I read a lot of books, but you knew that didn't you While I enjoy most of the books I read, few stand out to me as amazing or memorable (this is why I give out so few five star reviews).
Gone is simply the best YA book I have read since Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls, and stands right beside The Hunger Games and the Knife of Never Letting Go as some of the best dystopian sci-fi around...
In Perdido Beach, life is normal (mostly) until a sudden disruption results in the disappearance of every adult and child over fifteen. Left to fend for themselves without computers, cell phones, television, or rescue, the remaining children must band together to survive and solve the mystery of what happened to their parents and the rest of the town. Trapped inside a force field barrier that surrounds the town, there is little hope of rescue or escape.
Whatever caused the disruption has also caused strange mutations in animals-- coyotes talk, snakes fly, and cats teleport. These mutations affect some of the children, giving them supernatural powers and abilities. When tensions build among different factions in the town, the children must band together to survive or risk destruction themselves.
One of the reviews for Gone describes the book as Lord of the Flies written by Stephen King. I was reminded of King's classic, The Stand, the entire time I read Gone. The post-Apocalyptic premise, the battle between good and evil forces, and most of all, the compelling well-developed characters pulled me through this lengthy book. I could not put it down, devouring it in one rainy Saturday afternoon. Yes, there is a sequel, Hunger, but unlike many YA books these days, I felt that the major conflicts in this book were resolved before the end.
I can think of at least ten students in my class who would love this book. I cannot wait to put it in their hands!