"Tomorrow When the War Began" by John Marsden

Essay by needhelpneedhelpJunior High, 9th gradeA, November 2006

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"Tomorrow, When the War Began" by John Marsden (a young adult fiction novel) is the first of the "Tomorrow" series. One of the seven characters, Ellie Linton - a rural teenager, tells their story (presented in first person), which first commences when they convince their parents to allow them to take the Landrover for a campout in Hell (A wild place, "a cauldron of boulders and trees and blackberries and feral dogs and wombats and undergrowth", reputed to have been occupied by a Hermit). The story continues; seven teenagers take a trip to Hell. And seven come back - To hell; Back to find their country invaded and their parents imprisoned by an unidentified enemy. Their world is about to revolutionize forever. Their lives are never to be the same again.

You may have considered that this novel would be about war, but it is definitely not - it is about how seven everyday teenagers react to the different (and new) aspects of war; the surprise invasion of their own country, their hometown.

On the exterior this would be classified as an "action/adventure" novel, complete with well written and gripping chases, evasions, suspense, escapes, triumphs and disasters. These are very well portrayed by the author and would be thoroughly enjoyed from just there, but there is a lot more to the novel than that. The true heart of the novel is found within seven mundane rural teenagers, and how they handle with the nightmare their world has become. We realize how that the characters go through a serious real life situation and that nothing always go according to plan - 'We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy. Now we know we're not ... and so it's bye-bye innocence. It's been nice knowing you, but you're...