5 out of 5 stars.
John Marsden’s Tomorrow When the War Began is a super famous Australian novel (recently made into a movie, I might add). Why it’s not more famous in the US, I will never understand.
BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME. Seriously: sometimes frightening, sometimes shocking, and always exciting.
Ellie and her best friends head out in the Australian bush for some camping — a trip for enjoying nature and doing nothing. When they get back home a week later, everything is wrong. Their families are gone, their livestock and pets are dead, and their food is all rotten.
Soon enough, they realize their country has been invaded, and everyone they know and care about has been captured. And now their faced with a choice: go back to the safety of their campsite or face this army and fight.
This book is written from Ellie’s perspective, and it’s the first of a series (and I intend to read the whole series!). She’s a likeable MC — tough, brave, and aware of her own faults. We see the other characters through her eyes: resourceful Homer, soft-spoken Lee, moody Kevin, sweetheart Corrie, naive Fiona, and fearless Robyn.
(Note: Oh gosh, I just love Homer. He’s what I qualify as a hero — well, all of the characters are heroes, but he’s the leader! Devoted to taking a stand no matter what. Le sigh.)
This book is exciting from the start because you know what’s going to happen (an invasion), but you have no idea what will happen after that! What choices will they make, who will fall in love with who, and what the future holds. Plus, any book where the characters use their minds to survive is an automatic winner for me.
While there were some Australian words I didn’t know, it was really fun to look them up and learn! Plus, some editions of the book have a little glossary at the start for us non-Aussies.
Definitely read this book if you get a chance. Now if only I can get my hands on a copy of the movie…
You tell me: Have you read Tomorrow When the War Began? Or do you have any other Australian books you recommend?