Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gone by Michael Grant

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 558
Star rating: 2/5
In the blink of an eye.
Everyone disappears.
Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.
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 and war is imminent.
The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, Gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way. [Description from Amazon.com]

My review:
“People who liked the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson will love the Gone series by Michael Grant!” This is what I heard before I read Gone. And of course, I was gullible enough to think that someone could match the genius and utter amazingness of the Max Ride books. I’m here to say: it’s not possible, peeps. But what am I doing talking about Max Ride? I needn’t go gushy about Max Ride till August, when Nevermore comes out. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to wait that long. *sob* *mutters* Enough, Shelby. Ok, where was I?
            Gone caught my attention. At first, that is. A book about the disappearance of all human being over the age of fifteen? The odd, mysterious appearance of a giant blue wall that stretches twenty miles across and surrounds a small town in California? Sounds like a book for me! These were my thoughts as I eagerly dug into Gone. But right from the start, the tone of the book felt odd. It felt…juvenile. Like, middle-school material type juvenile. I should have expected it- what with the vanishing of all those fifteen and up. But I was soon corrected on my stance that this book was too young for me.
            Let me digress a minute. I promise, it will be quick. *sincere nod* When I read The Hunger Games trilogy, I was taken aback by the violence. Suzanne Collins didn’t sugar-coat it for us. Well, neither did Mr. Grant. In fact, at parts, I felt the violence in Gone was overdone. I felt like Mr. Grant was trying too hard to give us a realistic picture of what life would look like if all the adults vanished into thin air. Yes, bullies would be bullies. Kids would pick on each other without fear of reproach, and even hurt each other. Maybe even kill each other, if it got bad. But I must say, I’ve never, ever, ever read a book that had as much violence in it that Gone had in it. It was graphic to the extreme. Yes, it was worse than The Hunger Games. It might not have been as bad if the kids had been older, but their ages didn’t fit with the amount of violent content the book contained. When I turned the last page, I wanted to shiver and be grossed out and scrub my eyes all at the same time. I know I have a tendency to exaggerate, but this is not one of those times. I’m to blame, though. I was warned beforehand that Gone was extremely, um, unpleasant at parts. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
            Some parts were gross, yes. Some parts I liked. Some parts were just plain weird, though. A green glow in a gold mine, talking coyotes, flying snakes. No other word describes it best: weird. Gone did kind of grow on me a little after the initial disinterest, but not enough to make me want to run out to the library and get the next six books in the series. The last page didn’t leave me salivating for more, so you can guess that *if* the next six books of the Gone series even make it onto my TBR list, they will definitely be at the very, very bottom.

Quick Content Review:
Language: Mild (2 b-words, 1 or 2 a-words, maybe a couple h-words.)
Violence: If you read the review, you have already gotten my gist. J
Sexual: Mild (Astrid and Sam have a little romance, which was actually one of my favorite aspects of Gone, to be honest. I believe there were one or two kisses, nothing extreme. Oh, and a guy makes a snide comment to Astrid about her tampon size.)

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