Sunday, 27 April 2008

Action-packed teen read

Finished April 27

Gone by Michael Grant

This book starts with a school setting, where everyone fourteen or older has suddenly disappeared. As the students try to come to terms with this, they also discover that cellphones and landlines no longer work, computers work but cannot access the internet, they have no television or radio. Essentially, they have lost contact with the world. A group of three young people, Sam, his best friend Quinn, and advanced student Astrid team up to go to each of their houses to check on their families. Astrid is worrying about her four-year-old autistic brother Peter. They find no adults anywhere. Cars have crashed, children are without parents. As the three explore they find a barrier wall around them that they cannot get through. They are cut off from the outside world.

Sam is a natural leader and begins to take charge, but other alliances also arise. There is a group of bullies that band together to try to control everyone, and then a group of students from the nearby private school arrives and takes charge.

The story also follows a young woman who is driving with her grandfather in the hills outside of town when the disappearing takes place. The truck crashes and she is left hurt, with her dog guarding her.

Other changes also become apparent. Some of the children have powers that appear to defy science, and animals appear that have mutant features. The kids struggle to figure out what is happening and keep each other safe.

This is an engrossing read, and the ending leaves an obvious opening for a sequel.

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