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The Compound

The Compound

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The Compound

4/5 (62 évaluations)
259 pages
3 heures
Apr 29, 2008


S.A. Bodeen's The Compound is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years.

The world they knew is gone.

Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can't get out.

He won't let them.

Apr 29, 2008

À propos de l'auteur

S. A. Bodeen is the author of The Garden and The Compound, which earned her an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly "Flying Start." She is also the author of several picture books, including Elizabeti's Doll, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her first friends were cows, which she named after characters in books. From there she went on to be a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, and has lived in seven states, as well as a remote Pacific island. She adores books and is a big fan of cheese. She lives in Oregon.

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The Compound - S. A. Bodeen



T. S. ELIOT WAS WRONG. MY WORLD ENDED WITH A BANG the minute we entered the Compound and that silver door closed behind us.

The sound was brutal.


An echoing, resounding boom that slashed my nine-year-old heart in two. My fists beat on the door. I bawled. The screaming left me hoarse and my feet hurt.

Through my tears, the bear and elk on my father’s shirt swam together. Beneath the chamois, Dad’s chest heaved. The previous forty minutes had left us out of breath. Finally my gaze focused and went beyond him, searching. I gulped down a painful sob.

Had everyone made it?

Farther down the corridor I saw my weeping mother, dressed in a burgundy robe, dark tendrils dangling from her once-careful braid. Mom clutched my six-year-old sister, Terese, a sobbing pigtailed lump in pink flowered flannel. From one small hand dangled her beloved Winnie the Pooh.

Behind them stomped my eleven-year-old sister, Lexie, dark hair mussed, arms crossed over the front of her blue silk pajamas. Not being brother-of-the-year material, I almost didn’t care if she made it or not.

But my grandmother wasn’t in sight.

Where’s Gram? I shouted.

Dad patted my head, hard and steady, like I was a dog. He spoke slowly, in the same tone he used to explain to the household help the exact amount of starch he required in his shirts. Eli, listen to me. There wasn’t enough time. I waited as long as I could. It was imperative I get the rest of you to safety. We had to shut the door before it was too late.

The door. Always, the door.

Another look. No sign of my twin brother. He was the person I needed the most. Where was he?

My pounding heart suggested I already knew the answer. Eddy? His name caught in my throat, stuck tight by the panic rising up from my belly.

Dad whirled around, his tone accusing. I thought Eddy was with you.

My head swung from side to side. Between sobs, the words barely eked out. He went with Gram.

Dad’s face clouded with indecision. Just for a moment. Had that moment lasted, it might have changed all of our futures. But Dad snapped back into control. I still have one of you. With just six words, my childhood ended.

As did the rest of the world.

I knew what happened that night. We had been prepared. Other kids got bedtime stories about fairies and dogs. We fell asleep with visions of weapons of mass destruction dancing in our heads. Every evening, dinner included updates Dad downloaded from the Internet, updates on the U.S. involvement in the Middle East, the status of nuclear weapons programs in places like Iran and North Korea, names of countries that had been added to the list of those with WMDs.

Dad gripped my shoulders and pulled me away from the silver door, twisting me around to follow the rest of my family. What was left of it. I clung to my father’s hand. He rushed ahead of me, his hand dropping mine.

I lifted my hand to my face and it reeked of fuel.

The corridor ended. We paraded through an archway strung with twinkling white lights, then entered an enormous circular room. The place reminded me of a yurt we’d built in school, only about eighty times bigger. The curved walls were made of log beams; the same type that crisscrossed over our heads in an intricate pattern. The roundness of the room was odd yet comforting.

Unlit logs sat in an elaborate stone fireplace, around which luxurious, overstuffed couches, love seats, and armchairs formed an audience. For a few seconds, despite the situation, my nine-year-old mind pondered what wonderful forts could be made with all those cushions.

Mom sat on a green couch and cradled Terese, while Lexie stood beside them, glowering. Dad lit kindling between the logs in the fireplace. The familiar smell of wood smoke wafted toward us, seeming out of place in a setting so distinctly unfamiliar. My father put his hand on my mother’s shoulder. His knuckles were white. He chose that moment to tell my mother and sisters that Gram and Eddy hadn’t made it.

The announcement made it real. Made it final. A verbal execution.

Wails erupted from inside me. Mom and Lexie cried, too.

I ran to my mother. She held me along with Terese. Lexie leaned against Dad, and his arms encircled her.

We stayed that way for a long time, my face crushed to Mom’s bosom. She smelled of lilacs. As I sobbed, she stroked my hair. Like always, Mom’s touch was comforting and warm. Even that night, that heinous night, her touch helped. Our cries sounded over the crackling of the logs. After a long while, sobs faded to sniffs and shudders, waning from fresh grief into leftovers.

Feeling the need to move, I stood up. I wiped my nose with my sleeve, and climbed onto a stool by a large bar with a stainless steel refrigerator behind it.

Dad flicked a switch.

A plasma television dropped down from the ceiling, blank monitor glowing. I figured we’d be in here a lot. The blue from the television tinted Dad’s face and blond hair in a garish way. He startled me when he threw his arms out to the side. Cozy, yes? What do you think?

It’s not what I expected. Mom’s voice was shaky.

Dad rubbed his jaw. What did you expect?

I had a pretty good idea what Mom was thinking. In third grade, I gave an oral report on nuclear war. If you lived in a target area like we did, you had approximately forty minutes after nuclear weapons were launched. Forty minutes to do what? Say good-bye to loved ones, stuff yourself with doughnuts, take a hundred-mile-an-hour joy ride: whatever one did with only forty minutes left to live.

If you were me, the son of Rex Yanakakis, billionaire? Those forty minutes were spent escaping to an underground shelter, built specifically for the Yanakakis family. Here, I would live out the next fifteen years in luxurious comfort while nearly everyone else perished. We hadn’t seen the shelter, only heard Dad talk about it. So I think Mom felt like I did, a little surprised the place actually existed.

I don’t know. Mom’s head swayed slightly. The movement caused a tear to drip off the slope of her nose. At least it’s quiet down here.

Dad observed her for a moment. Then he switched off the television. Eli? Lexie? Want to see your rooms?

Our grave circumstances had not yet sunk in. I was a robot, dazed, simply sliding off the stool to follow my father and my older sister. It felt like a dream. Through a doorway on the opposite side of the room from where we’d entered, we proceeded down a long carpeted hallway similar to the ones in our house in Seattle. Only difference was this one smelled of vanilla and had the constant hum of a generator.

Dad narrated as we walked. All the walls are reinforced, as we discussed, to keep out radiation. But the concrete is not pleasant to look at, so all the rooms are finished in wallboard or wood. I didn’t want you to feel surrounded by concrete and steel.

Dad stopped in front of a purple door. Lexie pushed it open and squealed. Leave it to her to cheer up over material possessions. Like something out of an Arabian Nights book, silk tapestries and curtains of bright colors were draped everywhere. A monstrous canopy bed ran the length of one whole wall. There was an exotic, cloying aroma. Incense maybe?

Lexie disappeared into the closet. When Dad talked about the Compound, he told us we’d have duplicates of everything we treasured. What an idiot I had been, to believe everything I cherished could be reproduced.

We left Lexie to explore and continued down the corridor. Dad indicated my room on the right. I pushed open the red door. Fresh-smelling meadowy air blew softly into my face. A bed took up the entire near wall, but there was no canopy like Lexie’s. Instead, I looked up at the night sky.

Dad’s hand squeezed my shoulder. The constellations rotate. It’s timed to be accurate from sundown to sunup, and will alter with the seasons. You can even choose the southern hemisphere if you like. During the day the bulbs mimic the actual progression of the sun. Of course, you have artificial light available at any time, but I thought you might miss your sunsets.

My sunsets? Not just mine. I wanted to shout at him. They were Eddy’s sunsets, too.

Every day since we were seven, Eddy and I sat on the front lawn of our estate and watched the sun set over Puget Sound. The evening ritual began with Els, an old lady from Belgium, who was one of our family’s cooks. Hardly taller than Eddy and me, she wore her silver hair in a bun and squeaked around in white orthopedic shoes. As a rule, she never smiled.

One evening after dinner, she set out ice cream and bowls for sundaes, then left us to make our own. Sometimes we’d make a little mess, usually just drippings on the counter, smears of chocolate sauce. But that day I dropped a scoop of ice cream on the red-tiled counter. Instead of just picking it up, I poured fudge sauce over it. Eddy giggled and squirted whipped cream on top. I added a few cherries. We laughed. Then we filled our dishes.

Before we were done, Els returned. She saw the chaos and must have known I had caused it. She shook her finger in my face, speaking in her strong accent: Brat, you are always a brat. She grabbed me by one ear. Her pinching grip was extra firm. From decades of kneading, I imagined. She had no trouble dragging me out the door.

I fell to my knees on the soft lawn. My ear hurt and I rubbed it while scowling up at her. I’m telling my dad!

Els raised her hands. What will he say? He tells you always, ‘Go out, get fresh air.’ I give you fresh air. She slammed the door.

Eddy had followed us outside with an ice cream sundae in each hand, splotches of whipped cream adorning his face. He sat down next to me and handed me a bowl. Banished to the lawn, we ate our ice cream and perceived the sunset as an actual event for the first time ever. The next day, we found ourselves waiting for it to happen again.

Sunsets, imitation or not, would no longer be the same.

Still, knowing my dad expected it of me, I lamely thanked him for the extravagant special effects. The room was done in the primary colors that appeal to boys of nine. One wall held shelves that stretched into the stars, and a speedy scan revealed my favorite books and other possessions. Copies, of course.

Dad asked me if I wanted to see more of the Compound.

I didn’t. We would have to wait fifteen years, fifteen years before it would be safe to go outside. Which left more than enough time to see the rest of the Compound. Our new world. A new world I would soon hate.

Dad rubbed my shoulder. Suddenly his touch suffocated me. My stomach lurched, and I thought I might be sick. I wriggled down, away from his grip.

We went back to the family room. Terese slept on the couch. When Mom saw us, she shifted Terese off her lap and stood. Her eyes were vacant as she went behind the bar and made instant hot chocolate with marshmallows in the microwave.

I don’t recall finishing my drink. I just remember feeling the emptiness in my gut. And the guilt. Nothing would ever be the same without Eddy, but I had to live with that. Why? Because it was my fault he wasn’t there. My fault Eddy was dead. That night, I blamed myself.

Almost six years later, the feeling was just as strong. As was the feeling that all was not right in our new world.

TERESE DRIBBLED PAST ME, SWITCHING HANDS AS I’D TAUGHT her. A few months shy of twelve, she’d gotten taller in the last year, but still came only halfway up my chest. With her dark hair in the same braids she always had, the shrimp looked closer to ten.

Mom, Lexie, and Terese had white T-shirts and velour jogging suits in every color that particular clothing company produced. Even though Terese had plenty to choose from, she always wore purple.

Little Miss Perfect annoyed me, the way she always seemed so hell-bent on doing the right thing. Fluent in French, she also played the oboe. Hers was custom-made of the best grenadilla, African black wood. Dad brought it home from Paris when Terese was five. What other kid that age had a $10,000 oboe? I suppose I couldn’t talk. Dad bought my $4,000 Getzen trumpet when I was six.

But down here my choices of people to hang out with were limited. Time wasn’t.

Almost six years in the Compound. Six years.

Well over two thousand days, most of them pretty much the same. But routine tends to equal comfort, which does provide some semblance of security. My alarm went off at seven. I rose to do tai chi for a half hour. Gram had taught Eddy and me the summers we stayed with her in Hawaii. The exercise ritual made me feel closer to both of them.

Then I showered. The bathroom was dark blue marble, with a huge whirlpool tub as well as a step-in shower that could hold an entire football team. A mirror ran the length of the room and I had two sinks all to myself. I switched every other day, with no particular reason why. Guess I relished having an option. Not a lot of those underground.

Most days, I weighed myself and checked out my body in the mirror. I was six feet and still growing, one hundred eighty pounds, and my muscles were well defined. Was I vain? I don’t think so. I worked hard at getting my physique to that level. The outside was a lot easier to perfect than the inside.

For obvious reasons, thoughts of Eddy invaded me most when I looked in the mirror. If he were alive, I wondered, would he have had the same build? Same hair? Looking to control some aspect of my life, I’d refused to cut my hair after I turned twelve. It fell past my shoulders. Sometimes I left it down, so I had to peer out from behind a curtain. I couldn’t see anyone. Made me believe they couldn’t see me either.

I pulled my hair back into a ponytail secured with bands I’d taken from Lexie. It was nice, having the same face as Eddy. I never had to struggle to picture him; I simply looked in the mirror. Some days that face was a comfort. But other days, I couldn’t bear to see his face—or mine.

Every day, I dressed in jeans and a T-shirt emblazoned with Dad’s company’s logo, YK, the biggest computer manufacturer and software developer in the world. Early on in the Compound, Dad explained there was clothing in every size we might possibly need.

He just neglected to mention that while sizes were limitless, style selection was not. In addition to jeans and YK T-shirts, my wardrobe consisted of gray sweatpants. Certainly didn’t take me long to pick something out in the morning.

In our old world, my favorite shirt was an orange-and-white-striped rugby. Eddy had one, too, but he never wore his. I loved orange so much that I practically wore out that shirt. When we arrived down here, there was one in my closet, but I outgrew it. After I told Mom it was too small, it just didn’t come back from the laundry. I missed the color. If I could have had one new thing to wear, it would’ve been a big orange hooded sweatshirt.

My routine also included running six miles on the treadmill in the gym each afternoon. The gym was big, the type you’d see in a school or YMCA, with an extra fifty feet or so at the end for fitness machines. A rower, an elliptical machine, a treadmill, and a recumbent bike made up the cardio part, with a boatload of free weights for the strength portion. No one lifted weights except me anymore.

In the old world, and for a time in the new, Dad was obsessive about exercise. He was obsessive about a lot of things, but exercise was near the top. He told me that a powerful man should have a powerful body as well. He’s the one who got me into lifting and running every day. So I was surprised when he just stopped. It wasn’t a gradual thing, where he’d just skip a day and then start up again. One day he just stopped and I never saw him set foot in the gym again. I didn’t ask why. I never asked why. We weren’t allowed to question our father in the old world, and the same rule applied in the Compound. Anyway, nothing he could say would change our reality.

Besides, I liked having the place to myself. Most of the time. Mom used the cardio equipment when she felt up to it. And once in a while I’d break routine and shoot baskets with Terese.

I lunged, stealing the ball from her a bit too rough. I was careful not to let my hands touch her. Since that first night in the Compound I didn’t ever touch anyone with my bare hands. "You have to protect it,

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62 évaluations / 47 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    Eli has been locked with most of his family in the compound, an underground luxury bunker built by his father, for 9 years since a nuclear explosion. Eli grows increasingly suspicious of his controlling, overbearing father as things stop adding up and his father's behavior becomes more and more erratic. A page-turner.
  • (4/5)
    This is a great read, and was centered around a very interesting theme. The desperation and selfishness of human beings. I agree with most of the reviews here. There were gaps in the story that left unanswered questions. The first half really grabbed my attention, but the last half was boring. It stopped with the suspenseful changes in pace. The ending was a little iffy, and I think S.A. Bodeen could have done a better job, as I have read her other books. They are all very well written.
  • (5/5)
    This is from the point of view of a boy who has been led to believe that there was a nuclear attack and his billionaire father had them evacuated to "The Compound" a three story underground facility that has everything they will need for the next 15 years. Although, he soon finds out things are not as simple as they seem. I found the book interesting because I just read a book about the Manhattan project and there was a lot of reference to the Gadget made.
  • (4/5)
    In this young adult novel, by S.A. Bodeen, we find Eli, a twin without his other half, stuck in an underground compound with the rest of his family after a nuclear attack. They have been living in this luxurious shelter for six years and the plan is stay in for another eight years. It is only when food supplies begin to dwindle and unspeakable alternative options are presented, that Eli begins to question his situation.
  • (4/5)
    Eddy and Eli are twins. The night before their ninth birthday, Eli tricks Eddy into hiding in his grandma's truck when she goes back to the house. He does that so Eddy won't be there the next day when they get to ride in their multi millionaire dad's new plane. Eddy crawls into his grandma's car that night, but later that night their dad takes off in the RV. The country is under a nuclear attack, but he has made provisions for their safety. He shoves everyone into a hole in the ground which leads to a secret compound he has constructed. It is then that the father discovers that the grandmother and Eddy didn't make it. The family is sealed into the compound for 15 years, which is the length of time it will take for the nuclear fallout to dissipate. However, when Eli is fifteen, after they've been in the compound for six years, he starts to dlscover things that don't seem quite right. When he finally works up the courage to go into Eddy's unused room, he finds a computer that the two of them got when they were nine. He accidentally connects to the Internet; which shouldn't exist, and within minutes he's talking to Eddy. Eli finds out that there really wasn't a nuclear attack, his grandma, dog and brother are not dead, and that their father appears to have lost his mind. The book is a fast read, although some aspects are a little creepy such as the father's plan to use his extra children, who he calls supplements, like livestock if they are facing starvation.
  • (4/5)
    Imagine this: your dad is a Bill-Gates kind of billionaire, and he has decided to build an underground fortress to protect your family in case of nuclear attack. It's got everything you can possibly ever want, and is a self-sufficient place made to last 15 years -- including a time-release lock on the main exit hatch that won't open for 15 years once locked. Eli's father is just such a man, and Eli has been locked in the Compound for 6 years with his parents, sisters, and new siblings born after the family was locked underground. Eli's twin brother and grandmother were tragically left outside and locked out, and Eli believes that they are both dead. Problems are growing steadily worse in the Compound, as the food supply isn't lasting as long as his father had predicted, and Eli realizes his father may not be sane any more. His father has been lying about many things, and Eli starts to question everything, which is a dangerous thing when you are dealing with someone who may well be psychotic. Where does the truth lie, and what price would you pay to find it out? 7th grade and up.
  • (4/5)
    An interesting story about a father's deception and how his son figures out the truth. It's sort of a post-apocalyptic tale mixed with a healthy dose of teen angst. But what really sets Bodeen's book apart are the little details and side stories within the novel. They draw characters together and give the book an eerie atmosphere that sets the stage for a climatic ending.
  • (2/5)
    A fairly hokey premise with a quick straight-ahead plot. Very plain, boring writing with boring characters and lots of unintentional laugh-out-loud moments. (Like the episode of South Park were the internet goes out, characters here desperately look for some "internet."(and, by the way, why would the super-secretive father bother hooking up wi-fi in his super-secret office? Why not just keep his connection hard-wired?))Some folks might find it entertaining in the moment, but this one will be quickly forgotten as the years pass.
  • (4/5)
    This book has a tiny synopsis for good reason, you can't really say too much about any of the plot without spoiling the story. The story starts out strong and I was hooked from the first line onward. The story follows a boy named Eli and his dysfunctional family as they tragically leave behind loved ones, including Eli's identical twin Eddy, and lock themselves into an elaborate underground bomb shelter keeping them safe from a nuclear attack. The Compound doors won't open for 15 years, but what happens when the food supply starts to dwindle? Through a series of flashbacks and current events you get to know Eli and his family, and learn exactly what is going on in the Compound. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and haunting - you never know exactly what to expect around the each corner. I enjoyed the writing style and was very happy with the story's conclusion. I highly recommend it! I am looking forward to reading more by this author.
  • (3/5)
    A good book, but little disturbing because the billionaire father locks his family under ground.
  • (4/5)
    To start off, when i started The Compound I didn't know what genre it was. Thriller, sci fi, survival. By the end of the book i had realized it was all of these and more.This book kept me wondering with amazing compositions of both twists and enough cliffhangers that made this book a great page turner.From front to back this book was filled to the brim with action and suspense. It starts off with a boy, Eli, living in a compound his multimillionaire father built in case of an inevitable nuclear war. The book takes place 6 years after the initial attack. Soon enough problems arise, food shortages, contamination, their sanity is challenged at points.S,A.Bodeen does an amazing job balancing diologe and description. She had won awards for her previous work, The gardener, which I hope to read next.
  • (4/5)
    A good book, and much more interesting and surprising than I thought it would be judging from its summary.
  • (4/5)
    My thoughts:Positives: * Hailey Marshall says it best in a song written by her father, "I think my dad's gone crazy." I am not certain if this is positive or negative, but it definitely is the main reason for the suspense in the novel. It's always great to have a cool villain, especially one that you never sympathize with. * You get inside Eli's head and understand the decisions that he makes. * Interesting accommodations. I mean, bomb shelters were a reality at points in time, it would be nice to have one that was as put together at the Compound. * It's nice to see a book where having all the money in the world is not the best thing.Negatives: * This book is SLOW!! It's part of the whole method of suspense, but there were times that I wanted to put the book down. That doesn't happen very often for me. * It has some of the typical horror scenes in it. For the most part, everything seems realistic, but towards the end you say to yourself "that was dumb, and impossible." * The author's point of view on religion, society, and power are extremely pointed out. There is no questioning ideas for yourself. He definitely tells you what you are supposed to think.
  • (4/5)
    Well written thrill ride.
  • (3/5)
    Eli and most of his family make it to the compound alive after a nuclear attack. After 6 years, Eli starts to question why his family is really in the compound and if things are as his father seems. He starts to investigate and what he finds triggers a series of events that could kill them all. Compound is an entertaining book, but never reaches the level that will enthrall its readers.
  • (5/5)
    Finally, an excellent fast-paced book for middle schoolers of both genders!. I cannot wait to book talk this one this year.
  • (5/5)
    Fifteen-year-old Eli has spent the last six years of his life in the compound, an underground facility built by his father so that the family could survive a nuclear attack. Clues begin to add up that all is not as it seems. Was there ever a nuclear attack? Has Eli's father gone completely mad?This is a page turner. Some content, especially about "the supplements" might be a bit much for younger readers, but it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a thriller.
  • (4/5)
    Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.First off, I only picked this up because of the freaking amazingly intriguing description. It was a serious steal. But when I started reading it, well, I realized...the description isn't the best part of the book. *high-five-score* It was well written and interesting-- and above all, really weird.Sometimes this is a good thing. But other times? Well...ummm. It was almost too weird. Take this: how do you feel about living in an underground bomb shelter for 15 years? Me, well, underground? No. This is going to work out, and on top of that, there's too many flaws to the plan. What if, say, your underground shelter blocks you down there? All manner of things could fall on the exit, trapping you in a whole in the ground forever. It has the same problems as a storm shelter.Which have you ever been in one of those? Even for a short time, maybe even to just clean it out...it's not pleasant in any manner of the word. I may be a bit claustrophobic.Moving onto the next problem, which we run into in this book-- food shortage. They start to run out of food early on. Just a simple shortage of flour and it all goes downhill. Their livestock dies underground. So six years in, their flour has gone bad, their livestock has died and on top of that they don't even know for sure that there was a nuclear blast. Does this remind anyone else of that movie...what is it called....Blast from the Past? Is that it? I don't know.But anyway. They have food sources dwindling. They don't know why they're down there...and well, Eli starts to investigate. Thank God, someone who doesn't believe everything that he's fed. So he investigates. And guess what? Things aren't always what they seem. They're at the mercy of a complete and total mad man.*SPOILER* Honestly, Eli's dad is completely fruity. Totally off his rocker, needs meds full time, how does this weirdo have kids crazy. Here's my first issue with him: he's power hungry. How is it that all of the random psycho guys in books have power? He has power and he wants more, so he takes his family, minus one son, into an underground bomb shelter and plans to stay for 15 years. He PURPOSEFULLY makes sure that they run out of food, just so he can see how far his family will go to survive. He starts having as many kids as possible, because when the food runs out, he wants his family to eat them. What kind of a sick bastard has kids and calls them "supplements" and wants to see whether or not his family will eat them? AND THEN. Turns out that he left one son in the real world accidentally-- but nothing has happened in the outside world. He just wanted to prove that his family could do it! They had funerals! O.O *SPOILER END*Freaking A! The entire idea just makes me freak the heck out. So much, like seriously. But I can't discount the fact that for this book to freak me out so much, well, it had to be something special. It was well written and gripping, and although I didn't really care all that much about the characters, I still wanted to know what happened to them. So there is that. If you can get past the downright psycho-ness of the story, it's definitely worth a read.
  • (5/5)
    Eli has been living in an underground compound with his dad, mom and two sisters for about 6 years waiting till the world is safe to go out into again after the nuclear war. Although most of the time down below has been very routine, Eli starts to notice some unusual things when the food supply runs low and his dad starts acting wierd. As a young teen, Eli is shocked when he finds out the alternate food source his dad has initiated. As more questionable things come to light about his dad's sanitiy, suspense builds as Eli needs to decide if he has the courage to stand up to him and save his family.This book has a lot of potential for discussion for a teen group as it covers all kinds of exciting topics like survival, deception, multi-billionaires, and ethics but is not suitable for general discussion under grade 7. 248 pages.
  • (3/5)
    I first picked the book up because it was recommended to me. I was told it was amazing and the best book in the world, but I don't think it quite lived up to my standards.At first the book was good, but then there was no action literally just Eli going through his day. He went to the gym, he watched a movie, he read a book, that is all it was.Then all of a sudden everything happened all at once. It felt very rushed.Right now I am debating wether or not I should read the next book because I'm afraid it will be the same as the first.
  • (3/5)
    Overall, a pretty intersting concept. The characters are believable and easy to like, but the plot line has giant gaps in it. This book left me with a lot of unanswered questions, but not about just the text, about humans in general. How desperate to you have to get in a situation to save someone you love? This book will bring readers back to a scary reality that the answer to that question might be more than they can face.
  • (3/5)
    I liked the idea for this story and thought the first half of the book was better than the last. It felt like there were quite a few things that could have been explained better, in a way that wouldn't have taken away from any mystery or suspense, except some things really weren't explained at all--just sort of proffered up. I'm all for wacky things happening in books but when there is no explanation, no modus operandi for any perpetrators, it takes away from the mystery, instead making it just annoying and a missing part of the story. Take, the "supplements" for instance. These (children bred for consumption by original family members inhabiting the compound????!! and kept in a room with ample toys and some? amount of nurturing) are supposed to be an alternate food source if they run out of all other sources in the underground deluxe radiation shielding bunker. This issue isn't delved into much. The characters don't talk about something else they could do (starve possibly, ration food severely to subsistence or near starvation levels) besides this horrific plan set in to motion by their twisted father. There seemed to be a cognitive dissonance about it, but, again, not quite sure as we aren't taken inside the characters' heads that much except for some light forays into that of the jaded teenaged narrator.Ultimately, this book had a lot of potential, it just didn't fulfill it for me.
  • (3/5)
    The novel, The Compound by S.A Bodeen is a post-apocalyptic book about a young boy learning to survive in an underground compound with chilling twist. In the beginning the protagonist Eli and his family are sent into a Compound, built by there rich father, because of the nuclear attack their father said would come. Sadly Eli's twin brother Eddy and his grandma dont make it in. The compound promised protection and a healthy life for 15 years with even livestock. During the middle of the story about 6 years living in the compound Eli decides to sneak into Eddys bedroom and take the laptop. Surprised to see that there was wi-fi and talks to brother Eddy, who has been safe this whole time. Eli starts to get suspicious about his father and the whole "compound idea". Food supplies start to run out and livestock begin to die everything isnt going as "planned". Finally figured out that his dad had them prisoned, it was time to escape with his sisters Lexie and Teresa to the outside world, where there was no nuclear attack. Eli puts the code in for the compound to open, where the helicopter is there to await the family. 248/248other then the fact the book was very predictable at points, i enjoyed it.
  • (2/5)
    Eating babies? How long were they "okay" with this? And then it was just some big joke/experiment? Not for me.
  • (2/5)
    Eli's father has always been obsessed with nuclear war. He knew one was coming and he was going to be prepared for that day. He even built a massive underground compound for his family to live in should that day come- state of the art, furnished with the best of the best to survive the 15 years necessary for the world to be safe to live in again. And wouldn't you know it, while camping out by the compound area an attack happens. Eli and his family are whisked away to the compound, though his twin brother and grandmother are unable to make it. Eli spends the next 6 years living in the compound, though he becomes increasingly detached from all of them, not even allowing himself to be touched and taking on the guilt of his brother being killed in the attack. But then Eli starts to find little clue that show things might not be as his father presents them, and he begins to question what is actually being done in the name of "survival".It could have been an interesting enough plot, but it's horribly predictable. The plot twist can be seen from the first chapter and the addition of cannibalism (though not actualized) seems tacked on to try to add a moral issue as it isn't at all logical. This is a very short book with large type- it wouldn't hold the attention of a high schooler but isn't entirely appropriate for the middle school set. It wasn't horrible, it was just lackluster.
  • (4/5)
    Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've been accustomes to their new life. Accustomed,but no happy. For Eli, no 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'd rather take his chances outside. Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe--or sorry?
  • (5/5)
    I had read so many good reviews of this book and decided this weekend that I was going to sit and read it. I read it from cover to cover. Eli's father has built a large underground compound in the event of nuclear war. He, his twin Eddy, his two sisters, grandmother, father and mother are all supposed to go there if they are attacked. Through a series of events when they enter the enter the compound and shut the door, Eddy and the grandmother are not in the compound. Believing them to be dead they carry on with their life inside the compound. When food starts to go bad and run out their father creates "supplements". They live in the yellow room and are attended by Eli's two sisters and mother. They are not allowed to leave the room and Eli refuses to meet them. He believes his father is lying to them but he has no proof. One thing he is sure of, his father is in control until the Eddy discovers...What, did you really think I was going to tell you what they discover? You really need to read this book to find out what he discovers and what he can do about it. I was totally repulsed by the lengths to which this man would go for his own agenda. Crazy does not really describe this man but until you read it you will have to deal with that. This is a must read. I can't wait to put it on my shelves tomorrow.
  • (4/5)
    All his life Eli has been prepared for the eventuality that there will be a nuclear fall-out and that his family is ready for such an event. His billionaire father has spared no expense in creating the Compound, a three-story underground shelter that will house the family for 15 years in the event of a nuclear war. When the family actually has to use it, things go a bit awry and Eli's twin brother and grandmother are left on the other side. Now Eli's been in the Compound for six years, guilt over his missing brother eating away at him, when he discovers evidence that there may not have been a nuclear event at all. The only one who knows for sure is Eli's dad, an intimidating, power-hungry man who relishes having control over people. Eli will have to find out the truth in order to save his family. Okay, you're reeeeally going to have to suspend your disbelief for this one. That said, it had me on the edge of my seat. The beginning really reminded me of Life As We Knew It or City of Ember, so I'd try this one on fans of those. Twists and turns abound and, although the plot is ridiculous, it's certainly not predictable.
  • (4/5)
    Gearing up for a different read, I pick up this book because the synopsis intrigued me. Being trapped in a compound for years captures me. I want to know what happen down there and most of all, I want to know how it all started.Plot: This story is really well written in dialogue and back round history. Learning how they got down there in the first place, really puts the reader in the characters shoes. How they live, eat and the things they do to keep themselves busy makes me wonder what is going on topside. Each chapter brings forth new details in which you can't help but follow. It's like a trail of bread crumbs leading up to some truth that you never see coming.Family: One thing this story does focus on is on family. It's all about trusting the father and being loyal to each other. But when things come to question, where does your loyalty lye then? What do you do? Do you trust your father or do you investigate? Well, this is where things get very tricky. I like that these questions posed for some great action and some heart-pounding sneaking around. Ending: Over the course of the story, parts are revealed that help the reader piece together the story beautifully. Once the reader learned the truth, it raised the hair on the back of my neck. Not only what this father did was brilliant but it was down right freaky!After concluding the story, I want to continue it. I think the ending gives the story another base to jump onto. There are still many unanswered questions and I'm hoping that the second book will give more answers. Nicely written and intriguing, The Compound is an excellent unfolding tale.
  • (4/5)
    Slow start but it gets much better. I enjoyed it.