Gone (Gone, book one)
By Michael Grant
Published 2008 by Katherine Tegen Books
It happens in an instant - one minute Sam is sitting in class, bored as usual. The next, his teacher has disappeared - as in, vanished into thin air. And it's not just his teacher - every adult, every person over the age of 15 has vanished. Left to fend for themselves, will the teens band together? Or will big personalities - and the appearance of some teens with special powers - keep them in constant conflict?
I know what you're probably thinking - how have I not read this book before?? Yes, occasionally, I feel like a Terrible Youth Librarian when I admit to the popular books I haven't yet read. This was definitely one of the big ones - I feel like everyone has read and raved about this series. It's not that I wasn't interested - I mean, did you see the premise? It sounds awesome! I just hadn't gotten to it (STORY OF MY LIFE). So, I finally made myself pick up the first one and check it out. My first experience with Michael Grant was not quite what I expected, so I was a bit dubious going into this one. Plus, I worried about The Hunger Games effect - too much hype coloring my experience of the book. I'm extremely pleased that I finally got around to starting this series - I'm really looking forward to reading the rest. This book was what I had hoped BZRK to be. A great cast of characters to which it's easy to relate - I can understand the teen appeal here. These characters represent a lot of archetypes - and I think it works in this story. The development of special powers by some characters provides an interesting twist to the story and creates a great source of conflict among the cast. Not that there's a lack of conflict prior to that - the simple lawlessness and chaos created by a lack of adults and parental authority creates plenty of conflict. I love this idea - it's like Lord of the Flies to an extreme degree. No one knows why the adults are gone - or if they're coming back. And, once the kids realize that the second you turn 15, you disappear, too, it's a whole new ballgame. I was desperate to discover the cause of the FAYZ - and I'll have to keep reading to discover. Grant is fantastic at building an atmosphere of suspense and making readers anxious about the fate of these characters - it seems like none of them more than a few steps away from a terrible fate. This is definitely a series for fans of post-apocalyptic and dystopian lit - the 500+ pages fly by and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!