go away for 5 days and come back 2 days after commemeration day to find pets dead and parents missing. i am looking forward to seeing the movie as my favopurite actor is in it! that and all the action in it.

  12. Jannet. permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:33 pm

    HEYO !x ilovee your book, but im currently on ummm chapter 6 .. im really enjoying your book and sooo cant wait till your moviee comes out mann , LOL😀 i cant wait for the film and is really looking forward to reading the other chapters … LOL !x i hope that the FILM will be more AWESOME than the book !!!!x❤

  13. Kate permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:34 pm

    LOL I`m really enjoying reading the book, it`s very interesting and I`m looking forward to watch the film with my class, I think that I will have a great expirience in watching this film. I totally recomend the book to everyone, this book is AWESOME, and people at any age would enjoy reading it, I cant wait to see it)))))I think that the film is gonna be as awesome as the book is. I love alll the characters in the book they are all great and really cool))XOXOXO c ya in the cinema)))

  14. vannaream permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:36 pm

    hey im ream and i been reading this book called tomorrow when the war began.i really enjoy it because of the why the story line goes. i only read up to chapter 8 soo far im finding it interesting.My favorite part is when they killes the dog ROFL.

  15. Nicky permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:42 pm

    i never read i hate it. but this book is alright beacause its about kids our age. i never liked it from the start i thought it was boring. but as i keep reading it gets interesting. its intersting how everyone has been taken but the camping kids havent. it will be interesting what the kids do so same the world.i cant wait to see the movie i think it will be better than the book.

  16. Dena permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:44 pm

    I found the book “When the war began,” boring at first because it was about nothing. Ellie kept talking about the same things over and over. But i found it more and more intersting as i kept reading it. I think the movie would be more enjoyable then the book, I cant not wait to watch the movie when it comes out.

  17. elijah permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:47 pm

    The book was sort of boring at the start. Then during the chapters it got more interesting on the way.I am up to the part where they come back and find out that nobody is town. I think it is chapter six i’m up to. I reckopn it’s pretty good so far but I don’t like reading, that’s the only problem.

  18. elijah permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:51 pm

    I have read the book When the War began. It was boring at the start but during the chapters it got more interesting. I am up to the part where they come back to town and nobody is there. I think I am up to chapter 6. I reckon it’s pretty good so far. The movie better be better than the book.

  19. VAN2 permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:54 pm

    I have read the book When the War began. It was boring at the startt but during the chapter i find it more interesting. soo far im up to chapter 8 and still reading i hope the movie is going to better then the book.

  20. brett permalink
    February 23, 2010 5:59 pm

    I have read the book When the War began. It was very interesting at the start but during the chapters it very exiting.I reading the part where they come back to town and nobody is there. I am up to chapter 6. I think it’s pretty good so far. i cant wait for the movie to come out so that i can watch it.

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