Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)'s Reviews > Tomorrow, When the War Began

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
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Jun 12, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, australian, childhood-revisited, young-adult, 5-star, contemporary, own-it-hard-copy, setting-oceania, 2016, dystopian, war
Read from May 02 to 04, 2016 , read count: 5

Okay, how the hell has it been 4 years since I last read this?! I decided it was time for a reread because I watched the first episode of the new TV series and had literally no memory of anything but them going to Hell, the planes flying over, and Lee getting shot. And it's just as fabulous as I remembered. Sure, it's a little dated now, what with them finding the message from Corrie's dad on the fax machine and all. But it's still a powerful story full of wonderful characters. And I love it.

Plot summary: Ellie (the narrator) and six of her friends decide to go camping in the depths of the bush over the Christmas school holidays. But when they return to town, they discover that their families are gone. Gradually, they realise that Australia has been invaded, and the entire town of Wirrawee has been taken prisoner. Now, they must decide whether to run, to surrender, or to fight back.

Thoughts: I adore this book. I first read it way back in 1995, shortly after moving back to Australia. I loved every second of it, but it scared the absolute crap out of me. Nearly 20 (argh) years later, it still has that power. We think we're safe. That if anything happens, the defence forces and other countries will be there. But what if they weren't? Australia has a small population and a ton of room. It's the plausibility of Marsden's story that makes it so compelling.

The characters are nothing short of amazing. There's at least one of the seven that any reader can relate to. They're just ordinary kids. Sure, they're country kids, so they know how to drive tractors and use guns and slaughter animals. But they're brilliantly written, and they stick with you long after you've finished reading. I should know. I've been carrying these characters with me for 17 years.
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Reading Progress

06/06 page 17
6.0% "It's annoying me that "OK" is used instead of "okay", and that Ellie said someone would have been "hung" instead of "hanged". But both of those are things a teenager would do, and therefore it's perfect, despite being irritating." 5 comments
06/06 page 72
25.0% "This book is breaking my heart all over again, just like it did when I first read it."
04/22 marked as: read
05/02 marked as: currently-reading
05/04 marked as: read
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