Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

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 (GoodReads).
 I really liked Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow #1) by John MarsdenELLIE, GIRL, lets be friends! You rival Katniss for kick-ass-ery. I loved this book since it was all about action. And I don't mean puppy eyes in the high school hallway, but the gorilla warfare having to fend for yourself in the woods action. This series is also older and all wrapped up in at least five books. There is nothing more satisfying/addictive than being able to consume a full series one directly after the other!

Originality: 7. Living off the land ALWAYS reminds me of My Side of the Mountain/Hatchet but add in the mysterious invading army and having to be a solider in your own hometown, and this is compelling and fresh.
Absurdity: 2. This feels as if it could be ripped from the headlines. I was telling my friend about this read the other day at happy hour and had to confirm “Amanda, this is FICTION, ok?” And she was all “OK PHEW I got so caught up in the story. Good call on the reminder.”
Level of Paranormal Romance: 4. There is some romance here and frank conversations about sex, but PEOPLE there are bridges to be blown up. Clearly, that is a priority.
Level of Harry Potter-ness: 3. The writing is standard and 110% action driven, but a couple of points for the evocative questions Ellie asks about morality and war and justifying violence.

Now Tomorrow is a movie full of great Australian accents. But get a load of Red Dawn, which is coming out in the US. Tell me it is not the SAME EXACT STORY. I will totally see it because lets be real it has Peeta and Gale's real life brother in it! (also, doesn't Chris Helmsworth have an Australian accent in real life? How meta....) 


  1. Actually Red Dawn is based on a movie from the 80’s so it came before TWTWB.

    I like the Tomorrow Series a lot more though. The characters are a lot stronger and the setting is much more fleshed out (especially as the series goes on). Wirrawee and Ellie’s farm and, of course, the bush are such rich and interesting locations. The town in Red Dawn is such a non-place; I know nothing about its history or the community that lives there or how the characters fit into it. It doesn’t look interesting and it has no atmosphere. It is AMERICAN though, and it’s like that’s all the director and writer seem to think anyone needs to know (same with the characters).

  2. I recently saw the movie version of this. I have to say the movie didn't live up to the trailers. I knew it was based on a book, though, it was easy to see that come through in the movie, as well as easy to see how it would work better as a book--some of the lines just didn't work very well spoken aloud, and they didn't build up to the climax very well. When it ended I was surprised, because the climax felt more like the rising action of the story.

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  4. Yes... Survival books will FOREVER be compared to My Side of the Mountain and The Hatchet. Too true.


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