Back in June I won a contest on Katheleen Ortiz's blog and she sent me three books. One of them was Gone. Gone was HUGE. Seriously over 500 pages. All summer it sat on my night stand, mocking me. It was so BIG, I didn't want to read it. But it was the only book on my summer reading list I hadn't read it. I felt pressure. My list mock me more than the book did. So the Sunday night before school starts, I started the book. When I hit page 120, I had to put it down and go to sleep. The next day I brought it to school with me and told my kids about it. My exact words were, "I'm kinda annoyed I have to teach you today because all I want to do is read this book."
So sum up this book in a few words, BRAIN EXPLODING AWESOME.
Here's the premise: One minute everyone over the age of 15 is gone. (This occurs in the second paragraph of the book) With no adults to control the kids, bullies step into the power vacuum. There's a bubble around the town, no way to get in or out. Kids are developing powers. Food supplies are running low. And when you turn 15, you vanish too. Btw the main character, Sam, his 15'th birthday is in two weeks.
HOE LEE CRAP
What I loved about his book:
1) Realistic. This book deals with every problem the kids face with total realism. No one is working, it takes the kids 5 days to organize and search for missing people (it deals with the repercussion of that) they don't know how to drive, kids are getting hurt, food and medical supplies are running low. Sam doesn't want to be a leader. His best friend Quinn isn't brave enough to handle the situation and no one knows how long this is going to last.
2) Tension: There's no cheesy love triangles. No sparkly vampires. Is there romance? Yes. But everyone is nicely partnered off. The tension comes from survival.
3) Pace: Page 1 the adults vanish. By page 2 you see the repercussions of that. The book moves lightening fast. I read the whole book in two days and I still worked full time.
4) Kid appeal: So I ranted and raved about this book on Monday and Tuesday. By Tuesday night, few students had problems going to the library and getting a copy. By next Wednesday all 20 copies at the library were checked out and there were 10 people on a the wait list. BAM! I DID THAT! ME!!!!!
What I didn't like:
There's at least two more books in the series and I don't know when it's slated to end. It looks like there's going to be at least a forth book.
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