Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Tomorrow Girls

Today’s Pick: Behind the Gates (Tomorrow Girls Book #1) by Eva Gray

Published by Scholastic, 2011

It’s sometime in the future and the United States is at war with the Alliance. Louisa and her best friend Maddie (posing as Louisa’s twin sister) are lucky to have a place at an elite boarding school that will keep them safe. The school isn’t perfect. They have to surrender all electronic devices, jewelry, and their personal identification bracelets. They have strictly regimented chores and they’re not allowed to talk to the boys at the school across the lake. But Louisa enjoys the canoeing, archery, and other survival skills they are learning, especially when she discovers she’s a crack shot. Too bad her roommate Evelyn is so suspicious about the school’s true purpose. Then Maddie starts to get suspicious too. After Maddie gets in trouble, Louisa finds some hints about what is really going on. The four roommates will need to depend on each other if they’re going to survive.

My Take:
This is the first book in a four-book adventure, and a good introduction to the series problem and characters. I enjoyed the fast pace of the novel, the dystopian elements and the interactions between the four girl characters. A strength of this novel is the clean, spare writing – a good model for how to write MG without a lot of description cluttering the story. This novel has been described as like The Hunger Games but lighter. Like The Hunger Games, this novel is written from a first person POV, in present tense. If I were planning to write using this style for MG, I’d definitely study this novel. I like the way the main character’s thoughts and feelings are integral to the entire story. The ending of this book leaves you hanging though and you need to read the other books to get the complete story.

Other Books by This Author:
Run for Cover (Tomorrow Girls Book #2)
With the Enemy (Tomorrow Girls Book #3)
Set Me Free (Tomorrow Girls Book #4)

Other Info:

I couldn’t find an author website or blog, other than a basic list of the books at Scholastic’s site.

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  1. Intriguing. I like how you describe 'spare writing.' As writers, we seem to embellish everything, forgetting that simple sometimes says it best.

  2. Great writing tip about studying this book if you want to write in first person present tense.

    I haven't read these, but I've shelved them at the bookstore, and I always wondered about the author because Scholastic does do a lot of book packaging and Eva Gray is churning these out pretty quickly (#1 pubbed in May 2011, #2 in July 2011 and #3 in Sept 2011). Is Eva Gray a real person or a group of people like Erin Hunter of WARRIORS? Hmm...

  3. Interesting, Joanne. I wonder if that's what it is, because most authors do have some kind of web presence now.

    Barbara, actually, I have the opposite problem and usually need to embellish!

  4. I haven't heard about thsi book but I will have to pick it up. It sounds like a fun read.

  5. Sounds like an interesting series. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I will be sure to watch for this series! Thanks for highlighting it.


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