I'm a HUGE fan of dystopia-type books. I'll read just about any of them. 1984? Amazing. The Giver? Also very good. And don't even get me started on The Hunger Games. Because of that, my review might be a little biased. As another warning, it's very hard to discuss this book without some major spoilers, so PLEASE BE PREPARED.
Gone is a fast-paced account of Sam Temple. Imagine, being 14, sitting in your class in school, and all of a sudden, your teacher disappears. As if that wasn't strange enough, one of your fellow students has also vanished into thin air. Well, that's exactly what happens to Sam. After investigating a bit, he finds out that it wasn't just his teacher and classmate, but every single person in the town of Perdido Beach over the age of 15 has suddenly disappeared.
The novel continues with the story of the kids of Perdido Beach. How they managed, how they policed themselves, etc. Pieces of it reminded me of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, but with superhero powers. Of course, it has the obligatory "bad guy," Caine, who just happens to be Sam's twin that was given up for adoption. That story-line frustrated me a bit because of the cliche. One good twin, one bad twin, fighting each other. But the book also has some surprising twists (Little Pete inadvertently being the cause of all the adults 'blinking out'? Did not see that coming AT ALL!), which was a nice change from the overused twin issue.
I'd also like to bring up Quinn, Sam's friend and surfing 'brah'. I would have LOVED to see more of his character, and not just in an "appearance" sort of way. I'm talking about what was going on inside his head. He seemed like one of the most conflicted people in the whole story. Sam is clearly his best friend, but he doesn't want to be punished by Caine and his gang of thugs for taking Sam's side. He's jealous of Sam because Sam has power and Quinn has none. That alone has to be hard, feeling second class to someone who is your best friend, not that Sam intended it that way. He switches sides so many times in this story it was unbelievable, but for some reason, I couldn't help but sympathize with him.
Gone, at 558 pages, is by no means a light read. It had me wondering how our society would function in this type of predicament. It is, however, one of my favorite books. 5 out of 5 stars!
P.S. Can I just say I imagined Quinn looking like Sam from Glee? And Drake like Drake Bell? Weird.