Plot Summary: Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone. Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can’t get out. He won’t let them.
This has been on my TBR pile forever, mostly because I was waiting for it to arrive at my local library. When it did, I snatched it up. And then devoured it in a day. : ) It’s a fantastic, fast-paced, sitting on the edge of your seat kind of book that I highly recommend.
As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below.
Bodeen knows plot. Boy, does she know plot. She has laid out this story extremely well, planting clues that things are not well, and utilizing them such that I couldn’t put the book down.
For example, when Eli first mentions the Yellow Room, he does it in a natural way for him. He knows what’s in there and doesn’t like it, and since his story is for him, he doesn’t stop and explain it to us. This does two things. It shows us the kind of person Eli is – mostly concerned with himself – and it adds another level of suspense for us because we MUST know what’s behind that door. Very well done.
Bodeen does things like this with the plot throughout the story, which made it impossible to put it down and I ended up reading it in one sitting. And if I had to put it down to, I don’t know, go to the bathroom or eat or something, I was still thinking about the story and wanting to get back to it.
The characters were interesting, too. Even the dad. No one had been shunted into a category, even though the older sister tried doing just that to both herself and Eli. They were as complex as real people, and just infuriating at times. : ) The only thing about the characters that gave me pause was Eli seemed older than fifteen at times. Some of the things he understood, admitted to, and explained seemed well beyond his years. But there weren’t many, and it didn’t diminish the enjoyment of the novel.
Like LITTLE BROTHER, this is another great example of pacing. And it’s also an amazing example of a well thought out plot. Definitely get a copy and read it. You’ll be glad you did.