Tomorrow When the War Began, by John Marsden
How the world ends: I’m not really sure the world does end, actually. An invading army occupies our protagonist’s Australian town while she’s off in the backcountry camping trip, and she and her friends return to find their families gone and the home they’ve known all their lives unfamiliar and suddenly dangerous.
Maybe it’s that sense of the world changing without warning that makes this feel like a post-apocalyptic book, even though it technically isn’t?
I first read this soon after it came out, and found the book intriguing but a little unsatisfying without being sure why. Now I know it’s because this is the first book in a fairly long series, and not meant to come to any real conclusion. I do think the book is a bit heavy on the telling instead of showing, which can make it slow going at times, but even so, it’s an interesting setting with room for all sorts of interesting conflict. Now that the rest of the series is out, I’ll be curious what I think once I finish reading the other books.