Series: The Tomorrow Series #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
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 with their families, or fight back.
Dystopian war in the Australian bush
My Thoughts on Tomorrow, When the War Began
Tomorrow, When the War Began starts out as a journal. The narrator/journal’s author is Ellie. She’s been elected by her group of friends to be the one who writes down what has happened to them so far so that, should anything happen to them, the world will know their story. And the story begins with a camping trip or, what the Aussies call “going bush.”
Ellie and her friend Corrie decide that they are going to organize a group hike with their friends through the bush and into a place dubbed Hell: “a cauldron of boulders and trees and blackberries and feral dogs and wombats and undergrowth.” It’s the Christmas holidays and they want to skip the Commemoration Day show (something, from what I can gather, is akin to a county fair here in the States) in favor of this outing. Ellie and Corrie enlist their friends Robyn, Fi, Kevin, Lee, and Homer. They pack up a Land Rover with supplies and set off.
Now, these kids have some amazing foreshadowing powers because, while they’re away, they talk about how the Commemoration Day show would be the perfect time for an invasion or a war to begin. Think about it, they postulate. Everyone’s left their farms and ranches and gone to the Show Grounds where they are all together. Which is exactly what happens. When they return home, they find Ellie’s dogs dead and the house abandoned. Same holds true for the others’ houses and pets. And then the adventure begins.
The story carries on as the group of friends organize and pull off reconnaissance missions, gather more supplies, fight off roving groups of invading soldiers, blow up bridges, and, of course, fall in love with one another. There’s a lot of geographical description that, personally, I found distracting; but, I never was good at that spacial thinking and forming a topographical map of the story in my brain as I read. And there’s a hell of a lot of luck that is on these kids’ side!
It’s an okay book; I didn’t dislike it, but I’m just not sure that I liked it enough to commit to the full series. In fact, I’m not even sure I’m curious enough to even pick up the second book.