Monday, September 9, 2013

**REVIEW** The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Release Date:  July 10, 2013Published By:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersFormat:  Hardcover, 375 pagesReview Copy:  Purchased

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.

  The Forsaken was one of the many books that I had to have last year and yet it fell victim to the mass amount of books I had on my TBR pile.  It is also among the books I wish I had picked up sooner because I almost instantly became hooked.  In a YA world that is becoming more and more dominated by Dystopian, it becomes harder to find something original.  Though I may have drawn a line here and there with the plot that this book had in common with others, I found that it was still different in its own way.  Once you stop and think about it all Dystopians are the same at the heart: they have a government that wants complete control and will dispose of anyone/anything that threatens that.

  The story was without a doubt thrilling and action packed.  How could waking up on an island that is filled with what you have been raised to believe is nothing but criminals and crazies be anything but?  Though it does turn out that everything is not what it seems and sometimes the truth is what you least expect.  There was a lot of finding out what is really going on (as there normally is) but some things even shocked me.  There was even things placed throughout that gave it additional mystery or a bit more background, things that you would not expect at certain points.  Though admittedly it wasn't  filled with background but then again that would have killed some of the suspense and taken away from the end result.

  When it comes to Alenna I have to say the growth that she had during this book alone was amazing.  When we are introduced to her I had this horrible feeling that I was going to be let down and have to deal with a weak female lead.  This girl was raised an orphan and I expected her to have a backbone off the get go but it just wasn't happening...or I should say happening to start because it did happen.  Alenna grew.  She grew a backbone, she grew her own mind and became a character that I really loved.  Maybe that is part of the appeal, that she was someone that adapted instead of just letting others take care of her.  She was believable and likeable in her faults and attempts to be perfect.  I would never say that she is the perfect character but she is definitely working on it and becoming kick ass while she does it.

  While there was a slight romance that just point blank is not the point of this book, it's survival and adapting that matter.  Liam is just a small part of the book but he has a big meaning.  He was the first time Alenna ever questioned if the U.N.A's testing was always right and then later on he was more.  What I loved about this was it was enough that you liked Liam and gave Alenna something else to hold onto, yet the Author didn't over do the romance and left room for other things to develop like friendships and more importantly the story.  The other big relationship in the book was Gadya and Alenna.  Though it wasn't romantic she was her friend.  This cause complications in the Liam department for a few reasons but it seemed that Gadya was a complication in general at times.  I can not say that I didn't like her but I couldn't say that I loved her either.  She would be a good friend one moment but in the next breath she would blame everything on Alenna.  When it comes down to it though Alenna cared about her and really that's what matters.

  The Forsaken was most definitely an addictive read that I did not want to put down.  Well written and fleshed the world and characters that Stasse created will leave readers wanting more.  With something always going on and basically non stop action there is no point when the book plateaus and leaves you wishing things would move faster.  This is one of my top dystopian reads at the moment and I would recommend it to people that are fans of dystopian reads with no hesitation because at a time that dystopian has started dominating the reading world Stasse has created something original and fast paced that is worth every page read.

The boy definitely didn't look like he belonged on the island to me, but supposedly no one can tell from appearances.  An Unanchored Soul is invisible to the eye.  Antisocial tendencies cut across skin color, gender, looks, and everything else. 

I don't reply.  Obviously I'm hoping a lot of hunters decide to stay, because I don't want to get slaughtered.  But I also realize that on the wheel, I might not have the luxury of keeping my hands clean.  If I want to stay alive, I might have to get down in the dirt.  And fight.

I see the light of the fire pit ahead of me.  I vow to keep my promise.  I will be a good spy for Veidman, at least on the surface.  But I'll be a much better spy for myself.  I will trust no one, and focus on learning the truth about what happened to my parents.

I've been forced to stop being a coward and start taking responsibility for myself.  And to start caring again--for the first time since my parents got taken.

1 comment:

  1. Ohh I just started this one and from what I've read so far, it's quite suspenseful. It has that Hunger Games aura to it, doesn't it?


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