Gone by Michael Grant
Publication Date: July 2008 (hardcover), May 2009 (paperback)
I know one thing for sure: I would not want to live in the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone). Michael Grant does a great job of showing what could happen when all the adults vanish, everyone over the age of fifteen, and the kids have to fend for themselves. Power struggles, mutations (both animal and human), and survival all increase the tension as the book goes on. It's more than just good versus bad in the FAYZ, it's also the powerful vs. the powerless and the threat of turning 15, because that's when you "poof.". If you had Power, how would you use it?
I can understand why this series is so popular. Grant gives the reader a very likable hero in Sam, very unlikable adversaries in Caine and Drake, and a cast of characters that are fleshed out. There was plenty of action to sustain my interest, despite the long length. My only grumble is the ending, I would have like a little more resolution, but with 5 more books in the series, it's easy to see why this book ended the way it did. I feel comfortable recommending Gone to readers who are looking for a dystopian/science fiction books