Tomorrow Girls #1: Behind the Gates is the first book in a new dystopian suspense series written for the middle-grade set by Eva Gray.
Louisa is sick of dirty and crowded Chicago. Ever since the War, the disaster and destruction have taken more and more away from her. There is no longer anywhere unpolluted enough for her to swim, and she just feels suffocated by how many people surround her. But her parents, being doctors, still are able to provide for her better than many. And she does love them, and her best friend Maddie, very much. Yet the prospect of being able to go away to school can't help but excite her.
At thirteen, any child that has parents with money to pay for it can be sent to Country Manor School - an opportunity to get out of the filthy cities and learn survival skills, among regular classes, and get the chance to be out in the fresh air. Plus, the locations are super-secret in order to protect them from the Alliance, their enemies in the War.
Maddie's parents don't have the money to send her, so Louisa's parents pretend that Louisa and Maddie are twins so that they can go together. But once they arrive, though Louisa loves it, Maddie isn't quite sure. There is no Internet, TV, or contact with home. They are completely cut off for their own safety.
But what if it is not for their safety...?
Eva Gray throws you right into the story in an electric way, intriguing me instantly. This is a futuristic world where jeans cost more than $500, oil is practically a legend, paper and pen have been replaced completely with electronic devices, and you have ID bracelets from birth on that identify you when you enter buildings, etc. It's creepy and interesting - and extremely fast-paced.
Behind the Gates definitely kept my attention glued to the story. Despite the sense that the Tomorrow Girls series was written with a younger audience in mind, it is still highly entertaining as it twists and turns take you to conspiracy theories, isolation, paranoia, clues, and valid suspicions. It's too fun to ignore just because the characters are only thirteen!
When an overnight survival test out in the woods turns into much more, I became quite nervous for the characters. Behind the Gates is surprisingly suspenseful! And with its huge twist at the end, you definitely have a reason to read the next one! I'm happy to say that three more Tomorrow Girls books are already planned to come out this year - and I'm looking forward to see where Eva Gray will take us!
***BIBLIOPHILE ALERT! I have been reading like an even crazier book addict than usual this year, and apparently three reviews a week can't keep up pace with me! Because of this, for the entire month of July I will be having FIVE reviews a week! That's right! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! So, please remember to check back here more often during July - and come August I'm planning on returning to three reviews a week. Keep the schedule change in mind, and don't miss any reviews! :)