Feb 7, 2010

Review: Tomorrow, When The War Began, by John Marsden (Aussie Month Post)

Summary (from Amazon):

Ellie and six of her friends return from a winter break camping trip to find their homes burned or deserted, their families imprisoned, and their country occupied by a foreign military force in league with a band of disaffected Australians. As their shock wears off, the seven decide they must stick together if they are to survive. After a life-threatening skirmish with the occupiers, the teens retreat to their isolated campsite in the bush country and make plans to fight a guerilla war against the invaders. Writing in a distinct voice and showing rare intelligence and sensitivity, Ellie recounts their courageous battles against the Goliath in control of their land. She also records her feelings and observations about the romantic partnerships that develop within her small circle of friends, and shows how they mature and blossom during this time of crisis. Though readers are left wondering whether these heroes and heroines will survive (one is severely wounded at the end of the novel), Ellie's uncommonly honest and clear narration makes this coming-of-age adventure a story they won't forget.

My Opinion:

I started reading this book when I read that there was going to be a movie based on it. I like reading the books first, then watching the movies.

I'd read many reviews that spoke very highly of this series, so I was expecting something more. I really liked this book, but I didn't OMG-love it. There were times were I wanted something to happen, but it didn't and then I'd get angry. For instance, when you're reading about a character who's in love with someone, but they daren't make the first move, and that drives me up the walls, you know what I mean? And it's silly, but you get attached to those characters, and you don't want anything bad happening to them. That's exactly how I felt here.

Tomorrow... takes place in the small rural Australian town of Wirrawee (fictional), and its neighbouring farms and mountainous areas. Hell is where the characters make their new home, after everything else's been invaded. Ironically enough, Hell is the safest place left in Wirrawee for them to hide.
I enjoyed thouroughly the scenary in which Marsden placed these characters, it was beautiful in my mind, and I can't wait to see the movie and really see those places.

This story's narrator's Ellie, but I didn't feel as much for her as I do for other MCs. I did want her to be happy, and safe and end up with the one she wanted to be, but I just wasn't "in love" with the character. It's not like she's plain or without background, I just didn't relate to her.
Ellie's the designated driver, because of her skills in driving. I was quite happy to see that it was a girl who was in charge of such dangerous tasks.
Then we've got Homer, who's sort of the natural leader of the group. He's a rebel, and that's mainly what made me love him.
Corrie's Ellie's best friend, Ellie thinks of her as her sister. She's a very practical girl. She's also Kevin's girlfriend. I don't know what to think of Kevin yet. I'll have to keep reading the series to find out more about him. Then there's Fi, your typical city girl. She was my favourite character, because when it came to making the really difficult and most dangerous plans come to fruition, she was there and up for it, no matter how scared she was. In Ellie's words: "I admired her courage in taking the job Homer had given her, because I guess true courage is when you're really scared but you still do it." I could see how much she changed from being someone who has her things done for her, to actually doing these things herself. And I felt a little proud of her, I must say. She also falls for Homer, forming an interesting match.
Lee's Ellie's love interest. I loved how quiet he was sometimes, but how outspoken he could get when encouraged. Especially around Ellie. He's very passionate, and sometimes I was jealous of Ellie and wanted to knock some sense into her (that was one of those moments where I wanted something to happen but it didn't. Arghhhh!).
Robyn is a very nice and lovable character. Religious, and very determined. She's the glue in this group.
Chris is the last to join the group. He's always trying to make himself noticed. But unlike Fi, when it's time to get down to it, he's the last to volunteer. Just like Kevin, I still don't know what to think of him.

One of my favourite parts was when Ellie discovers the truth about the Hermit, a man who supposedly lived in Hell, isolated and alone (he goes there after having killed his wife and son; those are the rumours), many years before. My other favourite part, the one I can't wait to see in the movie, is one that happens at the end of the book. Those of you who've read it know what I'm talking about.

Marsden leaves us with a great cliffhanger, and I can't wait to keep on reading the series. I really wanted to love this book, after all those great reviews I'd read. Maybe the fact that I started reading last month, left it there, and picked it up again last week is one of the reasons why I felt there was something missing. But who knows, I might change my mind about this one.

Monkey Rating: 4 Monkeys

* John Marsden's Website. Which is pretty cool, by the way.
* Tomorrow's Movie IMBD Site, to find out more about the movie, and see who's playing these characters. (If you've read the book, then we can have a discussion about this.)
*This very interesting post at Movie Mazzupial to find out more about the movie cast.

I have a PDF version of this book, that I'll giveaway to anyone who's interested.
Just leave a comment with your email!
This'll end on the 28th.

2 monkey thought (s):

Misty said...

I've had this on my list for awhile, but I have no idea when I'm going to get around to it...Great review! Very thorough.

Booklover Book Reviews said...

Great review of this book!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog design and content by Ella Press, using elements by EMI