Wednesday, August 28, 2013

**REVIEW** Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Release Date:  August 6, 2013
Published By:  Random House Book for Young   Readers
Length:  352 pages
Review Copy:  Provided by Random House Canada in turn                                 for honest review.

Buy It:
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Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress--the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

  This book was done within a day and I honestly became completely invested in the story.  Maybe this is because I am a silly girl and did not realize what was at the heart of this story because I had never read a single review or really looked past the amazing cover and alluring synopsis.  Turns out that this was not the apocalyptic novel I thought I was diving into and you can call me naive or whatever you may like but I had no idea what this really was.  Then I saw the cover says "Thriller" and I decided not too far in that I had made a mistake but a wonderful one.  This book was better because it wasn't what I expected and took me into a world I would have never thought of venturing into.

   There is way more to this story than I had initially expected.  Not that it was complicated or hard to follow but it was something that if you are like me and are not aware where this read is going to take you and what it is really about, it is more captivating.  This book was amazing in its ability to show the power of words and just how willing people are to believe in something given the right circumstances.  These are people that feel they are being saved from the end by a prophet and have faith in every word, every vision he has.  This guy is beyond a master at what he does and maybe he even believes part of the venom he shares.  Being segregated and only told what a person wants you to know can narrow down anyones ideas of what the world is really like and for the children, they know no other life.  This read actually opened my eyes as to just how easy it is for some people to fall in a line and believe in something and not always because they aren't in sound mind.

  No part of me didn't go out to Lyla.  She lived and grew up in a world that was sheltered and gave impressions of the outside world that were frightening.  I don't believe that the book was meant for you to feel sorry for her but so many moments had my heart going out to her.  She ended up here with her family because of the horrific loss of her sister but because she was still young when they got there, there isn't much beyond the community that she worries about.  Lyla does however have a hard time accepting that she should kill the people beyond the gated community should the need arise.  She is the one person that even though she believes, she hopes Pioneer is wrong and is open to ideas outside of her home.  Despite being a part of the single minded community, Lyla is strong in her own way and was extremely easy to like,

  Were do I start with the men in this book.  No they are not all romantic and you will all be happy to know that there is no triangle (they have appointed partners).  No there are three men/boys that really all played their own part in this story.  Pioneer was quite possibly the most influential because of his status as leader and prophet of Mandrodage Meadows.  It was actually him and his behaviour that tipped me off as to what was really going on.  Bit by bit  you kind of get a first hand account of the cult leader and just how far you can get with a charismatic personality and the right words and promises.  Like that Will is her intended and they are just meant to be.  I liked Will for loving Lyla and being sweet but he was ultimately only doing what he was told and living with what he was told.  There was no room for questions or hesitation with Will and it left a bad taste in my mouth.  Cody was a bright light in a dark tunnel and the start of the end and that is in many different ways.  We really don't get to know much about this boy but he is the one that tries to open Lyla's eyes.

  Everything above is a condensed version because I could talk in many different ways about many different things with this read.  I was beyond captivated from the start because of the mystery and by the end I was hanging by a thread with the anticipation.  Reading about this community and their beliefs was hard at times though because many of us would call it a cult and ultimately that is what it is but to the people that are on the inside of it all it is just the way of life.  For me this is a learning experience and I am glad that I went in not knowing what I was stepping into because it pulled me through the more descriptive start and kept my mind moving.  This is truly a unique read that I enjoyed on many levels and I look forward to more riveting reads from this talented author.

"I don't know.  It's just that everytime I look at those stupid targets, I see actual people--like you or Brian or Will.  What if somehow we got stuck outside the Silo and needed help?  I mean, how do any of them out there even know it's the end?  Pioneer chose to save us, but does anyone else have any idea the end is coming?  Wouldn't they already be here, fighting to get in?"

Then he told us stories about the aliens that waited for us across the universe.  He showed us drawings he'd made of their slim bodies and large black eyes, pointed to the galaxy where they lived on a map, and described how wonderful their world is.  He said that he had seen it all in the visions the Brethren gave him.

  She shrugs.  "So then you're not like a cult or something?"
  That's the second time one of them has used that word.  Pioneer has always said that they would.  He says any religious or political group-any group at all where people are passionate about something-is considered one.

He's basically describing  my reaction to him.  He's my Cheeto-bad for me, but now that I have a taste for him, I can't leave him alone.


  1. This sounds like a kick ass book, Tiff. I'm glad you absolutely loved it. Adding this one on my list. :)

    Sometimes, it's better to go in without any expectations. Keep yourself from being disappointed.

  2. I hadn't heard of this before now, but it does sounds amazing. It does sound apocalyptic based on the synopsis and that kind of turned me off - I'm not a huge apocalyptic fan - but I can definitely get behind a thriller and once I read your review I was definitely hooked.

  3. I'm reading this book now and it is completely different from what I expected. It's scary to think of how real this story could be and how easily people will follow someone because they need that light in their life. I can't wait to finish it and see what else happens along the way!

  4. I love stories about cults (real or fiction), especially those closed off from the outside world. There's something so mysterious about the way they live that I just can't turn away from. I'll definitely be bumping this up the top of my to-buy list now!

  5. I loved this book so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. A lot of people thought this was a dystopian (I did before I started), but it's definitely a thriller. Great review.:D


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