Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Gone (Gone #1) by Michael Grant

Book: Gone (Gone #1) by Michael Grant
Release Date: 28 Apr 2009
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic
Summary: 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...

Review: Sam can't believe his eyes. One moment he's daydreaming about surfing while his history teacher drones on and on then the next moment, the teacher is gone. Poof. Sam's sure that he's imagining things until he finds out that everyone over the age of fourteen is gone. Sam has much more to worry about than missing adults and older siblings though, he's concerned that he might be the cause due to inexplicable mutation he's undergoing and what happens when he turns fifteen in less than two weeks. Bullies have taken over and he knows that if anyone found out or even suspected what he was capable of doing, they would kill him because he wouldn't be the first death or the last.
Gone was nothing short of an amazing, adrenaline fueled read. There wasn't a single moment of downtime for the characters I came to love. Every character, even the minor ones who occasionally got their chance to tell the story (loved that!), was a unique individual with their own flaws and problems. I knew all of the characters like they were kids I'd gone to school with. I've never read a book where I knew the thoughts, motivations, feelings of so many characters. I also loved that every one of them had realistic reactions to the crisis yet they all reacted differently.
Gone was constantly surprising me in all aspects. It would have taken a psychic to be able to guess what would happen in this book. I loved being taken on this ride and not knowing how it would end or what would happen along the way.
I'll probably sounded disturbed when I say this but I loved the violence in this book. I think the violence is what will make or break Gone for you. If you have a weak stomach or want sunshine and rainbows, this read is not for you! Imagine having scenes of limbs being sawed off or a description of gangrene setting in because tissue is dead. Yeah, they both happen and I was cringing the whole time but I couldn't get enough. Grant wasn't afraid to force the reader to see the reality of a situation like this, and I couldn't love him more for it.
I only had two minor complaints and they're personal issues for me that you may actually like or at least not mind. The dorky cool slang made me roll my eyes every time I encountered it. It didn't add to the believability that these were kids who talked like kids because I often found myself thinking 'who in their right mind would say that?!' Slang was mostly confined to the beginning of the book though. The religious talk and allusions also bugged me. This is a YA/MG/children's lit pet peeve of mine. I don't like adults who foist their religious beliefs onto impressionable children. Grant isn't doing that in Gone but it still managed to push my buttons a little bit.
Gone was a better roller coaster ride than I could ever hoped or asked for. I've already got Hunger ready to read and I hope my fingernails survive the saga.

Quotes & Thoughts as I Read:
  • Fear could be dangerous. Fear could get people hurt. And there was nothing but fear running crazy through the school. Life in Perdido Beach had changed. Something big and terrible had happened. Sam hoped he was not the cause. Not the cause? That means he's done something. I'm so intrigued! I've gotta say that I hate the slang used thus far. Brah and little dude aren't cool, they just make you sound stupid.
  • He was scared. And he was mad, too. Where were the people who were supposed to do this? Where were the adults? Why was this up to him? He was just a kid. And why hadn't anyone else been crazy enough, stupid enough to rush into a burning building. It's every kid's fantasy to wish parents, older siblings, and adult away. The realistic troubles Sam is facing are very interesting. Glad my family didn't disappear when I wished my hardest that they would ;)
  • “T'sup, Cookie,” Sam called out as they drew within twenty yards. “T-sup, Sam?” Cookie replied. What the hell is 't'sup'?! Do kids actually talk like that?! I was 19 when this was written and unless I'm mistaken, Maine kids must be way cooler (for a first) than wherever Grant is getting his hip knowledge base from.
  • Lana took several deep breaths, shaky, fighting the upsurge of terror. She'd heard of gangrene. It was what happened when flesh died or circulation was cut off. Her arm was dying. The smell was the odor of rotting human flesh. First off, ew gross. But secondly I love that Grant is getting into the grit and ugliness. Maybe I'm reading the wrong YA books, but I haven't seen many that do this.
  • Sooner or later, C or one of the others will do something serious. Someone will get hurt. Just like S with T. Stop keeping me in suspense! I'm so intrigued that I'll probably get paper cuts from whipping through pages.
  • And the FAYZ itself-everyone called it that now-was five days old. Five days with no adults. Five days without mothers, fathers, brig brothers and sisters, teachers, police officers, store clerks, pediatricians, clergy, dentists. Five days without television, internet, or phones. Guess which one of those practically gives me hives just thinking about. I will give you a hint: you are using it to view this quote/thought.
  • “I can't kiss you with your little brother watching,” he said. Astrid stepped back, took Little Pete by the shoulders, and turned him so he was facing away. “How about now?” Oh, yay! A little romance to break up all of the violence. I've gotta say that the more I read of this book, the more I want.

Rating: 4½ Bites
Book Trailer

47 comments:

  1. Your review hits all the right buttons for me, but I'm curious - do we eventually find out why kids disappear on their birthday? I love a good set up but am bad at taking things at face value, I need to why the big things happen.

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  2. @kaye (paper reader)
    We begin to see why at the end of the book. I can't really explain it without giving things away but I thought it was a satisfying start. You can tell it will definitely be delved into further in later books. I believe it is a set six book saga.

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  3. Great review and you have me intrigued. Can't wait to read this

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  4. I love this review. The details you give are awesome without giving anything major away!

    I've been hesitant to get this series because some of the reviews haven't been favorable but your's and several others hace convinced me!

    Thanks!

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  5. Great review! No spoiler here! But it made me want to get a copy of my own. I've heard so much about this. :D

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  6. The idea sounds more than interesting, but I don't think I'd like to read a book about only fourteen (and less) years olds...

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  7. I have this on my TBR shelf but may bump it up now! Excited! :)

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  8. I didn't know that they were aware of what was happening to the kids, I thought everyone just upped and disappeared. Now I want to read this even more!

    -Elisquared

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  9. Thank you for the awesome review! You choose great quotes! I loved Gone, and want to read the other books in the series, too. Like you said, the more I read of it, the more I want. :)

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  10. Love this! This is probably one of my sister's favourite book, if not her favourite book. I really enjoyed the characters....(excepted for Sam and Astrid). Though I am not a fan of the trailer. :S

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  11. I read Gone several months ago, and really liked it. I quickly read Hunger (book 2) and while I loved the story still, I felt like it dragged on quite a bit. I have not yet read books 3 and 4, but my sister did and said they get even darker and more violent. She still really liked them though. I know I'll read them eventually, but was ready to try something different.

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  12. oh i want to read this one..i'm intrigued..i enjoy books like this one.. :)

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  13. I luved this book (and read the second too) and mainly the you've said: It would have taken a psychic to be able to guess what would happen in this book. I loved being taken on this ride and not knowing how it would end or what would happen along the way.

    But (and believe me, i DO hate it when adults put their religions in the middle of books for children or YA as preaching), I did not see it like that. I am no Christian and I felt like this: some people, when things are really so fucked-up really tend to find something in God... i disagree with that, but, unfortunately, from my point of view, that's how it happens... and with some of my friends too... it bugs me even more that people do that in REAL life... when they are not living in an apocalyptic world... for the most simples problems... fanatics suck... and I did not see that in M.G. books (read both Gone and Hunger) - but, on the other hand, in Lord of the Flies, the religious stuff is so much more evident that I had even to mention that when I reviewed Gone and Hunger - for people started to compare both. If M.G. leads the story towards and end that is preachy, I'll be starting to write negative reviews, for people should not preach in books at all, at least that 's what I think. Let the "children" choose their religion or no religion at all. Freely.

    I'm just a little afraid - and I mention that in my reviews that this road might be taken because I know the author worked for the military, and the main religion is Christianity... but, anyway... if the series come to a preachy series of book instead of what has gone so far, I'll sure mention it and, if it bother me much (and believe me, it bothers me so much to see how Narnia was used as catechism... among others...), I'll reject them. For it is unfair to do that with the future generations...

    Imagine a dystopian world in which if u r not from one of the predominant religions, you are an outcast. Not so unlikely, unfortunately. =/ And it makes me sad.

    Let's hope Grant keeps it that way though =]

    xoxo

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  14. I have heard so much about this book and your review left me undecided still.
    I have a pet peeve about bad slang, and it seems this book has alot. But at the same time I want to read it even more after reading your review. Even if just to find out what Sam could have done to cause everyone to dissapear.

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