Book Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began


Ellie and her friends leave home one quiet morning, wave goodbye to their parents and head up into the hills to camp out for a while; seven teenagers filling in time during school holidays.

The world is about to change forever.

Their lives will never be the same again.

Would you fight? Would you give up everything? Would you sacrifice even life itself?

Read for the Books and Tea Traveling Book Project, copy from Lauren.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is about a group of Australian teenagers who go camping in the middle of nowhere (I love that they called it “going bush”) and when they come back home they find out that their hometown and probably the rest of the country has been invaded by foreign soldiers. This means they need to get really creative in order to survive in this new crazy situation. And oh boy they do.

The book is written like one of the main characters, Ellie, is writing down their experiences, which was nice and I mostly liked her as a character. She had her moments when I didn’t really care about her but I’ll get to that later. The beginning of the book is a little slow with all the camping preparations, but once the story really gets going it’s a pretty wild ride. I’m pretty sure if the characters weren’t the kind of kids who go camping in the forest for fun they probably wouldn’t have survived very long. Fi was probably the most relatable character to me simply because she was so clueless about what you would need to live in the forest for a week. Even she was super brave in the end though.

I feel like I spent most of the book telling the characters to just go back to hiding in the bushes and wait the war out, but they kept going back to the town where all the soldiers were and did a lot of crazy stuff and fire and explosions were often involved. Homer especially was full of ideas (the way he went from a silly prankster to a survival master was great) and Ellie was just a really good improviser when things got bad.

One thing that annoyed me in the book was the romance stuff, because it mostly just felt unnecessary. So much love triangle potential, but luckily the drama didn’t get too bad. I guess that’s just what happens when you put a group of teenagers together, someone will eventually be kissing someone, but honestly Ellie spending a lot of time just trying to figure out which boy she likes more was just a little boring and in my opinion she didn’t even have that much chemistry with the guy she ended up picking. Usually I’m all for romance but in this case it was just… Meh.

I was pretty surprised how much I ended up liking this book because the description of the book suggested something really depressing. There was actually plenty of humor in it and since it was published in the 90s there are a couple of moments that just are cute because it’s so obviously old. Like at one point something was compared to putting a TV too close to a computer because that apparently causes weird stuff. The action parts were actually pretty stressful and kinda bad bedtime reading because of that because I was so nervous about what would happen next, which I guess means they were good. I forgot to annotate a lot because I just kept reading.

I can’t really decide if I want to continue this series at any point because I would kinda like to know how the war situation gets resolved but on the other hand I’m just really bad at committing to a series. We’ll see.


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