Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden

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Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: If, like me, you missed Marsden’s Tomorrow series when it was originally published then you’re in for a treat here with this excellent Australian entry into the world of dystopian fiction.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: March 2011
Publisher: Quercus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857387332

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Ellie and her friends are going to Hell. On a camping trip, that is. Taking enough supplies to last a week, the Australian teens are determined to have fun in the remotest part of the bush and get to know each other a little better. Or a lot better in certain cases… The week goes well, but all too soon it’s time to leave. Except when they get back, it’s to find their worlds have been turned completely upside down. Their farms are devastated, animals dead or dying, and families nowhere to be found. How can this have happened, and is it related to the mysterious planes they saw flying overhead on Commemoration Day? The teens set out to find out what happened to their families and work out just how they can survive.

Okay, I feel rather ashamed that I’ve never picked this up before considering it was originally published in 1993. In my defense, I’ve only recently started to read much dystopia and while this is set in our world rather than the future, it’s still definitely in that genre. The invading forces are a terrifying enemy – made more unsettling, if anything, by Marsden’s refusal to identify exactly which army it is that’s invaded. The teens are resourceful and plucky heroes who are forced to do some awful things themselves in order to survive, and the character development – especially of Ellie and of her friend Homer, classroom joker turned crafty plotter, is outstanding. I also thought the romance involved here was superb – never feeling tacked on, instead the intensity of several characters’ feelings for each other seemed a very natural response to just how close death could be to the group of teens. It’s also not afraid to make you ask yourself some hard-hitting questions – just how much is fair in love and war? Some of Ellie’s actions seem to scare even her; can they be justified if they could help her get her family back?

There’s seven books in this series plus another connected series as well and if they maintain anywhere near this level of quality that’s my reading for several months sorted out! Very high recommendation.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending acopy to the Bookbag

Further reading suggestion: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is another fantastic piece of dystopian fiction, as is Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Like this book, both are exciting and enjoyable with strong heroines.

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Buy Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden at


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