Books Magazine

Grimes and Rowe Read a Book: Gone

By Storycarnivores @storycarnivores  Gone
Written by: Michael Grant
Series: Gone, Book 1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: June 24, 2008
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 576
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Gone

Synopsis: 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… (Via Amazon)

Brian: Gone is one of those rare books I bought in the last year that I didn’t know anything about when I plunked my hard earned cash for a copy. I was at Powell’s Books in Portland, picking up lots of young adult titles, and I thought I was all done. But then I looked in the YA section one more time, and one book struck my eye. The blah cover didn’t really do it for me, but I liked the simple title: GONE. So I read the back. And as soon as I learned the main concept of the book, I knew I had to have it. And now having finally read it a few months later, I’m happy to say I’m glad I went with my gut. Gone is about 150 pages too long at 576, but I was immediately taken with the likable characters, the simple prose, and the fascinating story.

Shaunta: I’m always interested in YA dystopia, not only because I just love it, but because I write it. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad timing that I started reading Gone just as I started paying attention to Stephen King’s Under the Dome. On the one hand, it gave the book a familiar, comfortable feeling to me. It’s been called a Stephen King-like take on Lord of the Flies, and I could see where that came from, although I think very few books compare favorably to King. There were holes that annoyed me a little–holes that I am intimately familiar with trying to fill myself. How do you write a huge cast and give everyone the attention they deserve. I would have read a whole book about the boy who gets the Mickey D’s up and running again. The bad guys kind of blended for me, and a week later I’m having a hard time remembering who was who. The main character’s best friend left me cold. But I loved the chemistry between the main character and the girl he liked. The author did a good job of showing how kids can grow up fast in times of trauma. There is a secret twin story line that left my head spinning. Brian and I have the same birthday and even if we were born in the same year, I don’t think that we would have immediately decided that meant we were TWINS, and then bought into that idea lock, stock, and barrel.

Brian: This was a very entertaining read that reminded me absolutely of the blurb on the back: Stephen King meets Lord of the Flies. There are elements of The Stand throughout the book, as well as Under the Dome, King’s 2009 novel that is getting a second life right now as a TV show on CBS. But what made this book the perfect choice as Shaunta and my July book of the month is that the storyline reminded me of both our newly released books. Shaunta’s Viral Nation and my Over the Rainbow are very different, but one element they share is the idea of teenagers coming into their own and defying the odds they’ve been dealt with. This theme is a major component of Gone, and it gave an added joy to the reading experience. I loved the main trio in this book, as well as the side characters and stories, especially the boy who runs the local McDonalds. Grant’s prose are very readable, never with any added fluff, despite the length. I enjoyed this one a great deal, although I’m not compelled to read the sequels. Reading this book actually makes me want to read some old-school Stephen King, more than anything else.

Shaunta: I think I’m daunted by the fact that I read the first book when there are five sequels. FIVE. And the first book is close to 600 pages long. That’s a massive commitment. I’d read the next book. I want to find out more about what happens to the main character and the girl he likes. I was intrigued by the idea of Sam, the protagonist. He’s a reluctant hero. He has the ability to do heroic things, and he has, but then he runs away instead of taking credit. I’m drawn to a natural leader, and he’s that for sure. I think anyone who likes dystopia will enjoy Gone.

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