The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



Unending war leads to the discovery of uneasy truths when two teens question the status quo in this riveting thriller.

For as long as Tessa can remember, her country has been at war. When local golden boy Gideon Thrall is awarded a medal for courage, it’s a rare bright spot for everyone in Tessa’s town—until Gideon refuses the award, claims he was a coward, and runs away. Tessa is bewildered, and she can’t help but follow Gideon to find out the truth. But Tessa is in for more than she bargained for. Before she knows it, she has stowed away on a rogue airplane and is headed for enemy territory. But all that pales when she discovers a shocking truth that rocks the foundation of everything she’s ever believed—a truth that will change the world. Is Tessa strong enough to bring it into the light?

About Margaret Peterson Haddix

See more books from this Author
Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including The Missing series and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at
Published November 15, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 224 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Computers & Technology. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Always War

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

For the past 75 years, Tessa’s nation has been at war—a war that has no end in sight.

Oct 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Always War

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

When 15-year-old Tessa attends a ceremony to honor her neighbor Gideon, a hero in a 70-year war that has worn down the society she lives in, she has no idea where his refusal of the award will lead them.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Always War


When she finds out the truth about the war, she tells Tessa and Gideon that her parents died for nothing.

May 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Always War

Teen Reads

He is overly eager to offer himself up for sacrifice to correct his misdeed, which both endears him to Tessa and frustrates her a bit.

Dec 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Always War

Common Sense Media

Long-time science fiction fans may be able to guess the "big reveal" chapters before Tess and Gideon figure it out, but there are sufficient plot twists to satisfy those readers not thoroughly familiar with the strategies of dystopian fiction.

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Always War

Reader Rating for The Always War

An aggregated and normalized score based on 62 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review