Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow #1)

 
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3.7 (6)
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Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 27, 1997
ISBN
044021985X
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When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

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6 reviews

 
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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.5  (6)
Characters 
 
3.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (2)
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Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
The novel is narrated by seventeen-year-old Ellie Linton as she documents in a journal her experiences during a military invasion and occupation of Australia.

Tomorrow, When the War Began takes place in the fictional small rural Australian town of Wirrawee. Ellie and her high school friends Corrie, Homer, Lee, Kevin, Fiona and Robyn wanting one last adventure set out to go camping in a remote area of the bush dubbed by locals as ‘Hell’.

One night they see a large number of planes flying overhead without lights. Although they discuss this the next morning they think nothing more of it. When they return to Wirrawee they find the town is deserted, as they return to each of their homes they find their parents are missing, power is out, and pets and livestock are dying.

The group soon learns that Australia has been occupied by unidentified foreign military force and their families have been taken prisoner. Marsden deliberately does not identify the country or countries invading Australia nor does the novel cover the war from outside Ellie’s perspective or from what she learns through her friends.

This novel is not about war, it is about how eight* young Australians react to war. *Fellow student Chris joins the seven following the invasion.

Marsden was watching an ANZAC Day parade and observed a large number of teenagers present. He wondered how they would react if they were in the same position as their grandparents. Marsden believed that today’s teenagers would “dig deep and find reserves of initiative, maturity, responsibility and even heroism”. He also wrote Tomorrow, When the War Began as a response to the negative representation of teenagers in the media.

Although the novel does feature violence, it is not graphic in its portrayal of the horrors of war. It focuses more on the characters internal struggles, such as Ellie battling with having to take someone else’s life in order to defend her own. The novel does feature some romance between the teenagers as Ellie develops feelings for Lee, Homer is smitten with Fi, and Corrie and Kevin continue their relationship. Ellie writes the journal as an official record of their experiences, rather than a personal diary, so her personal feelings of romance do seem a little out of place. It would be quite awkward for Lee to read this official record I would imagine.

The novel was released in 1993 and other than that today the characters would have mobile phones and wireless internet connections it has not dated.

In 2010 a film adaptation written and directed by screenwriter Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, Australia) was released. A television adaptation is currently in post production and will screen on ABC3 in Australia in 2016.
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A fun read
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Tomorrow #1 is a fun young adult book that keeps up the suspense and scariness of these teens' new existence. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't say it's my favourite.

It deals with many real issues teenagers face in a more realistic way than some other books though, which I liked. Sometimes it's just a bit too much though.

Also, in the Kindle edition the proofreading is terrible as a lot of punctuation marks are simply missing. However this doesn't detract too much from the story.

A fun read!
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Riveting
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by mlecompt

A group of friends goes camping for a few days and when they get back home, something is obviously wrong. No one is home, dogs have been left to die, and power and phone lines have been cut off. While they were gone, and army speaking a language they don't recognize invaded Australia and took control of their little town. Now they have to decide what they are going to do with themselves: lay low and stay out of the way, or try to fight back.

This book is action-packed and a very quick read. It's exciting, but also explores the group dynamic and personalities of the kids who make up the group. I would recommend it to people who like survival and/or war stories.
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Unbelievable
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by ToRi

at first i thought it looked boring when it was handed over to me for a birthday present but i started reading it and i seriously couldnt put it down it was so good that im buying the rest of the set. in fact im looking up other john marsden books right now!
READ IT!!
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one of the best
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Bri

This is one of the most amazing books i have read for a very long time and probably the best i will read in quite a while.....the whole series is so addictive and seems so real as if you are actually one of the characters. i find it really mysterious as john never identifies who the enemy is throughout the whole series. ellie reminds me so much of myself and homer sounds do much like my friend rob. That is why it just seems so real to me and i find John one of my favourite authors. I just find him excellent. Thanks John!!!
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Scarily and Amazingly Real!!!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lucy

I live in Australia and unfortunatly I can imagine this story line happening in my country- for real! The story is so strong and the characters so human that the realism in this story is frightening. It is incredably clever how John Marsden has managed to never identify the invaders, leaving that up to the imagination. Ellie, the main character, really is a personality that I can imagine finding amongst my friends and so are all the other main characters. I do not know one person who has read the first chapter of this book and not been hooked on the whole series as I have been. John Marsden is a fantastic author who is brilliant at writing for youths.
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