John L.’s Letter Essay #2: The Compound

Recently, I finished the novel, The Compound. It is a 256 page science-fiction adventure book. The author S.A. Bodeen is from a farm in Wisconsin. She recently came to our school to talk about writing and her story on becoming a writer. It is not an easy job. This book was published on April 29, 2008, but has got a few awards for it. It is popular book for my age.

The Compound is a very popular book for young adults. It has sold a lot of copies since it has been released in 2008. The awards S.A. Bodeen has received because of this novel are, Cuffies Honorable Mention award, YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults award and a few others. The book has also been released in French too. Being a student with friends that have read it and are currently reading it, it is almost impossible for me not to pick it up and finish it. It made me want to read it even more after S.A. Bodeen came and talked at our school. I liked the topic and I was very interested. I wanted to see what happened at the end the book and how they solved the nuclear problem. I have never read any of her books before this, so it was nice to read another book from a different author.

In the novel, The Compound, the narrator and main character, Eli, is a young boy who has been living in an underground compound for 6 years. He has been living there since he was nine years old. His father, named Rex, built it in case of a nuclear attack. Eli, his older sister Lexie, younger sister Therese, Eli’s dad, Rex and Eli’s mom Clea are all staying in the compound. In the facility, there is anything you can ask for, even including a movie theater! This nuclear attack would take fifteen years for the land outside to rehabilitate to normal. Meanwhile in the compound they have enough food for fifteen years because the facility is also capable of producing livestock. Although Eli and his dad are safe, Eli is unhappy because when the nuclear attack was happening and they rushed to the compound, Eli’s grandmother and his twin brother Eddy, were left behind. In the compound, Clea is pregnant with her fourth child in the six years. The other three kids that she had, Eli has not seen. They are called the Supplements. They call them that because Rex wants them to be a food source for when they get older, which I think is crazy. Their names are, Quinn, Lucas and Cara. Later on, Eli finds out that the internet works by watching of his father’s study. He manages to access the internet and miraculously communicated with his brother, Eddy, even though he thought he was dead.

I was very surprised, when the main character, Eli communicated with his brother, Eddy. This was very surprising because I thought he was dead. Rex said that they all died in the nuclear attack and I believed it. It was also surprising how Eli figured out how to get on the internet and communicate with Eddy. Throughout  the six years without it, I would have forgotten. And I also wonder how Eli contacted him. That would be pretty hard to contact one person on the whole internet. I later understood how important this was to conclude this novel.

One passage of the book I liked was when Eli was confronting his dad after he found out there was no nuclear attack. He came up to Rex straightforward, and wanted the truth.

“That doesn’t explain the rest of it. The food, the babies, God, the cloning?”

“That was merely a matter to see how far you would all go to survive” (Page 171).

This was a short passage but it sums up a lot of what happened throughout the years and how Rex faked all of it. It shows how heartbroken Eli was when he heard the answer after confronting his father. This was a very intense scene because there was a lot of action after this dialogue between the two. I liked it because it was intense and I wanted to know the answer. I also wanted to see what would happen in the future. I rate this book 9 out of 10. It was a fantastic book and highly suggest reading it.

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1 thought on “John L.’s Letter Essay #2: The Compound

  1. Oi John,

    I really liked how you explained what happened in the book and you didn’t give away the ending.

    I read the compound too, but I thought that the best passage was when the bunker exploded.

    Danylo Ribchinski, the meme lord and a Ukrainian.
    P.S. I have no idea which john are you because there are two John l’s.
    Now this time I actually end the message.

    I am kidding.

    Okay I will stop.


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