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Steal Tomorrow by Ann Pino


When her parents died in a global pandemic, seventeen-year-old Cassie Thompson thought her biggest problem was finding her next meal. But “Telo” is a virally-transmitted genetic disease that targets adults, and no one is immune. Surviving to adulthood isn’t looking very good as her city succumbs to food shortages, sanitation problems, and gang violence. When Cassie accepts an invitation to join a group of young people living in a luxury hotel, she thinks her most immediate troubles are over. Her new tribe appears committed to alliance-building, order, and civility. She soon finds, however, that her new friends have very dark secrets and the boy she is falling in love with might be the most dangerous of them all.

Note: Steal Tomorrow contains some harsh language.

A complete novel

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Listed: Aug 13, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

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A modernized Lord of the Flies.

By Donna Sirianni, editor

Sep 7, 2008: At least that’s what it kept reminding me of: kids without parents trying to survive on their own, managing "tribes" and themselves, trying to fight a feral instinct that is constantly creeping up and threatening their survival.

This is definitely a very interesting story. I would have liked to know more about this disease in the context of the story itself instead of it being alluded to but my understanding is it’s all in the extra material on the site. I like to read the story first to see if I would want to read anything extra. I definitely do. I actually had to keep myself from reading more than my usual five chapters (or in this case posted parts) so I could do the review.

The surroundings of this quasi-post-apocalyptic world are probably better portrayed than the characters we’re following. I get a great sense of disparity, urgency and fear cycling all around them. Even in the facade of the more brash gangs around them, there’s fear of whether even they’ll survive to see the next day. It also makes me realize that, really, only a certain age rage of children survived. Those too young would probably die of neglect, leaving tweens (maybe) and teens and young adults. It just adds to the bleakness of the world.

I would like to get deeper into the head of one of the characters, preferably Cassie. The story seems to be told from a more omniscient viewpoint than anything else which leaves room, and me yearning, for as much character growth as the world around them has shown.

The Excerpt from Cassie’s Journal I felt was a bit contrived, mainly because it stands alone. It seemed really out of place in terms of viewpoint and felt it wanted to get a bit more information across than what the story itself was giving. I think a more limited POV would solve that pretty simply. On top of that it was just a shallow excerpt, griping on looks and how one girl looks better than the other. It just seemed out of place for the context they were in. I understood the grasp for normalcy but it just didn’t sit right with me.

I also felt Cassie’s certified survivalist skills were a little too convenient and at the same time proving useless. Could have fooled me she could survive in the wilderness until she claimed to have that title. I would have liked to have seen more of these skills instead her seeming to be no more skillful than her friend.

Despite all that, though, this story had me wanting to read more; not just the chapters but all of the information that’s on the site. It had just enough insanity in this world to bait the reader into wanting to follow through with the story. It’s a tease and I wanted to keep reading to see if I’d get greater satisfaction from it or if it would continue to taunt me, mocking me that it knew more than I did and I would just have to dig to find it all. I also really liked the site itself. It’s simple yet gives a good vibe for the story. I’m definitely going to keep reading this one and I would recommend others start as well.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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Post-apocalyptic, but far from disastrous.

By Stormy, editor, author of Require: Cookie

Aug 21, 2008: (Review written after reading chapters 1-2.1)

At this stage, there isn’t much to judge on – the story really is just beginning – there’s obviously a huge backstory (some of which is explained in bonus material).

The style and voice are solid, and there are no pacing problems as yet – the author seems eager to get the plot going as quickly as possible.

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Not Really Mysterious

By Emma, author of Sin Eater

Aug 31, 2015: When I first went into Stealing Tomorrow, I expected to like it. I liked the idea of it. A teenage girl living in a world where adults die, leaving nothing but children behind. It was enough to intrigue me. Enough to get me to start reading it and to finish it. But I didn’t really like it.

The characters were the main problem. I didn’t like a majority of them, and the two that I did like, ended up dying. Though [more . . .]

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Murder, Mystery, First Love and the End of the World…

By Angie Q. Hart, member

Jul 30, 2010: From the moment that I started this online novel, I was captivated. Imagine a world where you never live to adulthood, where all societal bounderies have broken down and the rules are made as you go along. This is it, and much more.

The characters in this novel are well thought out and stay true to form with every page. They develop naturally through trial and error, by making mistakes, and calculating correctly. The protrayal of teens trying to "make it" [more . . .]

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Worth Following

By Sebs, member

Sep 20, 2008: Let me start by saying that I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction.

Unfortunately, so are a lot of other folks; the majority of post-ac fiction is pretty trashy, cliched by nature, and boring. Steal Tomorrow is a pleasant exception – mostly.

It’s definitely engaging, and avoids many of the pitfalls of post-ac web fiction. It’s not too prone to purple prose, and the (17 year old?) protagonist is not portrayed as much [more . . .]

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