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Tomorrow, When the War Began

(Tomorrow #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  45,382 ratings  ·  2,829 reviews
When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be wit ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Scholastic (first published 1993)
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Kelly I think it develops more throughout the series. It's not overly romantic but there is some.
Femke Swanton The beauty of this book is that it doesn't trade it's realism for giving readers what they want (i.e. happy endings). Now (*spoiler alert*), yes, this…moreThe beauty of this book is that it doesn't trade it's realism for giving readers what they want (i.e. happy endings). Now (*spoiler alert*), yes, this book will definitely leave you hanging and yes, you will feel the need to read all of the rest of the series ;) (less)

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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  45,382 ratings  ·  2,829 reviews


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karen
aussie teens are no joke. if they ever decide to band up and take over new york, we should be very afraid. these kids know how to mobilize and all that outback tends to athleticize a body. our chubby doritos-eating teens do not stand a chance. but i would totally read that book.

i truly love teen survival tales, and this one scratched my itch, and there are SIX MORE BOOKS!! i mean, hells yeah! that is a lot of surviving! american survival stories tend to only go trilogy. oh, you hardy aussies, yo
...more
Kylie D
Wow, what a marvellous book. I've heard so many good things about it I had to read it for myself. I'm so glad I did. It starts with a group of teenagers from a small country town going on a camping trip. All well and good, it's when they return a few days later that they find that life is not as it was.

Look, I'm not going to go into any major plot essays here. Let's just say this book is about personal triumph over adversity, the courage of the human spirit, and teenagers being teenagers. I high
...more
L A i N E Y
It was unthinkable - but it was very possible

This was a kind of dystopian with plenty of actions and, surprisingly, ample supply of food(!)

Story: their town was invaded overnight. These kids were left free because they were camping in remote mountain area, appropriately or inappropriately (up to you really), called Hell.

That sounds promising enough although I kept wondering if it would have been a better book if the group picked someone else other than Ellie to write their story down. That's s
...more
Jessica

**I find myself giving weird, abstract, and emotionally-based reviews for books that have billions of reviews saying pretty similar things to each other. So forgive me for this weird, abstract, and emotional review. I do agree with the others—this book is an incredible social commentary on war, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat, etc. blah blah

After reading this book for the first time, I watched the recent movie adaptation. In doing so I realized, with shocking clarity, what the story isn’t
...more
Ammara Abid
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
It's like I'm reading a Movie into novel. I didn't no while reading it's picturise as a movie or not. But that's a movie stuff for sure.

After reading I have searched and found that it has been picturised and that's great. This thing has been written for a film. After reading the very 1st chapter I'm sure of it.
Not so extraordinary but an enjoyable read.

"In this life of froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own."
Rachel Neumeier
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Finished it a few days ago! Definitely one of my favorite stories of 2011!

This is the first of a seven-book YA series by John Marsden, and I'm going to let this one review cover them all. Spoilers for Book 4 of the series areincluded.

I discovered this series via The Book Smugglers' post on hype. Then it was like, where has this been all my life?

I see the first book is supposed to be a "major motion picture." Says so right on the cover. I have my doubts. Can the movie version possibly begin to ap
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone - it's a must read!
Ellie and her friends Corrie, Robyn, Lee, Kevin, Homer and Fi live in and around a small rural town in an undisclosed part of Australia. They decide to go camping, to “go feral” and spend a weekend over the Christmas holidays up the bush instead of at the showgrounds with the townsfolk. Some of them, like Ellie and Corrie, are close, but not all, so over the weekend they get to know each other a lot better. Ellie and Homer are both from farms and Ellie’s family’s property is the closest to the t ...more
Regina
3.5 stars but I am marking it 4 because, well I do love this book.

This is such a fun start to a series. I feel weird writing "fun" when the story deals with a foreign invasion of one's country and home grown gorilla groups responding to the invasion. But .... it is fun. Tomorrow is told from the point of view of a high school girl Ellie, she is one of 8 kids hiding out in the wild and unpopulated area outside of their hometown. The theme is somewhat similar to Red Dawn if Red Dawn had been done
...more
Hira
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like action packed books
*Updated since watching the movie Red Dawn

4.5 stars

Tomorrow, When the War Began starts off with a group of teenagers going to camp out at a place they call Hell. By the time they get back, their country has been invaded and they're the only people left in their town, as their families and friends have been taken prisoner. Now they're faced with a decision - they can flee or surrender. Or they fight.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book, i picked it up because i wanted to watch the movie, si
...more
Benna
Nov 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
It is a fun read but a bit too unrealistic, I mean a country such as Australia doesn't get invaded in five days. No matter how much planning is done!
Karina Halle
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for: ANYONE. Especially those disappointed in today’s dystopia/Sci-fi/adventure novels and readers wanting a fast-paced, action-packed realistic thrill ride with fantastic characters.

Bonus points: interracial couplings, realistic teen speak, your worst fears realized

Back in 2003, I was a communications student living and studying in Auckland, New Zealand. My newfound best friend Kelly was obscenely obsessed with Lord of the Rings. Like, she needed help (still does). But while I had o
...more
Brianna
Jun 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Like many, many others I was captivated by Suzanne Collins's THE HUNGER GAMES. It hooked me with its pulse pounding action, nightmarish vision of the future, and most of all its strong, capable female lead and wouldn't let me go. I finished it in one sitting. Unlike many others I was less impressed with the sequels. Thankfully the books I wanted to read exist. After a very average first instalment John Marsden's TOMORROW SERIES is the series that THE HUNGER GAMES promised to be.

The school holida
...more
Yune
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I can't help comparing this to Hunger Games, which I read first -- then I came across this one and thought, "Oh! This is what a really good YA survival story is!"

Because although Katniss goes about with the doomed air of a tragic hero, Tomorrow deals refreshingly with a band of realistic Aussie teenagers, with a believable level of independence. They're trusted to go camping without adult supervision in the bush for several days, and emerge to discover that their homes are empty of people and th
...more
Buggy
Opening Line: “It’s only half an hour since someone-Robyn I think- said we should write everything down, and it’s only twenty-nine minutes since I was chosen, and for those twenty-nine minutes I’ve had everyone crowded around me gazing at the blank pages and yelling ideas and advice.”

This was very good and had I read it when I was a teenager I know I would have loved it. Back in the day this would have been comparable to The Outsiders or the movie Red Dawn *sigh* young Patrick Swayze. I’ve actua
...more
Ace
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Young adult fiction at its best, plus it's apparently book 1 of 7! Lots of reading fun to come.

Some teenagers go bush for a camping getaway and return to find their homes empty, the phone lines are dead, there's no electricity and only static on the radio. Among the fear and survival tactics is scattered that dry Australian sense of humour which I love. Highly recommended for young and young at heart!
Kat
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personally, one of the scariest reading experiences is going back as an adult to read a book I loved as a teenager. What if my 'growing up' has changed my opinion of the book - will I ruin a good memory, or reinforce just why I loved that book so much that the paperback I had eventually fell apart from so many re-reads?

These were exactly the worries I had when I started listening to the audio of Tomorrow, When the War Began. I read the first book a few years after it was first published, when I
...more
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I am so late to this book series but honestly, I am so glad that I managed to track down a copy since my overall reaction to this novel was quite positive. It did scream a little bit of The Hunger Games vibes for me but since that is my favourite trilogy ever, I'm not complaining too much :P

Tomorrow, When The War Began is the first book in a seven book YA series which is set in Australia. It follows a young girl called Ellie and her friends who go camping out in the bush as a sort of last hurrah
...more
PattyMacDotComma
5★ Highly recommended for readers young and old.

I’ve been late to the party in reading John Marsden. I’ve enjoyed his interviews and seen coverage of his school, Candlebark, north of Melbourne. http://www.candlebark.info/

In this 1993 novel, the kids are in their early to mid-teens and show the kind of resourcefulness that I imagine Candlebark is hoping to instil in their primary school students, without the homemade bomb capabilities, though!

In my girls’ rural high school, one of the boys was fu
...more
Kaora
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Looks like I'm in the minority here.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is a written account of Ellie and her friends, who after going off on a camping trip for a few days, return to discover that their family and everyone else in their town is missing, and soldiers are patrolling and looting.

I'm starting to think survivalist stories aren't for me.

First reading (and hating) Gone Home, and then this one. This time my dislike rested with the dreaded 'r' word. Romance. Even worse - Teenage Romance.

In the
...more
Alexis
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: my brother, readers of The Hunger Games
Recommended to Alexis by: Lucy
When Ellie, a high-school senior who lives on a ranch in rural Australia, gets the idea to invite all her friends to "go bush" and spend five days in the outback wilderness, they think it will be fun to get away from everything they know for a short while. But they never expected everything to change while they were gone.

After returning from a fun, successful trip, the group of seven kids - Ellie, Corrie, Kevin, Homer, Robyn, Lee, and Fi - discover that something really bad has happened. Their
...more
Steve Lowe
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was ok


I'm really torn about this one. It's a fairly interesting examination of teens trying to decide what to do when their country has been invaded by a foreign nation. Do our Australian heros go to war? Do they run and hide? Do they just hook up with each other and get their freak on out in the Outback?

Eventually, they do all three in one form or another, but I never really got attached to the story. It's written as a journal entry by one of the girls, 17-year old Ellie, so it reads as though it's b
...more
Jessi
Sep 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, hey-ya
More like 3.5 stars
I love survival tales and this is an exciting and different spin then I have been reading of late. No apocalypse, no zombies and no little children dying horrible deaths.


Ellie and her friends are in their last year of high school and decide over the break to go on a week camping/hiking trip deep into the outback. This was a great start, I love to read about camping but to be clear I do not camp. Gah! Its the worst, I am miserable the second the word tent is mentioned. Anyway
...more
Noelle
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Noelle by: Maggie
3.5 stars
Whenever I hear a random, not easily explainable boom, there is a small part of me that wonders if that noise I am brushing off as a transformer going out or random firework is actually something much more sinister. What if it is in fact not a benign blast but the first act of war? There I’ll be, wandering around in my safe oblivious bubble with electricity, plumbing, shelter and easily obtainable food and that boom was the moment my normal world changed forever.

That is what happens to
...more
C.
Aug 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to C. by: Sweet Vally High and Goosebumps
Eight teenagers who go camping in the bush for a few days, only to return and find that Australia had been invaded by an unknown enemy. They then spend the next five books fighting a guerrilla war against the invaders. The story is narrated by Ellie, who is elected to keep a written record of what happens to them. However, her record quickly turns into something closer to being a diary.

I read this at a much earlier age than I was supposed to - at about eight or nine rather than fourteen or fifte
...more
Chyina
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really enjoyable book. Though sometimes a bit slow and on occasion the MC would get on my nerves, but overall I liked it. I had seen the movie first, but honestly don't remember much about it, which is probably a good thing when reading the book.

I like how well the characters seem to be defined and believable in their personalities.

This book leaves you feeling uneasy when you put yourself into these people's situation. I mean, really, if this did happen in Australia, like that. It ju
...more
Sisi
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: own
I've lost track of how many times I've read this book. But I never get tired of reading it. Coming to the Tomorrow series rather late in the game (I'd hazard I was 16 when I first picked it up), I suspect if I had read it earlier it would have had more of an impact on myself. Even so, the book's impact is great. The writing is perfect, the premise of the book - that Australia has been invaded - is breathtaking, and the characters and their actions are unforgettable. I've been on a real teenage/Y ...more
Rebecca
i love this series so much <3
Mel
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really ended up liking this.

It took me about 50 pages to get into it but I think it was really good! It follows 7 teenagers who go on a camping trip in the Australian bush and when they come home they find out that their town has been invaded by an unknown foreign country and everyone is gone so they start fighting a Guerilla war of sorts.

It's told in the style of someone after the events writing down what happens and I really liked it. I found her tone really well done and I think that the
...more
Mary
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I liked the premise, but it fell flat for me. I wasn't really invested in the characters and I would have liked to get more answers about why the invasion happened, who did it and all that jazz. I'm assuming this is answered in the next books in the series, but I don't really think I'll continue it.
Stacey (prettybooks)
I love that Tomorrow When the War Began is set in the 90s (first published in 1993). It is refreshing to read about teenage lives without the technology we are so used to, like high speed internet or smartphones. I couldn't help but wonder what it'd be like to have my country invaded and not be able to text or call to see where my friends and family were, read the news on my iPhone, or head straight to Twitter to see what other people are saying. Technology is such a huge part of our lives now t ...more
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1,682 followers
See also: John Marsden.

His first book, So Much To Tell You, was published in 1987. This was followed by Take My Word For It, a half-sequel written from the point of view of another character. His landmark Tomorrow series is recognized as the most popular book series for young adults ever written in Australia. The first book of this series, Tomorrow When The War Began, has been reprinted 26 times i
...more

Other books in the series

Tomorrow (7 books)
  • The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2)
  • A Killing Frost (Tomorrow, #3)
  • Darkness, Be My Friend (Tomorrow, #4)
  • Burning For Revenge (Tomorrow, #5)
  • The Night Is for Hunting (Tomorrow, #6)
  • The Other Side of Dawn (Tomorrow, #7)
“Some people wake up drowsy. Some people wake up energized. I wake up dead.” 263 likes
“All these words, words like 'evil' and 'vicious', they meant nothing to Nature. Yes, evil was a human invention.” 115 likes
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