I know that I have reviewed each and every book separately in this series, however I also want to do an overall review. Why? Because these books really mean a lot to me. If I read another series of books in this challenge – which will probably be ‘The Ellie Chronicles’ – I think that I will choose to do it differently. This was the first time that I read and reviewed books this way and it’s quite difficult to write a review without spoiling the previous books. However since some things are considered common knowledge in later books it’s quite hard to not spoil mayor plot-twists. Especially considering that some mayor players didn’t reach the end-line.
You can read every book on it’s own and review them book by book. Yet, only after you’ve read everything, you can write a truly honest review. And that is why I decided that I wanted to write this overall review.
As I’ve said before – more than once – I read the first book when I was about fourteen years old and at the time I read a lot of books. But this one always stayed with me. I was able to recall details from it much more vividly than I ever could with any other books I’ve read. It made a huge impact on me. I think partly because this is a ‘realistic’ book and at the time I read a lot of fantasy – this could really happen. There is nothing wrong with fantasy, however this book’s realism made me wonder about things you might not wonder about at that age.
I was in awe with the things that these kids knew and did. I mean I wouldn’t know how to fire a gun – I guess I could learn, but learning because you need it to survive or learn it as a skill while you grow up are two different things – you can’t compare the two. Neither would I know how to survive in the bush, or live off the land. Of course we don’t have a bush in the Netherlands, so it’s not knowledge which I would need. And with our cities and towns so close together survival skills is not something which you learn from an early age on. So I was amazed and I also knew that we over here would be screwed if anything like this would ever happen here. At the same time the way that they had been blind sighted by the enemy would be a lot harder to pull off in an overcrowded area like we have here in Europe.
And then there is the fact that these teenagers where only a little bit older than I was at the time. So you constantly keep comparing yourself to them. Would I be able to do what they did? Could I kill a soldier? If the choice was one of life and death, I think that I would find the strength to at least do something to keep myself safe. Would I survive? I don’t know and I hope that I will never find have to find out. But those statements truly explain why I love the way that John Marsden writes so much. He makes them and the situations they find themselves in so real, they are such typical teenagers that they could actually be your friends. I really think that he nailed their characters. All of them. All the different characters and their antics – each individual is different and the way they respond in each situation is so realistic. I am simply in awe with the man’s writing style.
Through all of these years every now and again this book would come to my attention and I always wondered what happened to Ellie and her friends, and at the end of the first book you really wonder about Kevin and Corrie. Finally being able to read what happened to everyone meant a lot to me. And I’m glad that I took the time to read these books. John Marsden is an amazing writer who’s books I will forever recommend to anyone who will listen to me.
I applaud John Marsden for the amazing books he wrote, for not stepping away when things got hard. For taking the steps necessary to write the journey of a year in the life of Ellie and her friends. And for not stepping away from the true devastation a war brings. The loss of ones home and the security they find in their family and friends. The loss of hope, pain and anger so well written that it at times made me cry.
My favorite book
I guess that this can’t be a surprise, my favorite book will forever be the first book ‘Tomorrow, When The War Began’. I really enjoyed reading it again, even though I’d seen the movie pretty recently. There were still a lot of moments I couldn’t remember which made re-reading the book a very pleasurable and still interesting thing to do.
When I read ‘The Killing Frost’ I didn’t think that it was possible to let these teens cause any more destruction than they did in that part of the story. But I was wrong … I was so wrong! There was so much more destruction they could cause. ‘Burning For Revenge’ showed us really how much destruction five teenager without hope on a true suicide mission can cause.
My least favorite book
I guess when it comes to my least favorite book I would have to say ‘Darkness Be My Friend’. With that I’m not saying that it is a bad book, it was just a less interesting part of the overall story line. It’s smack dab between two action packed books, so the story line needed to settle down a little bit to stay realistic, I guess. It’s the natural ebb and flow of life.
There might be a television show in the future
I recently found an ImdB page for a ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ television show. I don’t know how much of this is really true or if it’ll ever happen. But if there’ll be a television show, I will make sure that I can watch it one way or another. I think these books could be a really good foundation for a television show, especially if you look at the type of shows which have recently been produced.
Go read the Tomorrow Series, really do it now !