Gone, by Michael Grant

(Buy from Amazon.ca)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else…

Thoughts: I don’t think I could have enjoyed this book more. Honestly and truly, it was a fantastic book, much more so than I originally had anticipated. Fast and smoothly paced, this book shows the darker side of what every kid dreams at some point in their lives: “What would happen if all the adults were gone and kids ruled the world?”

Unsurprisingly, a utopia does not spring up. Bullies still act like bullies, except now there’s nobody to keep them in check and from gaining more than limited local power. Deaths happen, because there are still babies left when the adults vanish, and only inexperienced children left to do their best. This book does not shy away from a dead baby scene, portraying it as one of the consequences of this new and strange life. A disturbing and upsetting consequence, but something that needs to be dealt with. Most “what if there were no more adults” fantasies don’t bother to deal with such issues.

For a book involving fantastic powers and strange monsters, I have to say that Gone was incredibly realistic, especially in its portrayal of people. Some fall apart and panic, others try to maintain some level of normalcy, other rush in and try to rule over the mess that they’re left with. Friends are not always loyal, things are not always as they seem, and sometimes the lines between sides are not as clear as they first appear.

What seems at first like a very simplistic writing style plays well with the events, making tense scenes tenser and battle scenes more gripping.

I heartily recommend this book, especially to those who are interested in good portrayals of people in weird crisis situations. I’m looking forward to tracking down the sequel, and I hope it’s just as enthralling as this one was.

3 comments on “Gone, by Michael Grant

  1. I've been seeing this book around and I thought it sounded good, but I haven't been too impressed with many of the YA books that I've read recently. your review makes me want to give this book a shot.

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