May 18, 2012

Review: Gone

By: Michael Grant
Published: June 2008 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardback, 558 pages
First Reviewed: January 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on 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...

Rating: 3/5

It's about time I've read this book. It (and the sequel Hunger) has been on my bookshelf for quite a while, but I kept slipping books in front of it. Why? I don't know. Then I got the third for Christmas and decided to dive into it after a few friends told me I should read them.

While I think the whole "new place that's like normal, but with boundaries" thing has been done quite a bit, I think Grant brought his own twist into it and made it completely original again, something that seems to be lacking to the YA world today.

I liked the characters, but didn't love them. From the moment I started reading, I got personalities from everyone. I liked the fact that each character was distinct and no one too similar, even if they were both on the same "side." Everyone evil was different from one another and not the stereotypical evil army gang. Even each of their voices were distinct, even though this book was in third person. My only main compliant would be that some of the characters I felt were thrown in without a purpose. There were only a few, but I thought their names and all that could have just been left out. And some of the main characters could have been developed or given a bit more time compared to others.

I really like Michael Grant's writing style. He managed to take third person and make me wonder why I had ever loathed it. Why? Because I've never read third person omniscient like this. The narrative was down to earth, managing to give insight to everything without putting the reader on overload. Normally when I read books in third like this, I'll forget characters or get lost in what's happening, but I didn't with this. Grant's writing flows extremely well and I never had a single problem, except sometimes he overused "violently" and "very suddenly" a bit.

Like the characters, I eally liked the plot, but didn't completely love it. I think that stems from my personal preference and not the actual book. It's well-crafted and paced. It starts with a bang, without Grant bothering to introduce us to the world and whatnot. And it benefitted this so much. I was into the plot within the first paragraph and stayed captivated by what was happening. Usually, I don't like reading books where the main character is in middle school. It makes it hard for me to identify. However, that wasn't the case with this. I was able to jump into the story as a fourteen-year-old. The dialogue, the thoughts, the actions, it was all very believable without dumbing the story down.

I have to add one thing: There was one little detail that was a tad be unrealistic to me: (A little spoiler-ish): Being bulimic since age 10...? Really? Anorexic, maybe, but bulimic? That was just a bit odd for me to wrap my head around.

Overall, pretty good, enjoyable read. The reason I can't bring myself to give this four stars is just for personal preference. Everything's still really good, but it's just not my type of read that I can get into. If you like this type of stuff, then you'll love it!

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