Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant

From the hallway they heard a rising cacophony of voices. Loud, scared, some babbling as if it would be okay as long as they didn’t stop talking. Some voices were just wild.
It wasn’t a good sound. It was frightening all by itself, that sound.
“Come with us, Astrid, okay?” Sam said. “We’ll be safer together.”
Astrid flinched at the word “safer.” But she nodded.
This school was dangerous now. Scared people did scary things sometimes, even kids. Sam knew that from personal experience. 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.
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Without any warning, everyone over 14-years-old disappears. Poof. Gone. There are no adults, but there’s also no communication out or in. The area surrounding Perdido Beach is cut off from the rest of the world with no escape. Bullies take over, and weird things start to happen. Kids develop strange powers. Animals mutate. And the moment you turn 15, you disappear like everyone else.

This was a fun read, and I can see how it would appeal to teens. These kids parents are gone, their teachers, cops, doctors, everyone in their life who has ever taken care of them have disappeared. And as much as teens like to be in charge of their own lives, the idea of all the adults being gone is terrifying. Especially since the oldest people there are only 14. It’s not even like these are kids who have jobs, drive cars, or have any sort of adult responsibilities. Anyway, the concept of the book is genius. I felt moments of panic just like the characters did.

And then there are the bullies, made ten times worse because now they have powers. All kids deal with bullies at some time or another, so I thought this part of the story would also really hit home with teens reading this book. These bullies are more than just the steal-your-lunch-money type–these guys can and will kill you.

I think what I enjoyed the most is that the fear in this book plays off fears that teen readers can imagine easily, so they can really experience the emotions the characters are experiencing. I also loved the main characters. Sam Temple, the one who we see most of the story from, is an average boy who has always tried to fade into the background–like so many 14-year-old boys do–but in the face of these deadly bullies, he can’t do that any more. And he has to struggle with who he is, because he has power to kill just like the bullies. He has to make a conscious decision to not allow his power to overtake him.

Great read for teens. And a good one for teen guys too. Eventually,  I will read the next book. I am a little exhausted after reading all 558 pages of this one. It’s an intense read, and I need a bit of a break before moving on.

*news about gone*

The second book in the series is Hunger. The third book, Lies, comes out on May 4.

Follow Michael Grant on Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook!

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Read the book & want to talk about your favorite scenes? Add your comments on my Book Discussion page.

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About Karen Krueger

I write for teens when I'm not chasing after two cute kids. I love to sing and eat cereal (though not at the same time), and I most certainly am not a vampire because I'm addicted to sunshine.
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10 Responses to Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant

  1. Gaiaphage says:

    Great review, it definitely is a fun and entertaining read for adults and teens.

    Will you be reviewing Hunger also? It is different to Gone in the action and charecterisation.

    Hope you enjoy it also non the less!

    • Yes, I’m sure I will read it eventually. I have a few other books lined up for now, but I do want to read it. I’m interested to see the differences. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Nicki says:

    I read this recently but didn’t enjoy it enough to pick up the sequel. I’m holding out for Bitterblue (Kristen Cashore)!

  3. LCD says:

    Nice review. 🙂 Reading it, and the fact that one of my friends lent it to me, convinced me to read it sooner rather than later. It was awesome, I think my favorite characters are Little Pete and Computer Jack. I was wondering if you’ve read The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, that or Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke.

  4. Pingback: Gone | Chaos of LCD and Co.

  5. Ryan says:

    The oldest people are 15 like it says in the trailer not 14 so everyone over 15 disappears

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