Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates ARC review Eva Gray

Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates (#1)
Scholastic
May 1, 2011


A blogger had this book as part of one of their Mailbox posts and I thought it looked interesting and so when I saw an offer for the ARC I requested it on what was, quite honestly, a bit of a whim. I am so, so, so glad I did.

Not only does the first page introduce the characters in the parking garage of a mall I used to go to in elementary school (and I seem to have a soft spot for books with things happening in places I've been), but it starts off right in the thick of things.

In a future where people rarely travel anymore (a trip to the gas station to fill up your car for a trip around town is a luxury of the past) and with a decades long war being waged, Louisa is one of the lucky few getting out of the city. She and her best friend Maddie are on their way to Country Manor School.

No one knows where CMS is - not Louisa, not Maddie, not Louisa's parents or anyone else i the mall's parking garage that day. It's for their own protection.

A lot of things are 'for their own protection' in Louisa's world.

Including the survival skills CMS's classes teach the girls. It might be different from what a regular school would teach, but Louisa's enjoying the fresh air (something she had far too little of back home) and new things far too much to really question things.

But are the strange classes, taking away the girls phones, the lack of Internet, phones and all technology really all 'for their own safety'?

Or is something else at play?


This book gave me a lot more than I was expecting. It's a dystopian but it doesn't focus as much on the dystopian world as it does on the characters. Readers learn about the characters' world--and what's wrong with it--through little mentions via the characters and their experiences. Though given the ending (that leaves you just begging for the next installment), I think there might be more of the dystopian-ness in the next book.

The characters in this book were fabulous. The four girls that things focused on really built relationships and we got to know them as they got to know each other. They also stayed age appropriate. The were supposed to be 13 (The ARC copy of Behind the Gates I have says it's a MG book and I think that's probably more correct content wise than the YA it's being labeled as no [at least on internet sites].) and they acted that age.

The age of the characters was also a benefit. If they had been older, the being away from home might have been easier on them and their relationships would have been much different. I'm glad that they were the ages they were and that it actually affected the story.

Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates is definitely an introduction to the rest of the series, but it has its own plot and does't rely on the reader having other books in which to 'get' a story.

Can't wait for more of this series (this was May 1 and there'll be a book every two months--four in total).


9/10


ARC thanks to the publisher

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