This story is about a group of teenagers who are battle hardened by an invasion war against Australia and are continuing to face an unnamed enemy in the hopes that they may soon be reunited with their families back in New Zealand. Ellie and her team of ragtag guerrilla teenagers are hiding out in their hometown of Wirrawee trying to get an advantage over the enemy which is a step in the direction of getting to see their families again. One of them Lee decides, after a week that he cannot sit on his hands anymore and decides to get back to the battle and kill as many soldiers as possible even if it means his own death. The group is not completely cohesive as Kevin refuses to go along with this but then again, he is suffering a mental breakdown and the rest of the group have been carrying him along. On the way to the Wirrawee city dump, they are intercepted by the enemy and brought back to the army base in the back of the trucks unknown to the troops. They try to keep quiet but Ellie is forced to kill two soldiers and they are forced to shoot their way off the base.
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They manage to fight their way of destroying nine airplanes and 3 jeeps on the way and sneak into a river to get away from soldiers in hot pursuit. They escape to a city known as Stratton and they have information that one of the teens parents are living in hiding. They are shocked when they arrive at the state of the city which seems to be completely neglected after the aerial bombings. Similarly, the soldiers have taken residence in the wealthy quarter. They go to Elli's grandmothers house to find food and shelter and find it empty. They also realize the existence of a street gang running city made up mostly of kids. In the next days things calm down as they start to fish for trout and even Kevin finds something to do tending the garden. However, Lee starts night excursions which leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Ellie follows him one time and sees him meeting a woman. She is heart broken but soon discovers the woman intends to lead the enemy to them. she embarks to save his life by setting the barn on fire when the enemy have prepared an ambush and the two escape, however, their relationship is never the same afterwards.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked the story because it showed that competence even in times of intense pressure does not depend on age. Teenagers were able to hold their own against a formidable enemy with no casualties on their end.
Best scene in story:
my favorite part is a scene in chapter 19 where the group was in Ellie's grandmother's house and the enemy soldiers blazed into the city for a supply run. the teenagers were so careful about their concealment that they roughed up the garden to show that no one had been around for some time. it was a show of realistic competence for such teenagers in a time of war.
Opinion about the main character:
I like that Ellie was able to put her personal feelings aside and run the team and even rescue her friend who had betrayed her.