Saturday, October 27, 2012

ARC Book Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken

Lisa M. Stasse

ARC Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way by the publishers to review this book favourably. The review is my own honest opinion (Whether or not it is agreed with). 

Publication Date:
July 10th

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 375

Genre:  Dystopia, Young Adult

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. 

Welcome to a book that is Hunger Games meets The Lord of the Flies meets Gone by Michael Grant meets Unwind meets… Alcatraz? The Forsaken was a great surprise for me and I think for the dystopian genre. It does take a lot of ideas that have been dealt with before (kids vs kids, adults sending kids away as a warning), but it also has some pretty scary and realistic feeling issues put in as well. One of these things that I love is that the government realizes exactly what they need to do to keep its citizens from being able to rebel against them.

We are given a very brief overview of how America is at this point, but it's enough to establish it as a comparison point for what Alenna and others are led to believe about everything government wise and about The Wheel. When we do get to The Wheel I also really enjoyed the madness of it all. Like Alenna, we have no idea what's going on, why it's going on, but we know that it is insane, that life is hard and dangerous there.

We think we know who to trust, but we aren't entirely sure and it puts an edge to the novel.

If you are a lover of YA Dystopian fics, do not let this one pass you by, it has many of the great elements you probably love in other ones, though it is strictly YA formula in the way it's pulled off, so if you're a fan of classic Dystopias it might be less of your thing.



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