Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden is a YA/Thriller set in a small town in Australia, originally published in 1993. The latest version of the book was published on 31 March 2011. The ISBN is 0857387332.
The first book in a million-selling series. Now a major film. The astonishing adventure begins... Seventeen-year-old Ellie Linton wants one final adventure with her friends before the school holidays are over. Packed in Ellie's parents' Land Rover, they drive to a famously beautiful camp in the hills. Returning to their home town of Wirrawee, the seven teenagers realize that something is seriously wrong. Their world has changed forever. Would you give up everything? Would you fight? Would you sacrifice life itself? Tomorrow When the War Began asks the questions you may one day have to answer.
WHY I BOUGHT IT
I first started looking around at Tomorrow When The War Began I think a little after I watched the Red Dawn remake (pretty good film) and I saw parallels and thought that a book series around similar themes would be interesting. Also the series is HUGE in Australia and after Ranger’s Apprentice it is always worth taking note of things like that.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I can see why this book and series spent so much time at the top of the Australian book charts. The book has a slow start but given that this is a series this is to be expected and my patience was rewarded with an interesting cast of characters plus the slow build helps with getting used the phraseology (it took me a concerning amount of time to realise what a chook was).
The characters are great, we follow the adventures of the kids through the eyes of Ellie and she is a great fully realised character with strengths and weaknesses she feels a lot more real than a lot of protagonists from books published 15 years later.
You see the emotions of the kids as their world crumbles around them and you can feel their pain and confusion and it generates quite a sense of fear. It feels like that could happen given the background of the kids and the luck of having their hideaway which is nearly impossible to find.
This is the first in a series but it stands up well as a single book though I defy you to try and stop just at the one. Tomorrow When The War Began reminds me of all the best parts of books like the Hardy Boys mixed in with Old Time Radio style serial adventures. So if you want a adventure with a decent sense of realism with consequences for heroic actions then check this out you won’t be disappointed.