Monday, February 28, 2011

Gone by Michael Grant


Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: HarperTeen

4 out of 5 stars

Huh? Wasn’t Mom standing right in front of me a second ago? She probably just walked into another aisle for a moment that’s all. Here, let me check. Um… she doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the store. Where is she? I mean, where could she go in a supermarket? How come there aren’t any other adults around? Wait, what’s going on? Is this a dream? Is this some kind of joke? No, it’s real. Well then, what’s the explanation? How is it even possible to just vanish in thin air like that? No, no, no, no, no… this can’t be happening. Who’s going to take care of me now? I’m just a kid. This is so unfair! How could they all just leave us like this? Will that little kid over there stop crying! What am I going to do? Oh my god, what about Dad? This can’t be happening, they’re all just… gone.

Thoughts are swirling through kids’ heads throughout town as they try to comprehend what just happened. One second their parents, teachers, police officers, you name it, were there, and the next they were gone. No fathomable explanation for it, except that they are all gone. But not only adults disappeared, anyone fifteen or older did too. Now the only humans left are infants, kids, pre-teens, and teens. That’s it. But are kids really capable of taking on the responsibilities of adults?

The kids take up the name FAYZ, or Fallout Alley Youth Zone to call their little town of Perdido Beach. Ever since the FAYZ, not only have those over fifteen years old left without a trace, but other things have been happening too. Animals have been mutating at alarming rates, such as snakes with wings, coyotes that can talk, and seagulls with deadly talons. The kids in the FAYZ have also realized that they are trapped. There is a dome, wall, sphere, you may call it what you like, surrounding the small town of Perdido Beach. They have tried everything possible but they don’t know how to get past it, and anything that was in its way when the barrier formed was simply cut in half.

It becomes clear that the kids have to get organized quickly or things are going to run out and fast. Fourteen-year-old Sam Temple realizes this too, and after trying to save a girl from a burning building, the rest of the bewildered, clueless kids are looking to him for reassurance. But what can Sam do? For him, this is all too much. Even though this is too much for Sam, Caine Soren steps up to the plate. Caine is also fourteen years old, and is from nearby Coates Academy for “troubled” kids. However Caine has other ideas than just organizing and repairing the damage. He wants to take over, and no one is going to stand in his way. The thing is, no one dares to try and stop Caine, especially not with his powers.

Oh, did I forget to mention that kids are developing powers? Super-human powers that make them capable of things only seen in comics. Not all of them have these superhuman abilities, but enough do. Caine is one of them.

So with all that is going on, how is Sam supposed to do anything? So many people look up to him after his heroic actions, but Sam doesn’t feel like a leader. Will Sam be able to take charge in time, and if he doesn’t, who will? Can anyone uncover the truth to the strange and abnormal events happening? All is revealed in Michael Grant’s thrilling adventure of survival and the extent of a kid’s capability in, Gone!

Gone is an intense read full of decisions that could mean life or death. Survival is the ultimate goal in the FAYZ, and that is clearly expressed throughout the book. Gone is a look at what life could be like, and the scary reality of the possible. I felt that this book was a great mix of mystery, adventure, and action. This is an action-packed read for pre-teens and teens alike. If you liked The Enemy, by Charlie Higson, then you might want to give this one a try.

I enjoyed how even though the parents had all vanished without a trace, that wasn’t the only thing going on. Animals were mutating, and teens were developing superhero-like powers. Not only that, but the kids of Perdido Beach were trapped and had no idea what was going on outside of their little town. I felt that all of these aspects tied together very well, and helped set the scene that there was something much bigger at work here. This was all happening for a reason and it’s up to the kids left to figure it out, or die trying.

In Gone, Michael Grant showed us what could really happen if kids were left to fend for themselves. For example, when the first teen died, this took a huge toll on many of the kids. Some felt guilty, and others couldn’t believe that a death had already occurred. Also, many of the teens had to take responsibility and act like adults or perish. They needed someone to act as a doctor, a leader, a chef, a law-enforcer, and so much more. Even the imminent fact that necessities would soon run out was realistic and intense. I hope to see more of this in the sequel to Gone, Hunger!

At times, I felt that big news was revealed in an off-hand manner. I felt like some big revelations were exposed in a way that made it seem as if it was no big deal. There had been so much suspense built up, and I was holding my breath, but when my sneaking suspicions were finally confirmed I felt that I was let down. It was almost as if all of my excitement had been for nothing.

Overall, Gone is an introspective tale that reveals the harsh truth of what disasters could occur if kids were left on their own. Join Sam and his friends, as they struggle to survive in this new and dangerous world that they once called home in, Gone!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Gone website at
Gone is available from Amazon here.


  1. Great review! This was definitely an action packed book with all the powers and fights breaking out, but it was also sort of scary imagining the fear of suddenly finding out your parents have disappeared. For people so young they seemed to handle themselves surprisingly well. See what happens in Hunger :]

  2. Thanks! I agree, the teens in Gone handle themselves in a very mature manner and get organized early on in the story. I can't wait to read Hunger!

  3. Love the concept of this one! This sounds like my kind of read! I'm surprised I haven't really heard all that much about it before. I could really use an action packed read right now...

  4. If action-packed is what you are looking for, then I definitely suggest Gone. Before I read Gone, I kept seeing its sequel Hunger everywhere. Finally I was able to read Gone, and I'm glad I did. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Great review! I'm really looking forward to starting this series, bu I want to wait until after all the books are published. I like that you mention how fast-paced and action-packed the book is. That's just what I want to hear :)

  6. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, and I can't wait to hear what you think of it! Another book that you might want to try that is similar to Gone is The Enemy by Charlie Higson. It has a similar concept, but I must admit that it is quite gory at times.

  7. Thanks for the very thoughtful review. Much appreciated.

    -- Michael Grant

  8. Wow, thank you so much for reading my review and stopping by! That means a lot to me.

    Thanks again!

  9. Ahh! I haven't heard much about this novel, so I'm glad I read your review. It sounds like something I would really enjoy. It reminds me of The Hunger Games, sort of, and that thought just makes me excited! Thanks for your review!

  10. Thanks! I get what you mean about The Hunger Games, it does in a way. I hope you enjoy it, as it really is fast-paced and has a ton of action! I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

  11. I really enjoyed this one. The sequel was pretty decent too. I haven't read the third one yet though!

  12. I can't wait to read the sequel Hunger, and I wonder what direction the story will go. I guess I'll have to read it to find out!


Hi, and welcome to From The Bookshelf of T.B.!

I can't wait to hear what you have to say! I do my best to try and respond to your comments, so check back often. Comment away!