Friday, August 13, 2010


Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

For Eli, not amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place. with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.

As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary - and their sanity - Eli can't help but wonder if he's rather take his chances outside.

Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe - or sorry?


I've found that Goodreads has great summaries for books so I'll continue to use those rather than waste time and space here prattling about the summary unless the one at Goodreads is bad.

Upon starting The Compound, I found myself instantly drawn in because the story started with a strong prologue. I've found that with many YA novels, prologues have become necessary, and with this book, perfect to catch the reader's attention. Instantly, questions arise in your mind as you begin to read about what is going on.

S.A. Bodeen wastes no time with busy explanation and boring backstory. She jumps headfirst in to the novel with a thrilling beginning that is sure to leave readers wanting more. As the story begins to unfold, the action takes a back burner as emotions slowly start to worm their way in to the novel. Easily enough, emotions soon mix together with action and novel rockets off again, shooting through plot seamlessly.

The planning that must have taken Bodeen a while because everything that happens in The Compound ultimately has meaning as the novel approaching its shocking climax. Tiny details pushed to the back of reader's minds resurface with a brand new strength. I love reading novels that make you think, and this was one of them.

I mentioned earlier that emotions play a strong role in the novel, but ethics do as well. As Eli and his family live in the Compound, they realize that their food supply may run out before the door opens and it's safe to head back in to the world to begin again. Eli's father makes drastic plans involving an alternative food source that strikes the hearts of readers and forces them to think of what they would do if such a thing happened to them.

The characters in Bodeen's novel come through shockingly well. Each member of the family has something to relate to in their character which makes reading easy, and liking them easier. Even the characters who come off as the bad people have something in them that makes the reader think a little harder before putting them in to one class or the other.

Thankfully, the novel comes to a clean ending, but the final pages leave something for the reader to wonder about long after the book is closed. The Compound will keep you thinking after it's been finished and it's thought-provoking ideas will keep you wondering as you watch the news and wonder about that single question. Safe or sorry?

Rating: A+

You can view the book trailer for The Compound below.

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