Thursday, 23 May 2013

Review: After Tomorrow - Gillian Cross

Title: After Tomorrow
Author: Gillian Cross
Format: Uncorrected proof
Pages: 304
Genre: YA
Published (UK): 4th April 2013 (Oxford)

What if you woke up tomorrow and everything had changed? Money is worthless. Your friends are gone. Armed robbers roam the streets. No one is safe. For Matt and his little brother, Taco, that nightmare is a reality. Their only hope of survival is to escape through the Channel Tunnel. But danger waits on the other side...Stay or go. What would you do?

After Tomorrow is set in the UK in the near future. The banks have collapsed and there is a massive shortage of food. Matt's family supplement their food supplies by growing their own produce. While this keeps them from being hungry, it puts them at risk from Raiders - who attack the homes of those who store food.

When things turn from bad to worse, the family plan to escape to France but when Gran has a last minute accident Matt's mum insists that Matt, his younger brother, Taco, and step-father, Justin go ahead without them.

I really enjoyed this book as it takes an very realistic situation and puts an unusual spin on it. We've all seen images of refugees on the news but usually they are from third world or war torn countries. It was interesting to see how British kids might react to such a situation.

The characters were very likeable with Matt and Taco particularly making you care what happens to them. They all have different ways of coping with their new lives and some find it harder than others to adjust. Matt has to take on a lot of responsibility and his relationship with his step-dad changes throughout the story.

The only slight down point I had about the book was that there wasn't a whole lot of explanation about how the crisis in the UK occurs.This is mostly me just being curious though as it doesn't really take anything from the book. In a way it makes sense that it's not fully explained as the story is from Matt's point of view and he probably doesn't understand it all either.

All in all, After Tomorrow is an interesting and thought provoking read with plenty of adventure to keep the pages turning.

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