To deconstruct TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN by John Marsden, I moved outside of my comfort zone in a couple of different ways.  First, the author of this book is Australian. The main character’s voice definitely reflected that.  Since this is my first Australian author (I usually favor American and British authors) the glossary of Australian slang terms at the beginning of the book came in awfully handy.  Second, as the title suggests, this is a book about war.  I’m not usually a big fan of war stories but I didn’t think THE HUNGER GAMES was going to be my cup of tea either, and I devoured the whole darn series.  So, on the recommendation of a co-worker, I decided to give the TOMORROW series a try.

Mr. Marsden runs a pretty awesome website.  Aside from being a national and international bestselling author, he is also a teacher.  He started and runs a school called Candlebark in Australia on 850 acres of natural bush.  In addition to that, he also seems to be an all around good fellow.  He made passionate pleas for compassion for refugees during 2010 Refugee Week.

John Marsden is best known for the TOMORROW series and the companion books, THE ELLIE CHRONICLES.  However, he is the author of other young adult fiction such as the award winning SO MUCH TO TELL YOU and non-fiction like THE HEAD BOOK.  Furthermore, TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN is about to come out as a movie.  You can watch a trailer here.

TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN is a story told from the point of view of Ellie Linton, an outdoorsy, capable teen living in rural Australia.  She and six of her friends decide to go camping for a week in the Australian bush.  Their destination is a secluded, overgrown crater in the Earth called “Hell”.  It’s so secluded, that the seven teens are completely unaware that their country, starting with their hometown, is being invaded and taken over by a foreign power.  When they do return to civilization, their town is bombed, the townspeople are prisoners, and the war has begun.

OK…so I have a confession.  I swore I wasn’t going to blog about a book I didn’t love.  So far I’ve managed that, even if I had to quick-read something new because my intended blog topic didn’t turn out to be stellar.  However, I wasn’t wild about TOMORROW.  It could just be me…I know someone who is finishing book 10 and couldn’t be more thrilled.  So don’t let my lukewarm reception turn you off if it sounds interesting.

It does have an appealing voice and an intriguing premise.  I’m going to look forward to talking about some of the aspects of the book that didn’t work for me.  I hope you get something out of the deconstruction of a book I wasn’t in love with.

Until Friday.

That gorgeous (and in this context, terrifying) photo was taken by tathamoddie and I found it on Flickr.