I guess being sick has its perks, because I had a great excuse to hole up in my favorite chair and read ALL DAY LONG. Lucky for me, I had a great book to finish and enjoyed every last page of it! I've had Gone by Michael Grant for almost two weeks now, but with my teaching duties and training starting this past week, I hadn't been able to devour the book like I had wanted. The characters are intense, the plot intense and full of twists and turns, and each page offered new discoveries and surprises.
To explain a bit about Gone, the title is very self-explanatory to the premise of the novel. In an instant, every adult and teenager over the age of 15 disappears without warning. Babies, toddlers, kids and teens like Sam Temple and his friends Astrid, Quinn and Edilio are left to care for themselves, but survival in a world without adults is much harder than they anticipate. Who will care for the infants and small children, who will provide food, electricity, and care when resources run low, and who will stand up to bullies who threaten to take over Sam's small town of Perdido Beach? To make matters worse, a barrier has appeared around the town that is impenetrable and impossible to scale. Animals are mutating, and tensions are rising within the remaining teens. With only days left until his fifteenth birthday, Sam must find a way to protect his friends from the threats that abound, because teens who have turned fifteen since the disappearances are also vanishing the instant they hit the big 1-5.
This 500+ page book is fast-paced and full of action and adventure. Michael Grant creates a compelling, and oftentimes heart-wrenching story of teens who must take on the roles of adults to survive in a world gone mad. Young adults should be able to relate to Sam's struggles with being a leader, and dealing with the bullies that abound. Grant also ups the ante when teens begin to develop special "powers" that seem to connect to the animal mutations. A page-turner and entertaining read, Gone was a great first book in Michael Grant's future six-book series. I'm picking up the second, Hunger, tomorrow! Great start to a promising series, Mr. Grant!