Tomorrow, When the War Began has the same elements that many YA fiction have: a group of teenagers fighting for survival, young love, a tragedy, and a nice ending.
Here’s what it doesn’t have: superheroes.
This book is about seven teenagers who don’t have superpowers, special DNA, or genius brains to separate them from normal people – from us. They’re not even top of their classes or members of the student body. But some of them were raised in the outback, most of them adapt well in stressful situations, and all of them have common sense. And those three make realistic characters who are easy to root for.
The strong clear voice behind the first-person narration of Ellie also made it seem like whatever they did, whatever they experienced really did happen. The story seemed plausible despite how different it is from the world we know.
There’s no dying for belief or saving the world, and the book isn’t as action-packed or fast-paced as other YA novels. Instead, you get a slow-winding road that doesn’t go to a predictable ending. It sometimes goes off track and yet it leads you to a place that makes sense and feels authentic.