I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.Series :The Forsaken #1Hardcover, 384 pagesExpected publication: July 10th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
Lisa M. Stasse has created a seriously gripping story. Right from the beginning I was intrigued. Alenna was so sure of herself, so positive that she had nothing to worry about and that she would pass the test with flying colors. So when she fails and gets sent to the island, that's a pretty big slap in the face and both she and I started to wonder just what was going on.
Alenna tries to believe it's all just a big mistake. She isn't supposed to be on the island, someone will come get her, she will be fine. But even after a few hours on the island, and meeting people that are too similar to her, not future serial killers, she realizes she doesn't know what to believe, and who she can trust.
The Forsaken to me felt like a blend of Lord of the Flies and Maze Runner, with one big exception. I LOVED IT SO MUCH MORE ! I liked the ideas behind both of those stories. Kids living together, forced to survive without adults, surviving both bodily and mental illnesses, defending themselves against each other as the island life takes it's tole and survivors begin splitting off and forming their own "tribes" and "cults", and so much more.
With Lord of the Flies, I couldn't connect with the characters, 1. They were not my age. 2. They were boys. I felt disconnected from the story. With Maze runner it was also partially that the main character was a guy, - I feel like the story was more geared toward Male YA ( Which is perfectly ok! Just not what I was looking for ) and the creatures introduced were too unreal, so yet again. I didn't connect with the story.
With The Forsaken, I connected with it all! There is the perfect blend of male and female characters, and though Alenna is the voice of the story, I feel like her voice is strong enough, and the story is intense enough that it will appeal to both a YA female AND male audience. The situations were realistic, even if they were a bit out of the norm and some futuristic. Tribes that have formed a cult following, an illness that is sweeping through the island, flying machines that come and snatch inhabitants up ; never to be seen again.
There is some romance in the story. But I think it's a little bit expected. Life or death situations, they tend to being it out. But it is NOT the backbone of the story. The other side characters were well rounded and interesting, each having a very distinct personality that made them memorable and ..well.. not so much loveable... but interesting and likeable... at times lol.
I think that this story will go far, that dystopian, sci fy, and adventure lovers alike will enjoy it and it will be one of those books that is recommended often!
There were only a few things holding me back from giving this book a perfect 5 star rating. 1. One of the antagonists .... didn't really hold my interest. As the cult leader, ya.. he gave me the heebie jeebies. But when I found out who he really was... it didn't really shock me.. because I didn't feel like I was given enough information about him before the wheel, to really have him be memorable ( man.. trying to explain that without too much spoileryness is hard! ) 2. I'm teetering on the edge of saying I wanted more romance... but that may just be because i'm a girly girl at heart lol. One moment I think " MORE ROMANCE " the next, i'm thankful that it was light. So read the book and make your own opinions there :)
I highly recommend this book. Seriously... go read it :) I need someone to bounce Ideas off of!
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