All the adults disappear (everyone over 16) on one day in a small California town. An impenetrable supernatural barrier appears surrounding Perdido Beach and cutting it off from the rest of the world. The children need a leader and turn to Sam Temple who daringly drove an out of control school bus when the driver had a heart attack last year. Sam has started developing strange powers and learns he is not the only teen to do so. The students from a nearby private school for troubled youth enter town and take control ruling with increasingly harsher rules and bullying tactics. As his sixteenth birthday approaches (the moment he will blink out of existence), Sam prepares for a fight with private schoolâ€™s leader – Caine, an egotistical, super-powered teen bent on dominating all the children of Perdido Beach.
Gone is a harsh look at life without adults made increasingly interesting by the mysteries surrounding the emerging superpowers. By the end of the book Grant has a somewhat confusingly large cast, but Sam and his core characters are well developed. I would recommend this to readers who enjoyed Westerfeldâ€™s dystopian Uglies series.