The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)
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 (The Forsaken, #1) Details

TitleThe Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 10th, 2012
PublisherSimon Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781442432659
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult

The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1) Review

  • Itzel
    January 1, 1970
    My reaction to reading the summary of this book. My reaction to finishing this novel.First and foremost, Alenna needs to set her priorities straight. One moment, she's saying that she won't fall in love with hot boy Liam and focus on surviving, then the next moment, she's drooling over him, and his muscles. No, just no. And another thing that further fueled the fuel with this book was the instant love. I swear on the third meeting between these boring characters they both fall in love.The My reaction to reading the summary of this book. My reaction to finishing this novel.First and foremost, Alenna needs to set her priorities straight. One moment, she's saying that she won't fall in love with hot boy Liam and focus on surviving, then the next moment, she's drooling over him, and his muscles. No, just no. And another thing that further fueled the fuel with this book was the instant love. I swear on the third meeting between these boring characters they both fall in love.The heck! I was literally shouting at the book at this point. Finding a guy attractive then kissing him isn't falling in love. And the whole love triangle thing with Gadya was pointless and frankly, stupid. You're stranded on a island with enemies everywhere, and you're fighting over a stupid boy. You must have a small brain because you're stuck on a fucking deserted island with no food or water, and anyone at anytime could come and kill you. But no, Liam was just too hot to resist.Alenna, definitely had her priorities fucked up.And Gadya had so much potential as well, but instead, the author doesn't know what to do with her so she makes her into two characters: the jealous ex-girlfriend who hates Alenna, and the brave, strong warrior hunter. And even then, Gadya couldn't even make up her own mind, which left her with two vastly different personalities. I'll give an example: "Alenna, I'll help and teach how to hunt." [Gadya smiles, and holds her hand.][Liam walks by, and smiles at Alenna. Alenna, in return, blushes.] "Alenna, you bitch, don't look at him! You're stupid, ugly, and weak!" [Liam leaves. Alenna and Gadya are alone.]"I'm sorry, I'm over him now. Let's be friends again, okay?" [Liam comes back. Both lovers lock eyes.] "You bitch!" There was even a time where I wished I was in the book, so I could go in and slap Gadya silly over and over again. It was annoying watching this go on back and forth.Alenna, on the other hand wasn't any better either. She was boring, and somehow all the boys wanted her. Even from a mile away, I could tell that she was a Mary-sue. She was also very pretty. I'm not against the main character being beautiful, I really am not, but when that's all the main character really offers in the story, I get mad. From the start, Alenna is perceived as this timid girl and orphan, but the second, she enters the island, she turns pretty and everyone for some unknown reasons want it. Everyone mentions it, and I got tired of it fast. Another thing, in the beginning I was reminded of Divergent. With the whole test thing. All I kept thinking was Divergent. And I can tell you that Divergent was a lot better than this. The only thing I remotely liked was The Monk's real identity twist, and David. Everything else was generic, and the whole love thing should have been cut off completely. The only reason I gave this book two stars was because of that, the idea and the cover. The cover was beautiful. It was what attracted me in the first place. I was deceived. Then again, I should've known when I read all the bad reviews. But I didn't want to believe it. Even with this awesome idea, the author couldn't save this book. And finally, the writing was not good. And sheesh, Alenna was so slow. I could see something a mile away, and five pages later she's barely thinking it. I got so frustrated. But alas, an awesome idea, one huge twist, and one complex character can't save this book from its doom. And it's sad really, I had so much hope.
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Well, what can I say about The Forsaken? Very little that I haven't already said about almost every other dystopian book I've read in the last couple of years. I'll say yet again what I nearly always say when reviewing dystopian or urban fantasy novels: if you deliberately come back time after time because you like having more of the same, then you may find this easier to love. If you're sick of a few unexplained mentions of the word "control" and sparse world-building, this isn't going to be Well, what can I say about The Forsaken? Very little that I haven't already said about almost every other dystopian book I've read in the last couple of years. I'll say yet again what I nearly always say when reviewing dystopian or urban fantasy novels: if you deliberately come back time after time because you like having more of the same, then you may find this easier to love. If you're sick of a few unexplained mentions of the word "control" and sparse world-building, this isn't going to be a new favourite.Sure, if this had been published a few years ago before the desperate rush to create the next The Hunger Games, I think it would have been far more entertaining. If I didn't know how this story goes by now and I couldn't guess half the lines in it. I swear if there was a competition for guessing the phrases that would come up in the latest young adult dystopian novel, I'd be a pro at it. The problem with me is that I rarely care to read a book that is "just like so-and-so" or "for fans of this and that"... if I want exactly the same experience again, I'll just do a re-read. Give me some originality. Please.In The Forsaken very little is explained. The author wants to get the characters on the island and in the middle of the fights and action. It doesn't seem to matter how this happens as long as it does. Okay, first I'll do a little plot summary. In this world, Canada, the United States and Mexico have united to form the UNA and are being ruled over by a supreme dictator who controls all aspects of life. When teenagers become sixteen, they are injected with a serum that scans their brains and diagnoses subversive tendencies. Alenna is found to be an unanchored soul and is sent to The Wheel - an island where would-be criminals are deposited and left to their own devices. Alenna soon discovers that the island is at war, fighting over territory in a Lord of the Flies manner.Not a bad idea. So then, why did those three countries unify? As things stand at the minute it seems rather unlikely, does it not? The explanation we are given is:"From what my mom and dad told me, the citizens of those countries weren't in favor of the alliance. But food was scarce after a global economic meltdown, and people were turning to violent crime. So the government leaders made the radical decision to create the UNA."I don't get it. Smarter people than me feel free to explain why this would solve anything. We're all starving so, I know, let's all unite and starve together? Presumably this has solved the food problems but I don't see how. This also happens to be the only real discussion of why the UNA was set up.As you've probably guessed, even if you don't know, there was a romance going on in this story as well. A romance between two very boring characters, a romance with little chemistry... I just didn't care for it. It didn't add anything to the story and the book would actually have been better without it - but it seems to be a requirement of all young adult dystopian releases. Plus, the "I feel oddly drawn to him for some reason" was annoying. I know, I know. The author here actually gave a reason for the strange feeling... but why? I don't understand why so many authors think a destiny-type romance is better. Can't they just be attracted to each other? Or is sexuality supposed to be bad? Is that it? Naughty thoughts are wrong so it has to be written in the stars to make it okay?I'm not really quite ready to believe it's that deep yet, but I want it to stop. I can't care about destiny, I want solid reasons why you like one another or I'm not going to be invested in the relationship.However, my biggest problem in all of this has to be Alenna. She is so flat and missing a good dose of personality, a rather useless pawn in a slightly interesting but unexplained world. Plus, her stupidity seems almost deliberate at times. Why does she keep on insisting that the government can't have done this, it must be a mistake, they can't be evil because nobody is mean without a reason and the world is made of rainbows and unicorns and smiles? I also failed to feel a single emotion from her because there's a great deal of "tell" and not enough "show".I see that this has been a very negative review, so I'll pick out the positives to finish on. Firstly, it's very fast-paced and things keep happening, the action doesn't allow you to be bored even when the characters and romance are dull. There's no cliffhanger and things are wrapped up rather nicely. I'm less inclined to say it's gritty than other reviewers who've read this, but it isn't sweet and cushy either - and I am currently reading Battle Royale. It's inoffensive. Or it was to me, at least - no slut-shaming, no evil boyfriend-stealing bitches...In my opinion, it's not too spectacular or memorable, but big fans of dystopian books like Divergent and Legend should enjoy it.
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  • Crini
    January 1, 1970
    Most awesome dust cover EVER!
  • Ellyce
    January 1, 1970
    The Forsaken is a book that I was really looking forward to, as it had a gorgeous cover and an equally intriguing premise. With the dystopian genre as the new à la mode, it's difficult to find a series that can truly set itself apart from the rest. The bar has been set pretty high, and it's not easy to come up with something that is truly gripping. The only series that I've really enjoyed following The Hunger Games have been Divergent and Lunar Chronicles, and even those are lacking in some of The Forsaken is a book that I was really looking forward to, as it had a gorgeous cover and an equally intriguing premise. With the dystopian genre as the new à la mode, it's difficult to find a series that can truly set itself apart from the rest. The bar has been set pretty high, and it's not easy to come up with something that is truly gripping. The only series that I've really enjoyed following The Hunger Games have been Divergent and Lunar Chronicles, and even those are lacking in some of the aspects that made the The Hunger Games so distinctive from the wave that followed it. The Forsaken follows Alenna, an orphan in a futuristic nation. She is thought to have violent tendencies when she fails a mandatory test (that is quite reminiscent of the one in Divergent), and is then sent to a prison island with similar teenagers, where they aren't expected to survive for more than two years. Alenna soon finds herself embroiled in a fight for survival between warring factions on the island, namely that of the blue sector versus those who follow the Monk.There were a lot of things about this book that should have made me like it, but it frequently fell short of delivering. While there was a great premise, constant action, and a few plot twists thrown in, I found myself bored the majority of the time. What I'm assuming are supposed to be "major" events in this book do happen quite rapidly one after another, but they felt really forced and the story didn't flow that well as a result. Character deaths seemed to be thrown in just for the sake of us realizing how horrid conditions are in this future world, but I felt like I was checking off the next item on my grocery list each time someone was killed. I just couldn't bring myself to really care about the characters or what happened to them the majority of the time, as there was nothing that consistently stood out about them as individuals. A few relationships, romantic (between the side characters) and platonic, certainly held my interest, but it was hard to like a character in this book simply for their own merits or being themselves. To be honest, I was more often fascinated by the structures of Forsaken's society and the outside world than in what was going on with the characters. I didn't begin to get really interested in the book until I was finished with two thirds of the book, and I'm pretty sure that's usually not a good sign when it takes you that long to get invested in a story. After this point, the book did have me hooked and turning the pages to see what would happen next, but it wasn't quite worth the dull wait. I feel like the root of all of the book's flaws come from Stasse's writing style, which really hampered its overall quality. It's always a disappointment when authors have brilliant stories but weaker writing, or beautifully crafted words but a bland story. In this case, it's the former, which was extremely frustrating. While Stasse has a good story, world setup, and fast pacing - all part of what usually can make an absorbing book - her writing is mediocre at best. The dialogue and narration felt clunky, and could be really lackluster at times.I really don't understand why nearly all young adult novels (and several adult ones as well) find it necessary to put in a love triangle. It's as though authors think that this is part of the checklist to having a successful novel, with fans excitedly waving "Team Blah Blah Blah" banners as they attempt to prove to the other side that the one they support is truly "the best!!!111!!!". The Forsaken proves to be no exception in this regard, and it is perhaps one of the most exasperating aspects of the book. (view spoiler)[The initial love story is really only based on physical attraction. Alenna sees Liam with his super hot body and is madly in love with him, even though she has yet to speak to him. Magically, he feels the same way and tells her upon their first encounter that he would like to be with her. (hide spoiler)] Soon enough, they are engaged in that stage of attraction where it's so exciting to be exchanging moony eyes at each other. However, there is no buildup whatsoever to their relationship other than the fact that they find each other hot, and I was just racking my brain as to what point exactly this served. The formula of instaluv that so many authors seem to love employing in books nowadays just feels cheap. Thankfully, Liam isn't that bad of a guy - he's not a controlling jerk who feels he has to monitor every aspect of Alenna's life (which is so often alarmingly portrayed as romantic, alluring, dashing, and oh-so-sexy), and seems to solely exist for the point of a makeout session every now and then, but Stasse's inclusion of the relationship between the two was completely flat and tedious. They had no chemistry together, and the same thing can be said for David, the other part of our industrious love triangle. The dynamic between Alenna and David was certainly an interesting one, and more deeply rooted than the one our heroine shared with Liam, but it felt a lot more like a friendship than a potential romantic relationship. At this point, it might seem like I didn't enjoy anything about The Forsaken, but I did like a few things. Something I'm glad that Stasse does is that she didn't make the love story the main focus of the novel. It took the back burner while her world building and island dynamic took more prominence (and thankfully so, because the insertion of the love story felt so inorganic and unnecessary). I really enjoyed the growing friendship between Alenna and Gadya, and found it to be one of my favorite parts about the book. It was a really beautiful thing, to watch these girls grow from bitter enmity of another to such deep trust. I feel like a lot of young adult novels right now just gloss over or ignore the importance of female friendship. Yes, there are best friends and they are mentioned, but it's hard to find such a dynamic that feels real and fleshed out, you know? I'm really interested in seeing how Stasse will further develop the girls' friendship in the books that follow, because I think it's quite a wonderful thing. The island, with the opposing factions and constant chaos, had a very Lord of the Flies-esque feel to it, which I really liked. One of Stasse's strong points is building up the word in which her series is set. The backstory and setting were really well fleshed out, and it's definitely something that drives the story forward, even though (like the rest of the book) it does suffer from Stasse's stilted writing at times. Overall, The Forsaken was an okay read. It's fast-paced and interesting enough if you can get through to the better parts of the story, but the thing that's holding it back from being a truly good book is Stasse's writing. I'm sure that her writing style will flow better and improve as the books go on, and it's certainly a series that I'll follow with the next release. Cross-posted to The Ink Spills.
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  • Raeleen Lemay
    January 1, 1970
    This book was awesome, but I just had to dock a star for that TERRIBLE romance. Like seriously, not every YA dystopian book needs a cheesy romance, I really wish authors could get that into their heads. But otherwise, AHHH AWESOME, AMAZING, HARGIDULSLKG.CHECK OUT MY VIDEO REVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqsHKd...
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  • Nafiza
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t often read Dystopocalyptic novels willingly but when Lisa approached me for a review and I read the synopsis, I found myself intrigued. I am glad I took a chance because as it turns out, The Forsaken is one of the best Dystopians I have read ever.What makes The Forsaken so interesting (and riveting) to me are various things which I am going to discuss in the next few paragraphs. (A thesis statement of sorts? Hah.).Superficially, The Forsaken does not differ in any major way from the I don’t often read Dystopocalyptic novels willingly but when Lisa approached me for a review and I read the synopsis, I found myself intrigued. I am glad I took a chance because as it turns out, The Forsaken is one of the best Dystopians I have read ever.What makes The Forsaken so interesting (and riveting) to me are various things which I am going to discuss in the next few paragraphs. (A thesis statement of sorts? Hah.).Superficially, The Forsaken does not differ in any major way from the rather formulaic dystopian novels that have flooded the genre after the phenomenal success of The Hunger Games trilogy. There is a totalitarian government, more like a dictatorship, that successfully rules over a country, a new manifestation of North America. There are strident rules holding the general population in place with horrific consequences should one deviate away from the expected. There is a girl who doesn’t fit into the mould cast for her and there is a boy. So see, the ingredients have all been assembled. The Forsaken separates itself from the rest of the genre in the way the novel is executed.Imagine the setting as the arena in which The Hunger Games take place because that is how it reads. While I would have liked more details about how the world turned out the way it did, I felt that Stasse did a superb job world-building and developing life on the Wheel, the island where teens with rebellious genes are exiled. There is this grittiness (and I know this word has been used before but I think in this instance, it really is warranted) to this world that I appreciated. You know how you see heroines covered in muck and grease and soot from exploding buildings etc but still managing to look beautiful? Yeah, none of that here. It is quietly realistic with the edges tingling with relevant hysteria.Alenna is an interesting character. At first I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get along with her because all she seemed to want to do was fit in, be obedient and left alone to live her life. However, Stasse quite literally throws Alenna out of the environment she is familiar with and challenges her to survive that. Alenna is unprepared when she first opens her eyes on the island, not knowing why she has been sentenced to a place like this when she has not been entertaining any rebellious thoughts whatsoever. By the end of the novel, she is almost a different person with the lessons and losses she has learned and endured along her journey. What really surprised me was how boldly Stasse makes some really unconventional and brave decisions for her main character, foisting a role upon her that ensures Alenna has to act on her own, using her own mind with her own sense of right and wrong. Usually, there is a backup, someone to provide support or at least a warm back to lean on. Nothing like that here. And I liked that because this twist allowed Alenna to prove herself.There is a mean girl trope in this one that intriguingly enough gets developed into an odd friendship giving a twist to the expectations of the reader. I really liked how the relationship between the two girls develops and I may have found it much more compelling than the primary romance narrative.The novel was unpredictable with twists and turns at every juncture. The plot is refreshing and innovative and has the added element of being unpredictable. The novel is, I admit, more plot oriented than concerned with character development but I think in a genre like this, it is to be expected because anything else would slow the pace of the narrative and a slow pace can be fatal to a dystopian novel. While I wanted more from the ending than it gave me, I can accept it as a satisfactory end to the first installment in what promises to be a gripping and, as the synopsis promises, thought provoking trilogy.Do I recommend it to you? You bet I do. As long as you aren’t expecting mushy love/romance oriented narratives and are ready for a candid and realistic look at the world if an apocalypse comes to pass, then you will enjoy this as much as I did.
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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    I really really really enjoyed this book. Video review coming soon. ;)
  • TheBookSmugglers
    January 1, 1970
    Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersIt is the future, and the world is a very different place. Because of the crumbling economy and political tensions, the United States, Mexico, and Canada have combined to form the United Northern Alliance (the U.N.A.), under the not-so-benevolent leadership of Prime Minister Roland Haka - a four-star general who came to power and created the UNA following the civil unrest due to economic unrest and food shortages. In the new supernation, travel is banned, Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersIt is the future, and the world is a very different place. Because of the crumbling economy and political tensions, the United States, Mexico, and Canada have combined to form the United Northern Alliance (the U.N.A.), under the not-so-benevolent leadership of Prime Minister Roland Haka - a four-star general who came to power and created the UNA following the civil unrest due to economic unrest and food shortages. In the new supernation, travel is banned, people are forced to take mind-controlling medications daily (so as to be dull and pliant), and anyone that dares disobey finds themselves...disappeared. Such is the case of Alenna Shawcross. At the age of ten, her rebel parents were taken by the UNA and never to be heard from again, while Alenna was snatched and placed into the UNA orphanage system to be reeducated and integrated into society. Six years later, Alenna is a good little UNA citizen - she keeps her head down, she gets good grades, and she eagerly looks to the future. Only one hurdle stands in her way: the Government Personality Profile Test (GPPT) that will determine whether or not she has any proclivity towards crime or violence. Those that pass the test get to live out their lives in the UNA; those that do not are sent to an island prison colony, where the average life expectancy is an additional 2 years. On the day of Alenna's test, she is sedated and awakens, inexplicably, on an island - she has failed the GPPT, and now must figure out how to stay alive on an island with the most violent and deranged teens have been sent. Convinced it is all an accident, Alenna tries to find a way home - in the process, she discovers new friends and uncovers the secrets behind the UNA, the GPPT, and even her own family heritage and past. Oh, yeah, there's a dreamy boy involved too (naturally).Coming off the disappointing and problematic Monument 14, I was hoping for some redemption to my reading this week with The Forsaken. Unfortunately, The Forsaken did not deliver on the promise of its gorgeous cover and compelling blurb - this novel was pretty bad from start to finish. Basically, The Forsaken is a hodgepodge of some very familiar novels - part Lord of the Flies (kids running wild on an island in two different camps), part Hunger Games (kids killing each other on said island, with the same overtones as the Capitol controlling everything), part Maze Runner (big bad corporation/government behind a big Experiment), part The Giver (testing for "aptitude" at a given age), and any other number of familiar dystopias both old and new. Unfortunately, The Forsaken is not even a fraction as compelling as any of these influential works. The two major problems, for me, were: 1. the plausibility gap, and 2. the characterizations (particularly the main character and her new best friend). Regarding plausibility issues, The Forsaken suffers from one of the most common ailments in the new wave of YA dystopian fiction - I could not buy into the "dystopia". This is a world where people have "earpieces" (implants, I'm assuming, though it's never explained) that blast calming classical music (although how calming, really, is the forceful nationalist music of Wagner?! That's just poor research.), in which people are under MIND CONTROL by the government...by pills that are taken each day. Now, maybe this is just me, but if the Government started making people take pills that noticeably dulled one's thinking - as the UNA does - wouldn't more people simply NOT take the pills? There's also the mystery of how Alenna knows so much given the environment in which she's been raised. How would Alenna know about the things she's missing - she mentions old films and travel and music, but if she's been in this dystopian society for so long where such things have been outlawed?Once we get to the island itself - "The Wheel" to the locals - we are introduced to a whole slew of ridiculous nomenclature. The Wheel has been separated into two main factions - the Villagers, and the MONK and his DRONES. There's also a mysterious sickness, but they don't call it sickness:I feel light-headed. "They all look so sick."Gadya flinches. "Don't use that word.""'Sick'?""Yeah. Veidman doesn't like it. Says it causes panic. That's why we call them the Ones Who Suffer."Yes. Because THAT is much better.The ultimate rationale behind the wheel, the machines that snatch up wheel inhabitants (in my head, I started to call the inhabitants wheelies) is...well...stupid. I won't spoil it here, but just try to conjure up the most melodramatic "twists" given the framework of this story and you get The Forsaken.Then of course there are the characters. Alenna is a bland, utterly forgettable heroine. She goes to the wheel with absolutely no skill - other than her ability to play the guitar, I guess (because this dystopia allows for creative expression through music) - but is basically defined by her novelty to the Wheel and her prettiness. Of course, she IMMEDIATELY feels a connection to a super hot dude - which then causes some headdeskingly RIDICULOUS drama with her new bestie on the island, Gadya, who is portrayed as a jealous, petty shrew. I'll just throw in some of my favorite quotes:"You can't just flounce in here with your wavy hair and your pale skin and try to go after all the guys, y'know? It doesn't work that way.""I'm not doing anything but trying to stay alive!" I sputter. "Liam talked to me. I didn't talk to him."Gadya isn't appeased. "Let's just see how you look after a year on the wheel. After a bad diet, and all the stress, and all the battles. You'll look liek a ghost of yourself. A wretched, skinny, beat-up ghost!""Is this about Liam?""It's got nothing to do with him," I tell her honestly, wanting to clear the air. "Obviously, he's cute. I won't deny that. But I listened to what you said.""Good, because if you fall for him, not only will I kick your ass, but he'll end up breaking your heart. Girls come second to hunting for him. I can promise you that."Yes, I love a good "dystopia" in which girls are more concerned about catching the eye of the hot guy - threatening each other with violence (and actually delivering on that later in the book) - instead of, you know, trying to survive the constant, very real threat of death.On the diversity level, I was glad to see that there are characters included from different ethnicities (as one would expect in a new supercountry built of Canada, the US and Mexico) - in fact, Alenna's love interest, Liam, is half hispanic (albeit described as having piercing blue eyes). One would expect more integration of former Canadians and Mexicans in this society, but instead there is a weird semi-developed sort of nationalism against Canadians (i.e. at one point characters remark on the weird Canadian-ness of other characters), and there are no Mexicans in sight on the Wheel (other than Liam). There's also one point where we meet an Asian American character who has renamed himself "Assassin Elite" - on his name, Gadya explains:"What's his real name, anyway?""Sinxen Ro," Gadya says, spellign his first name out for me. "He's really touchy about it, probably because it's so freaking weird. Everyone calls him Sinxen anyway, instead of Assassin Elite."This is all exacerbated by a level of writing that is, unfortunately, very reflective of a debut author. As Ana would say, there are many "shortcuts"; lots of telling instead of showing, and often comical thoughts and dialogue, such as:I yank my arm out of Veidman's grasp, horrified. "Electro-shock! But that was banned years ago!" Tears spring into my eyes. The government tried to fry my mind?I could keep going, but I think I'll just leave it at that. The Forsaken, unfortunately, was not for me.
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  • Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
    January 1, 1970
    This book had so much lost potential that it's almost sad. The plot promises to be the next Lord of the Flies, it promises hints of The Hunger Games and The Giver. Sadly, it does not live up to huge expectations. It doesn't even begin to touch any of my smaller ones (such as a passable plot, good world building, and likable characters).The Forsaken is an odd sort of read. It's a exciting boring novel - which doesn't make any sense I'm sure but once read, what I mean is quite clear. The Forsaken This book had so much lost potential that it's almost sad. The plot promises to be the next Lord of the Flies, it promises hints of The Hunger Games and The Giver. Sadly, it does not live up to huge expectations. It doesn't even begin to touch any of my smaller ones (such as a passable plot, good world building, and likable characters).The Forsaken is an odd sort of read. It's a exciting boring novel - which doesn't make any sense I'm sure but once read, what I mean is quite clear. The Forsaken is a fast paced read that no matter how much you hate the book, you just can't stop reading till the very last page. Once I closed the book, I realized two things.1. I had finished the book in 2 hours.2. I hated the book.I didn't realize the second point till around the last 50 pages really. I was too involved with the plot to pick up on the fact that what I was reading was complete crap. My face upon realizing this:I guess The Forsaken wasn't too bad of a book. But as the first book of the year, I sort of wanted it to be better than it was. I wanted an amazing book to start the year off, which sadly I didn't get and here's why.CharactersThe main character Alenna was a complete idiot who was lucky to survive a few hours on the island. I seriously wanted to strangle the bitch. Alenna seems to believe everything goddamn thing she hears. She finds another prisoner on the island and immediately believes everything he says. Whaaa?She falls in love with a guy after around 7 hours (new record) and spends most of the book describing him and then moaning on how they could never be together. Oh but let's not forget about why she can't have him. Liam used to be her new BFF's boyfriend, Gayda. Gayda has to be the biggest bitch in the history of books. She has severe mood swings which center around Liam and Alenna. Example:Gayda: HI BEST FRIEND ALENNA!!!!1!!!Alenna; Hey... *looks at Liam*Gayda: GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY LIAM-Y YOU MAN-STEALING BITCH SLUT.Alenna: Ok... *looks away*Gayda: Sorry, friends again? You're my bestest best friend Alenna.and repeat.Gayda literally says "friends again?" around four times during the book. Just no. This is not acceptable in any shape. Why did you turn a completely capable character into a plot device bitch. Liam was that guy. That guy who acts he's all cool but really is no more interesting than a brick. He had no personality, no anything other than his amahzing looks.Plot and WritingPlot:The plot of The Forsaken is basically a bunch of kids are sent to a prison island because of a difference in how they think. Interesting but cliched. It turns out there are two warring factions on the island: a group of unnamed people who are our "good guys" and the Monk's clan. I had a lot of problems with the plot which I'll address individually.1. ClicheThe Forsaken is very much a "cookie cutter book". There are no different takes on old topics here. No, the plot and the turns are very overdone and unoriginal. It's pathetic really. Even Gayda is a cliche element really.2. ClansThe clans idea was fun but I think that there needed to be a) more clans and b) more backstory and developing of the clans. And I'm not alone in this idea. Many reviewers before me have mentioned that there needed to be more clans. The clans were also a bit under described - like the rest of the book really.3. Why?It's not really explained why they are sent there. I know it's a difference in the way they think but that's so overused and bland. I wanted more on why and how they pick it out. 4. RushedI had no idea what happened by the end really. I mean, it doesn't make any sense really. (view spoiler)[How did she get Liam out and how did the AI get turned on again? (hide spoiler)]WritingThe writing wasn't bad but Alenna had a tendency to make everything boring. I don't know how or why but her descriptions made things seem less exciting than they were. It was very bland writing really, not bad but not good either. What I liked and didn't:Liked:* The Beginning which was interesting enough to keep me reading and get me out of a bad slump* David* Engaging enough to keep me readingDisliked:* Everything else reallyIn conclusion:The Forsaken is not a book I'd recommend. In fact, it was quite bad. One star for getting me out of a slump and one star for everything I mentioned in the "Like" section.
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  • Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
    January 1, 1970
    The Forsaken has a great dystopian idea, a prison island where those who fail a behavior test are sent. That has some of the essential ingredients for a great dystopian : 1. Controlling government 2. Disenfrantized citizenship 3. Lack of control over own life. And the book starts strongly, with the main character going through the test then waking up dazed and confused in the middle of the jungle.Sound greats right? Unfortunately from there the book just goes wrong. Quickly Alenna, moves into a The Forsaken has a great dystopian idea, a prison island where those who fail a behavior test are sent. That has some of the essential ingredients for a great dystopian : 1. Controlling government 2. Disenfrantized citizenship 3. Lack of control over own life. And the book starts strongly, with the main character going through the test then waking up dazed and confused in the middle of the jungle.Sound greats right? Unfortunately from there the book just goes wrong. Quickly Alenna, moves into a village where she discovers the "normal" teenagers are doing battle with the "drones," a group of teenagers devoted to someone they call the Monk. Immediately, Alenna is accepted into the core group, involved in important plans, told how pretty she is and flirted with. Totally believable right?The romance in this novel makes absolutely no sense. It has zero development. The two characters feel a "connection" and then start kissing, even though Alenna has no experiene with boys. Later they discover they knew each other as babies and apparently that's suppose to explain away the insta-love. "Oh I met you when I was one. Falling for you in less than a day makes sense now!" No, it doesn't. Still Insta-love.None of the friendships or relationships account for the fact they live on island filled with battles and death. There is no accounting for the distrust or inability to build stable relationships that their living situation should cause. Any pyschological effects of living on a prison island where people die daily are glossed over. One guy has nightmares and is mean to prisoners, so apparently that covers all the deep pyschological damage these teenagers should experience.However that is not even my biggest complaint about this novel. The biggest problem is the best-friend character Gayda. She is so obnoxious and simplified. This character is like INTERNET CAPS LOCK only on a prison island. She's constantly shouting, short-fused with everyone. But she's not a villain, just a sidekick to the main character. She gets angry about Alenna stealing the boy she likes (shocker), their best friend Rika not bidding them farewell (because she was HELPING SICK PEOPLE) and pretty much anything that doesn't go her way.Alenna, on the other hand, believes everything you tell her. When she first wakes up on the island, there's another prisoner named David. Without any real build-up, she trusts everything he says. Then when she joins the villagers, she trusts them. She never once questions what is happening around her. She just follows along, joining on their "Operation Tiger Strike," even though she is in no way qualified for a military mission. (Luckily they didn't actually have a plan, despite weeks of "planning" and debating).Overall this book is just sloppy. Sometimes authors have great ideas. Dystopian prison island, yeah! Then they have no idea where to go with that idea. They have a beginning (which was strong) and an end in mind, then they meander through meaningless nonsense to connect the two. The characters are underdeveloped, the world building and science weak, the romance hastily thrown together and the end result is very disappointing.The only really positive thing I can say, is that the cover is absolutely beautiful. It's graphically interesting and actually connects to the story. Excellent design work, unfortunately gracing a shoddy story.I received an ARC copy of this book through Southern Book Blogger ARC tours.
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  • Jilly
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that I've had for a while but wasn't excited about, so I put off reading it. But, wow! It was weirdly good. That's right, weirdly good is a thing.First, it has the whole "Lost" feeling to it with these kids on the island and you are never quite sure what is really going on. There's weird crap happening all around them, and some crazy cult tribe trying to kill them, on top of things plucking them from the sky. It's a little much!Oh Crap! This isn't looking too good! This is one of those books that I've had for a while but wasn't excited about, so I put off reading it. But, wow! It was weirdly good. That's right, weirdly good is a thing.First, it has the whole "Lost" feeling to it with these kids on the island and you are never quite sure what is really going on. There's weird crap happening all around them, and some crazy cult tribe trying to kill them, on top of things plucking them from the sky. It's a little much!Oh Crap! This isn't looking too good! The second thing I liked was the girl friendships within the book. The main character, Alenna, showed a lot of loyalty to her girlfriends, even if it meant losing the interest of the boy that she liked. Sisters before Misters. That's right, girl! Boys are like buses. There's always another one coming around the corner, baby! And, of course, what happens when a girl tells a guy that she won't be any more than friends? He sees it as a challenge and wants her more. There's a lesson here, too. Nobody wants the low-hanging fruit! The fruit you have to climb for is much sweeter!The journey and where the story goes is interesting, with some cool surprises along the way. All together, the whole book really surprised me by how much I liked it. I thought I was burnt out on dystopias, but I guess not yet.
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  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    January 1, 1970
    Not so far in the future, a global economic meltdown results in devastating and wide-ranging consequences. When sixteen-year-old Alenna Shawcross was only five years old, the three countries of North America - Canada, the USA and Mexico - merged to form the United Northern Alliance, led by self-appointed Prime Minister Roland Harka, a charismatic army general, and set about trying to subjugate the rest of the world with the might of its armies and technology, to secure food supplies among other Not so far in the future, a global economic meltdown results in devastating and wide-ranging consequences. When sixteen-year-old Alenna Shawcross was only five years old, the three countries of North America - Canada, the USA and Mexico - merged to form the United Northern Alliance, led by self-appointed Prime Minister Roland Harka, a charismatic army general, and set about trying to subjugate the rest of the world with the might of its armies and technology, to secure food supplies among other things. Within the UNA, resistance to the new order is fierce, and anyone found guilty or even suspected of working against the UNA is arrested and disappeared. This is what happens to Alenna's parents when she's just ten years old. She's spent the last six years in a state-run orphanage, along with many other children whose parents have likewise vanished, presumed dead.Now that Alenna's in grade 11, she has to take the GPPT - Government Personality Profile Test - along with everyone else in her year. The test determines whether they are an "unanchored soul", someone who is predestined to becoming a criminal; the teenagers who fail the test are sent to Prison Island Alpha and left to fend for themselves. The age expectancy is only eighteen years old, and it's clear from the video footage that the teens on the island are at war with each other. Alenna isn't worried, though. She's quiet, bookish, completely unremarkable, and certainly not interested in going against the established order. So when she wakes up after the test to find herself stranded on the island, she's sure it must be a mistake. Rescued from being forcefully recruited by the "Drones", who wear black robes and face masks and often file their teeth into sharp points, Alenna is taken to one of the villages in the blue sector by an older girl called Gadya. There she learns that the island is called "the wheel" by the inhabitants, and it's divided into six sectors. The Monk - the leader of the drones - controls four, they have one, and the sixth, the grey zone, is out-of-bounds.Alenna is forced to adapt quickly to life on the wheel, where raids from the Monk's drones happen by day and night, and "feelers" - tentacles that come down from the sky, from something hidden behind the clouds, to snatch people up and take them away somewhere - mean that you can never let your guard down. Alenna also learns that nothing she was told in the UNA was true, and that there's some other reason for them being stranded on this island. When handsome hunter Liam returns from a scouting mission to the grey zone before the access tunnel collapsed, he tells them of the aircrafts he saw leaving from a hanger there. Veidman and his girlfriend, Meira, the unofficial leaders of the village, propose an expedition to the grey zone, an attempt to find a way off the island. Alenna volunteers, she's determined to get into the sector, after learning that her parents left a message for her, carved into a rock.The expedition is perilous, because it means passing through the Monk's territory, and the group of twenty won't all make it the barrier sealing off the grey zone. The journey offers more than death, though: it offers a chance to understand what it's all about, a shocking truth that will change everything Alenna thought she knew.Originally, I was going to read this last year after the author contacted me asking if I'd like a review copy - and seriously, how could I resist a premise like this one? But after some back-and-forth with the publisher who had to pass it on to the Canadian publisher, I was sent the wrong book (same title), so in the end I just bought my own copy and took my own time reading it.It turned out to be a quick read because it's gripping and well-written. The apocalyptic world is clearly described and well set-up, as well as being believable, especially because it feeds off our own current predicament. The authoritarian regime that is established in the UNA is familiar, being common to science fiction, but also because it's reminiscent of Nazi Germany and other authoritarian states. And the purpose of the island and all those stranded teenagers, which is revealed at the end, is chilling not least because it's so believable.Alenna herself is not a dominating character, especially at the start - she comes across as painfully ordinary, so her expectation of passing the personality test is understandable. Yet if there's one thing the island does, it is to create subversives, rebels, resistance fighters, out of people that wouldn't have turned into one otherwise. The irony is not lost on the inhabitants of the wheel. There, Alenna has to think quick and think smart to stay alive. She trains with Gadya in how to fight and shoot a bow-and-arrow, and pitches in to help from the get-go. She didn't waste time moaning over her fate or stubbornly refusing to acknowledge her situation, or any other annoying trait that other YA heroines have been guilty of. She's someone you come to respect and admire, for she grows and matures a great deal over the course of the novel. She's not a bland little "good girl", she keeps her own counsel and has to make a conscious effort to balance self-preservation and survival with helping others: in moments of danger, her character strengthens.The plot is nicely structured, with just enough time spent in the UNA to establish what Alenna's life was like there, and just enough time spent in the village in blue sector for her to learn as much as she can and meet certain key characters, before the expedition begins and the action escalates. Even before then, though, there's plenty of action. Even Alenna's testing is a scene of tension and sci-fi horror. In terms of structure, description and action, the writing is great. Where it faltered a bit for me was in the lack of chemistry between Alenna and Liam, and in a few little plot-holes - or world-building holes I should call them - that cropped up and stuck out for me, especially as I kept waiting for explanations.On the latter point, it was never explained where all their supplies came from; after all, they've been dumped there and abandoned. There's mention that the Drones' impressive fireworks come from a massive container left over from a previous purpose of the island, but that's the only thing that's explained. Where does Veidman get syringes from? Where do their pots and pans come from? They're not from raids on the old prison in the grey sector, because they've never been that far. These are little details, but oh so important in maintaining a firmly-rooted science fiction world. I tried to let it go, but it really did distract me, when an explanation could have been so easily slipped in. Likewise, a lot of Alenna's questions, which are really good questions, are fobbed off at the time with the promise of an explanation later, only to never be revisited. It was frustrating, especially because once Alenna's asks something, of course you start thinking about it.As for her relationship with Liam, it was very sweet and genuine and endearing, but it was rather sudden, and we never really got to know Liam, so that he was sadly under-developed. It makes it hard to believe in their feelings for each other, or to feel anything between them. While romance isn't the point of the story, if you're going to include it, at least make it solid and tangible. They hardly spent any time together, and while I liked how the connection between them was handled - a shared past thing that somewhat explained their instant connection - it didn't get enough time to breathe and grow.Those were the only two negatives I had with this book, though, and I don't want to over-inflate them. This is great science fiction, partly inspired, perhaps, by Lord of the Rings rather than The Hunger Games - a comparison that The Forsaken doesn't really deserve. For one thing, it's much better written. Yes, sure, THG was an exciting book and I did enjoy it, but Collins isn't a particularly strong writer and used present tense incorrectly. Stasse also uses present tense - a tense I have come to loathe over recent years because it's become so common and so poorly used - but she actually knows how to use it, for the most part. She doesn't write as you would write in past tense, just changing the verb tense. She stays in the moment as much as possible, and while I firmly believe that it would have been just as strong, if not stronger, were it written in past tense, it didn't ultimately detract from the novel.If I had one other minor dislike it would be Gadya. She starts out as a strong and potentially interesting character, but later turns out to be mostly volatile and completely lacking in impulse control. She spends her time shouting and getting angry, and I got rather tired of her theatrics. It made me like Alenna more in contrast, and when Gadya calmed down at the end I felt she'd grown up in the process. There is, in these situations, a lot of growing up to do.Rather than being character- or romance-driven, the focus here is on the world, the plot and the action, all of which are highly entertaining. The other book I was reminded of, was Iain Banks' Consider Phlebus, which I like to mention whenever I can because it was such a good sci-fi novel. I was reminded of it when learning about the Monk, a cult leader who's brainwashed his followers, whom the villagers think is also a cannibal, and is carried around on a stretcher by four drones. There's a section of Banks' novel featuring a morbidly obese cult leader who eats human flesh, while encouraging his emaciated followers to eat their own feces. Delightful image isn't it? He too was carried around on a stretcher, being unable to move - I won't say more because it becomes even more gross, though his end is nigh. Anyway, the Monk brought that to mind, though it is different and the truth behind the Monk is a revelation I wasn't expecting.I did somewhat guess as to the purpose of the feelers and the "abductions" on the wheel, though I didn't quite come up with the whole truth, and Stasse's version is much better than my half-hearted attempt to figure out what was going on. One of the strengths of the novel is the sense of atmosphere, and it became exceptionally chilly within the grey zone - if you've read it you'll recognise the pun (it's freakishly cold within the grey zone, while beyond the barrier in the rest of the wheel it's almost tropical). All in all the whole thing felt very real, with a palpable sense of danger, tension, fear and anticipation.The Forsaken is nicely rounded-out with a clean ending, to this stage of the story anyway: it is a nicely contained story that establishes a new and exciting world that digs into some pertinent issues, especially ethical and moral ones, without ever being over-bearing. I haven't gone into that side of things much, I know, but I have to say that this was a very mature novel, which shows a lot of respect for its intended audience while also appealing to adult readers. I'm looking forward to reading the next book, The Uprising , watching Alenna continue to grow, and learning more about this fascinating and deadly world.
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  • Leah G
    January 1, 1970
    Eh. Good writer, who wrote the wrong book. It's a mashup of Hunger Games, Uglies, and basically every other dystopia I can't think of offhand. I won't summarize the plot, the official summary is a perfect description.If Stasse ever writes anything else I'd love to read it. She's got talent, definitely. Great, fast-paced fighting and lots of plot twists...which are alas totally predictable to anyone who's ever heard of the term "Big Brother." Also people constantly die- except the ones that it Eh. Good writer, who wrote the wrong book. It's a mashup of Hunger Games, Uglies, and basically every other dystopia I can't think of offhand. I won't summarize the plot, the official summary is a perfect description.If Stasse ever writes anything else I'd love to read it. She's got talent, definitely. Great, fast-paced fighting and lots of plot twists...which are alas totally predictable to anyone who's ever heard of the term "Big Brother." Also people constantly die- except the ones that it would be inconvenient for the plot.I wish (view spoiler)[Veidman (hide spoiler)] didn't die, I wanted to see what happened next with that and what really was the plan that he had in mind. Best part of the book IMO, was Alenna's relationship with Gadya. The fight scene in the enemy camp, I actually had no idea if Gadya was truly angry, or if they would forgive each other in time.As for the romance with Liam, eh. Yeah he's attractive and strong, but seriously that's it. Also the instant connection they feel for each other? Spoiler alert- (view spoiler)[The exact same thing happened to me personally. I met a girl when I was 4 or 5, our fathers had once been friends when they were younger. We spent a day playing together and then never saw each other until she switched to my high school when we were the same age as Liam and Alenna in the book. We felt nothing. No connection, no clue. We found out only when my father saw her name on the class list and told me that we'd met before. So because of that experience, reading about their romance felt even more fake. (hide spoiler)]When I said the writing was good- well, with one exception. This is a cringe-inducing paragraph late in the book:We are the rebels now, I think, hardly believing I've become the very thing the GPPT purportedly tested for....I think back to how I was in New Providence: shy, quiet, and a little mousy. An orphan shut inside the confines of her own mind within a society that ultimately didn't understand her.But that was before Gadya taught me to stand up for myself.Before David and Veidman taught me to question the reality around me.Before Rika reminded me of the importance of being generous and kind.And most of all, it was before Liam taught me how to fall in love.YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Sheesh! Ok, let me figure it out for myself, show don't tell, you know? Also the lessons she lists don't even match up to what Alenna really learned. If I had to rewrite this, (although I don't think such a paragraph should ever appear in a book anyway):Gadya taught me how to lessen the chances that I'll get stabbed in a fight.David taught me that I don't have to be on anyone's side but my own if I don't feel like it.Veidman taught me to be suspicious of everyone.Rika taught me that if you're kind to someone dangerous, someone will end up getting stabbed.But most of all, it was Liam that taught me infatuation makes you act stupid.The end.
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  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    When I first found this book and look at it's awesome cover and read the really promising summary, I was really excited - fist-pumping kind of excited. And then I read it.Or... tried to, at least.Really, I'm upset with how much this book disappointed me. I was looking forward to it so much! It seemed like it was going to be a really good read. Maybe not the most original concept, but still promising. The excerpt seemed good enough, too. I went into this book expecting a really good story and When I first found this book and look at it's awesome cover and read the really promising summary, I was really excited - fist-pumping kind of excited. And then I read it.Or... tried to, at least.Really, I'm upset with how much this book disappointed me. I was looking forward to it so much! It seemed like it was going to be a really good read. Maybe not the most original concept, but still promising. The excerpt seemed good enough, too. I went into this book expecting a really good story and just found myself... well, disappointed. Why I Didn't Like It (At All):- The characters. All of the characters. Truthfully, I didn't find a single character who seemed well developed enough for me to even consider liking. None of their personalities were definite or unique, they all seemed to be suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder and a range of diseases that caused them to go from perfectly amiable to straight-up psychotic within a matter of sentences! This especially applies to the ever-bipolar Gadya. She alone had enough personality changes within the matter of chapters to get her installed as a full-time patient in fifty different insane asylums! That's how much personal care I think she would need in order to be, well... sane. And what bothers me even more about this point is that not once do any of the characters seem to point out her radical mood swings! I mean, really. That chick needs to get a grip. She's like a time bomb that keeps going off and then refueling and then going off again. It's a vicious cycle, my friends. Also, Alenna just... bothered me. A lot. She was pretty bipolar to, come to think of it... just not in such a violent way as Gadya. There's not much more I can say about her, as she was probably one of the most boring main characters I've ever read. There was nothing to her. She had no depth and rarely though anything of any importance to anyone. - The lovey-dovey shtuffs. The romance was completely unnecessary, in my opinion. Frankly, I think the book would have been significantly better without it. I feel like the book slowly declined from the beginning to the end all due to the romance between Liam and Alenna. First few pages were good... then she saw Liam on the screen and, Woah, guys, instant connection. No. Freaking. Way. Then she didn't really think about him again until the GPPS... and then she was on the island and suddenly couldn't stop thinking about him. Shocker. Then she finally meets him... and is warned by Gadya that he's no good... even though that fact is never proven at all... in the entire book... actually, he seemed pretty alright to me... aside from the fact that he pretty much attacked Alenna's face after knowing her for, like... three days. And then Alenna's like... ew, no! What are you doing? I told Gadya I wouldn't be with you! And then she forgives him... and then can't stop thinking of him. Gurl, you messed up. He just face-raped you! And then there's angst (but not really) and she kisses him, the moron. After saying, "Dude, no. We're friends." And then they end up being in love... and they've known one another for a month at the most. Just... ugh. It was so forced and unnecessary and I realize that I'm just ranting uncontrollably but.... I just don't understand how this book was published. I just don't.- The plot that wasn't really a plot... but was just kind of... there... So, I think the main plot of this book was supposed to be Alenna and the group going to the Gray Zone... which happened... but didn't seem like it was that important of a thing to them. I can't really explain this. Gimme a sec. So, the group sets off for the Gray Zone, which is something that they planned to do at about the middle of the book, but this is kind of the main plot. The problem is... the plot is overshadowed by... everything. Everything meaning the romance, the poorly developed characters, the choppy dialogue, etc., etc. I have no doubt that with a lot more work this book could have been really good, which makes me upset. The writing and story-building was just so sloppy that it ruined what could have been a good read... with a hell of a lot of editing... and revising... and rewriting.I'm not going to go into much more because I feel like I've ranted enough... and I can tell my thoughts are getting really incomplete, so I'm going to wrap this up.I was deeply disappointed by this book. What could have been a great story was ruined by too many factors to make it acceptable. This is really one of the first books that I've wholeheartedly wanted to give one star to, which is upsetting because, as I keep saying, it could have been good. All-in-all, this book was a waste of my time... Feel free to give it a go yourself, and if you like it, well, maybe you just saw more in it than I did. If you hate it, I warned you.
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  • Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
    January 1, 1970
    I was drawn to this book because of the cover. It's understated yet almost off-putting, and more traditionally "sci-fi" than other YA of the same genre. For that reason, I was expecting so much more of this book. Unfortunately, the cover might as well have been a girl wearing a pretty dress.The idea was interesting, of course. Naturally there are Lord of the Flies comparisons, but this book struck me as a combination of LOST and The Host (towards the end), oddly enough. However, the world didn't I was drawn to this book because of the cover. It's understated yet almost off-putting, and more traditionally "sci-fi" than other YA of the same genre. For that reason, I was expecting so much more of this book. Unfortunately, the cover might as well have been a girl wearing a pretty dress.The idea was interesting, of course. Naturally there are Lord of the Flies comparisons, but this book struck me as a combination of LOST and The Host (towards the end), oddly enough. However, the world didn't have anywhere near the development of any of the previously mentioned works. I had to read about the creation of the UNA a couple times just to make sure I hadn't missed anything because the information given was so sparse. I don't think a book necessarily has to give me a complete backstory on whatever happened to change the world, but a hint here and there is nice.Now, the characters. To me, Alenna was a total blank slate who just reacted to whatever was going on around her. Her "personality" was shaped by events rather than existing on its own. I didn't understand her loyalty to Gadya, despite Gadya having saved her life. First of all, that was Gadya's job, to scout around every day and save people. She said so, after all. Secondly, Gadya was a total bitch. She was always yelling (there was a lot of yelling in this book, actually, rather than just saying). Alenna should have stood up for herself at SOME point. I mean, I'm all for girls sticking together, but just because one of them says a boy is off-limits doesn't mean the other has to submit unquestioningly.Speaking of the off-limits boy, Liam was a total bore as well. He wasn't even around for much of the book, which made the romance that much more unbelievable. I think if you're going to include romance in a story, whether or not it's the main focus, you should at least try to make it sizzle. Or sweet. Or something other than just two people who meet and kiss and say they love each other a few days later.Anyway, from the Monk's identity to Alenna and Gadya's discovery in the gray zone to the possible spies, I was totally underwhelmed. This is one where I definitely won't be reading the sequel.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    This book ranks high on the young adult dystopians. The book is non-stop action and surprising. I expected none of what transpired. It is also surprisingly violent, although not detailed. What I liked:1. The story first and foremost. It is something interesting and compelled me forward.2. The friendship between the girls. As the story develops, the complicated relationship of girls plays out as there is a common hottie boy.3. The uncomplicated romance. Yes, there is a triangle and it causes some This book ranks high on the young adult dystopians. The book is non-stop action and surprising. I expected none of what transpired. It is also surprisingly violent, although not detailed. What I liked:1. The story first and foremost. It is something interesting and compelled me forward.2. The friendship between the girls. As the story develops, the complicated relationship of girls plays out as there is a common hottie boy.3. The uncomplicated romance. Yes, there is a triangle and it causes some problems, but the honesty of the characters makes it bearable.4. The romance is not the main event. It's simply part of the story.5. The action.6. Description of situation. I felt desperate when the characters had obstacles and weather to overcome.7. Unexpected twists and turns.Small pet peeves: 1. Referring to the rest of the occupants on the island as "kids." They were, mostly, but in my experience, teens don't call themselves "kids."2. Contrived important action points. The book and descriptions are well written enough that adding italics is redundant.See? Just personal pet peeves. But the story itself, the writing, character introduction is excellent.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    AUGUST 2015 - BOOKTUBETHON DAY 1: 3.5 STARS “I realise for the first time what being sent to the island really means – the total annihilation of hope.” Such an intriguing & gripping read -- really enjoyed this one. The premise and story were so exciting & tense, keeping me on the edge of my seat as the secrets were revealed. The island was very cool too!This book had one of the best twists I've read in a long time! -- I was caught completely off guard, left speechless.The reason AUGUST 2015 - BOOKTUBETHON DAY 1:★ 3.5 STARS ★ “I realise for the first time what being sent to the island really means – the total annihilation of hope.” Such an intriguing & gripping read -- really enjoyed this one. The premise and story were so exciting & tense, keeping me on the edge of my seat as the secrets were revealed. The island was very cool too!This book had one of the best twists I've read in a long time! -- I was caught completely off guard, left speechless.The reason this lost a star & a half was because the romance was awful and the last third of this book was rather slow, even though there were action-y parts, it just fell a bit flat compared to the excitement of the rest of the novel.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    In the past, I've noted that dystopians are not my favorite genre, but that doesn't keep me from trying them from time to time and I have found many that I love. I have recently started changing my mind with the influx of really different traditionally and indie published dystopians. This one rocked! It read a bit like a horror story to me it was just so unimaginable what was happening. From beginning to end the inhabitants or should I say the outcasts on the island are constantly barraged by In the past, I've noted that dystopians are not my favorite genre, but that doesn't keep me from trying them from time to time and I have found many that I love. I have recently started changing my mind with the influx of really different traditionally and indie published dystopians. This one rocked! It read a bit like a horror story to me it was just so unimaginable what was happening. From beginning to end the inhabitants or should I say the outcasts on the island are constantly barraged by some threat. There is not a moment's peace where they can let their guard down and relax.Alenna starts as a normal girl,as normal as can be, traumatized by her parents capture by the government when she was ten. She follows the rules and is a good little orphan. But you can tell by the questions in her head that she's probably not as quiet as she should be. However, there aren't any mind readers so she should be safe. The girls at the orphanage joke about taking the GPPT tests saying they are all safe because it would look bad if the government run orphanage had been harboring an "unanchored soul", the name they give people who fail the test. Less than 24 hours later, Alenna is running for her life not sure if the boy she's running with is safe or not and if she should go with the painted face people or the girl waving the gun, sure there is some mistake that she got dropped on The Wheel.Truth is hard to come by on the island. Information is given only on a need to know basis and only if you're trusted.But one thing everyone has in common, they all felt like outsiders and invisible at home. Here, they aren't. Alenna makes friends fast with the girl that saved her when she first arrived Gadya, and a cook named Rika. The three girls share as much laughter as you can when your village is under constant attack by the "Monk's drones" who use fireworks to burn down their huts and weapons, of course, to kill.And, Alenna falls for a boy that she saw on camera at the museum they visited the day before the tests were adminstered. He was the last thing she thought of before her test was administered. All before she was dropped here, a boy she's worried about quite a bit. But Liam is off limits according to Gadya, he's hers even if they are broken up and even if Liam likes Alenna. It's not quite insta love, but when you have a life span of about a year, I allow for a little immediate attraction, plus add the constant threat of dying, it probably adds to the intensity of feelings.I liked that Gadya, Alenna and Rika were such good friends. Rika was a kind hearted person and helped Alenna hold onto what was important, the human part of herself. Gadya kept her realistic, that you had to fight for everything, never believe what you saw and never trust anything, always question. Alenna was a good blend of the two. Liam, of course, was a bit of a sore spot between Gadya and Alenna, but just as Gadya becomes okay with it things change drastically.David is another main character though our time is limited with him. Yet when he's on the page, he takes center stage. He is the boy that sacrificed himself for Alenna when they were first being chased by the Monk's followers, the drones, so that she and Gadya could get away. He's later captured during a raid on her village, but he just wants to find haven in her village. He has information for her, but her village doesn't trust him, even if she will vouch for him. Every time he appears, Alenna is sure of his loyalty but allows the others mistrust of him to seep in until she questions herself. David seems to perform almost superhuman feats sometimes to prove his loyalty.What a discovery mission finds at the end of their journey is horrifying. I can't say what, but it is definitely something out of a Stephen King novel. The government has no heart in it, at all. If I hadn't been sure of that fact when they dropped hapless teenagers on a desolate island to fend for themselves, I was sure at the end of the novel. The last hundred pages is a terror filled race to more terror, but there is a bit of closure at the end of book one. No big cliffhangers. Lots of questions left to be answered.To say I was glued to the pages would be an understatement. I'm not sure I've ever read a book of this length in such a short amount of time. It is action packed, the plot moves at a breakneck pace. I did read the ARC at 375 pages. That's what the book information says on Goodreads. Anyone that likes a good dystopian should love this one. It's different and though I knew some things would work out, I didn't know how and that's what I liked so much about this novel. I couldn't have guessed at what was going on or why.The book is recommended for teens 12 and up. I don't remember anything I'd caution readers about except violence. I received an ARC from the publisher for review. I was in no way compensated for my review. This is my opinion of the book and not a literary review.
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  • Mitchii
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction after reading the book you expected to be awesome. I’ve been eyeing this baby for a while and lo and behold it was on galley grab. I didn’t know it was within my reach (this early). I was so ecstatic to read it. An island full of teenagers who have violent tendencies? *Raises her hand, me wants it!*If Glimpse has a test to identify people with mental illness, the GPPT (government personality profile test) will determine kids with potential aggressive Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction after reading the book you expected to be awesome. I’ve been eyeing this baby for a while and lo and behold it was on galley grab. I didn’t know it was within my reach (this early). I was so ecstatic to read it. An island full of teenagers who have violent tendencies? *Raises her hand, me wants it!*If Glimpse has a test to identify people with mental illness, the GPPT (government personality profile test) will determine kids with potential aggressive behaviors. Everyone from UNA (formerly was Mexico, the U.S., and Canada) take this test. Alenna the main girl of the story, took this test but after it was administered to her she blacked out and she woken up in an island. She didn’t pass the test and she was officially an unanchored soul. She was shipped to Prison Island Alpha. Escaping is one thing, but surviving the island is another story.I originally thought of Battle Royale, since I assumed teenagers are the only inhabitants of the island. And they were all there because of the same reason (they are capable of violence) I thought it’s going to be brutal. But it’s not, in some way I was really glad about it. Not that I don’t like some action, I was glad that there’s more to it; there’s a real reason (view spoiler)[not because they have violent tendencies (hide spoiler)] why they were all dumped there. I also didn’t expect that there were going to be some sort of groups running the island. They called the island the wheel, as in like the color wheel. Some parts of the island are ruled by a guy called Monk (a guy in a mask who turned out to be real shocker when I found out who he really was) and the group where Alenna decided to affiliate to, the blue sector. There also called gray zones, which was described as a dangerous sector. The entire concept of the island which was split into sectors reminded me of Sabaody Archipelago (but hazardous) the sectors are like groves. I’m still impressed with idea despite it wasn’t really that original for me. I liked that there’s some sort of organization and not just simply surviving the wilderness with kids running amok. Scratching off my initial idea of battle royale-esque.Of course, it will not be complete without the romance. I’m not the biggest fan of insta-love so when Alenna saw Liam for the first time through a video and she instantly had a strange pull to him, I was struggling to keep my eyes from rolling. But the sudden affection was explained at the later part of the story (though not really a solid reason, but it was acceptable) that they have connection way before they met in the island. And even if I’m not that fond of how Alenna and Liam developed romantically, I still like their chemistry. Besides, Liam is not hard to like.Alenna has a lot more to improve. Her survival here was due to the other characters that have superior skills than her. I know she was a newbie to the team, haven’t adapted fully to their environment. But David was also like her, but his chosen tactic was clever. I hope she grow a pair. I don’t dislike her, she got guts but I hope it’ll be back-up by actions. Maybe next time.Towards the end there were lots fascinating and surprising stuff revealed. Lots of things happened to Alenna and the others, though some of it felt tad contrive. But the end result was still impressive, I can sense where the plot is heading to, and couldn’t wait to find out if I’m right. ;)**Thanks Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for the eARC.**
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  • MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov
    January 1, 1970
    PANEM IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE WHEEL! IM SURE ALL HUNGER GAMES FANS WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!This book gets a A+ for ORIGINALITY!!!! Even though some may it was Hunger Games meets Lord of the flies, which DOES NOT stop this book from having GREAT potential! I really enjoyed all of the characters, they all played a significant part in the book and weren't just a waste of a character. Every one of them was put on the wheel for a purpose and all had essential skills that was needed to help each other PANEM IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE WHEEL! IM SURE ALL HUNGER GAMES FANS WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!This book gets a A+ for ORIGINALITY!!!! Even though some may it was Hunger Games meets Lord of the flies, which DOES NOT stop this book from having GREAT potential! I really enjoyed all of the characters, they all played a significant part in the book and weren't just a waste of a character. Every one of them was put on the wheel for a purpose and all had essential skills that was needed to help each other escape off of the Wheel.This book is about a girl named Alenna Shawcross, she has had her parents ripped away from her at a young age by the government, was placed in Forster care until she was old enough to take the GPPT- Government Personality Profile Test. The GPPT detects if a person has a high capacity for brutal violence, Alenna doesn't have to worry much because she is just normal girl that blends in. But Alenna's world changes for the worst when she mysteriously fails the test and is dropped off on Prison Island Alpha. Alenna must find answers to why she was labeled an 'Unanchored Soul' she must also find out the truth about what really happened to her parents because there are messages from them on the island, but first she must fight to stay alive.Alenna: I liked her character but didn't love her, I don't know maybe I couldn't connect with her most times. Yea she had a hard life but sometimes I felt she didn't have that SPUNK that I wanted her to have but maybe the author is saving it for the next book so I won't rule her out just yet as a character I don't care for but we shall see because she is the MAIN character XDGadya: I LOOOOOOVEEEEE her! Can we switch Alenna with Gadya please??? She had everything we would want in a character! She is strong, witty and acts like she has nothing to loose! She was AMAZING in this book and I believe Gadya carried the whole book on her back because it wouldn't have been AWESOME without her!! I am #TeamGadya FOREVER!! I LOVE HER!!!Liam: Of course he is HOTT and all but yea he was still a good character, I kind of had this empty feeling towards him also becuase maybe....I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM!!! As of now I like him :)David Aberly I enjoy his part in the book even though he came in and out of it he was still there in the back of my mind when something happened I knew it was because of him or had to do with him. I loved how he always saved Alenna and I think the second book is due for a LOVE TRIANGLE between Liam and Alenna! I hope that happens and I can't wait for it! SO UNIQUE!!!!! I like the whole concept of the GPPT it's pretty cool and scary at the same time! This world was a new and exciting one that I understood, I hate a world were I do not understand how it works or how everything goes down and this book was not one of those! I LOVED LOVED LOVED this world besides the fact that they had no internet or cell phones, I would really die if I lived in this world lol.Overall: This was a GREAT read and I can't wait for the next book! I hope she has already started writing because I am itching to get my hands on the next book!Rating: G for GREAT!
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  • Justin
    January 1, 1970
    Dystopians have become extremely popular in YA recently. And the problem with the popularity comes trying to find a way to take a well saturated genre such as Dystopian and try to write something completely unique for it. It almost feels like an impossible feat, because almost every time you will be able to draw some similarity to other Dystopian books. This is where The Forsaken comes in, it is without a doubt a great book. But you will find you see yourself drawing comparisons to many Dystopians have become extremely popular in YA recently. And the problem with the popularity comes trying to find a way to take a well saturated genre such as Dystopian and try to write something completely unique for it. It almost feels like an impossible feat, because almost every time you will be able to draw some similarity to other Dystopian books. This is where The Forsaken comes in, it is without a doubt a great book. But you will find you see yourself drawing comparisons to many different trending ideas in YA Dystopian books when you read it. Is that a negative thing? Not at all. A lot of these base ideas are fantastic, what really makes the books good is the authors ability to look at those ideas and be able to adapt their own version or outlook on it all. Lisa was able to accomplish that, with some fantastic writing skills to back it up.The Forsaken is a pretty crazy book, as I mentioned it above it does draw on some very popular ideas out there now but Lisa gives it all her own flare. I really enjoyed the concept of the book, and the back story. I felt like a little more information could of been given, especially regarding the pills and other things which you will learn about when you read the book. But I got a feeling we will learn more about the back story in book two which is titled The Uprising (As of this moment).I can't tell you how many books I have read that involve children being separated from their parents by force. Alenna is one of those children, at the time she really didn't understand what was going on but as she grows up literally in the first few chapters, she has come to terms with her new life and is actually a really strong and admirable character which is awesome. Then you have Liam, he and Alenna share somewhat of a special relationship throughout the book which is much more than just some romantic fling. They go through a lot, and really have to be there for each other and others that are with them throughout the book. The Forsaken is full of great characters, and of course the drones. Which I will have to leave you guessing about, no they aren't robots.Overall I was really pleased with The Forsaken. If you come to terms with the fact that if used correctly, popular ideas can still have a fresh feeling to them then I think you would be able to enjoy this book. You can easily tell that Lisa was able to add her own spin on things, and turn The Forsaken into a great addition to the Dystopian genre. I am really excited to read the second book, and learn more about little things like Destiny Station and a few other things that come up later in the book. It's going to be pretty interesting to see where things go, and what the UNA has to say about the events that take place towards the end of the book. I doubt they will be to happy.If you're a fan of Dystopian, then the question as to if you should read this book or not should be a no brainer. It has all the awesome elements you would expect to see, with a pretty thrilling story to go along with it. If you really haven't read much Dystopian, then I would also have to highly suggest that you check this book out. It will give you a good taste of what you should expect to see in the genre, while still having it's own unique voice.
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  • Adeeb
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally posted on http://bookville1.blogspot.com/2012/0...First of all, I'd like to give a big thank you because I got provided with a review copy. Second, I just have to admire this cover greatly. This is perhaps the best cover out there. Very creative, and perfectly fits with the story. It's great to see a change from the girls dressed up on covers.On to the review:By now you might think: Enough of dystopia! It's everywhere. Soon there will be a "dystopian corner" just like there was Review originally posted on http://bookville1.blogspot.com/2012/0...First of all, I'd like to give a big thank you because I got provided with a review copy. Second, I just have to admire this cover greatly. This is perhaps the best cover out there. Very creative, and perfectly fits with the story. It's great to see a change from the girls dressed up on covers.On to the review:By now you might think: Enough of dystopia! It's everywhere. Soon there will be a "dystopian corner" just like there was the all famous "vampire corner". You probably are starting to get bored of them.BUTThe Forsaken is different. It is one of the best ones out there. And that is saying something.There are many things I loved about this books and they are:1-World: Honestly, I don't think I've ever read about a dystopian world this unique. Stasse has a very imaginative mind. She has created a dystopian world with fresh unique ideas. All the other dystopian books have very similar atmospheres. 2-Story: From that first page, I was hooked. The writing style and pacing of this book is perfect. There isn't a single page that won't keep you on the edge of your seat. I must admit, it was extremely addicting. There was enough of everything, in the perfect places. There were LOTS of shocking moments. There were emotional moments as well.3-Characters: I won't go into detail about the characters. I liked each and every one of them; whether brave, cocky, mean, really anything. I must admit, I really liked Alenna, our main character's personality. She wasn't exactly strong, but she was the type who believed in teamwork and wouldn;t give up easily.4-Romance: I am EXTREMELY grateful there wasn't a love triangle in this book! Lisa THANKS A BILLION! I'm really getting sick of this trend! I'm not a fan of romances in general, but this book had a really nice romance in it. I liked the relationship of the two lovers. Finally, I'd like to mention that I loved the ending. I can totally see an action-packed sequel that will blow my mind coming soon. I can't wait to read The Uprising (yes, that's what the second book is called) I loved this book. Now, all I have to do is recommending it to people. Also, books like these motivate me! They make me feel like I will someday pursue my dreams and get a book published. A huge thank you to everyone who was responsible to bring this book to life. I loved it. I devoured it. I will support it.
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  • Isamlq
    January 1, 1970
    2.5/5The Forsaken. It reads like a mish mash of Lord of the Flies and Maze Runner and some other stuff that I have read and liked more. A good deal of it bored me. Some of it read too convenient and not sinister enough.. or maybe too sinister as if trying too hard. If I were to piece it apart, the individual bits could have been interesting ala Lord of Flies but instead of a plane crash landing and kids attempting to survive this one has a prison with factions whose loyalties and goals were not 2.5/5The Forsaken. It reads like a mish mash of Lord of the Flies and Maze Runner and some other stuff that I have read and liked more. A good deal of it bored me. Some of it read too convenient and not sinister enough.. or maybe too sinister as if trying too hard. If I were to piece it apart, the individual bits could have been interesting ala Lord of Flies but instead of a plane crash landing and kids attempting to survive this one has a prison with factions whose loyalties and goals were not that clearly defined. Take the blue sector, split them again and you find people all gung ho about fighting and defending, then another half wanting to keep to their current version of freedom, (but really obviously scared of rocking the boat.) I didn’t gravitate to either of side. I mean, middle ground people! Or take the other other side: Monk? I like his drones that have devolved in this more savage, somehow mindless group. I confess, I did enjoy the descriptions of this bunch. All sharp toothed and cruel… but again, so what? The eventual discoveries tickled my fancy but not enough to get me excited. All that talk of gray zones and barriers and feelers had me imagining a sc-ifi something… but it all felt too laid out to me as if they were simply following crumbs thrown down for them to follow. There’s a needless romance that I couldn’t follow too. If asked to choose between Liam and David, David was sounding more interesting to me. If we're talking history, there was one between David and Alena… Liam just sounded too beef cake-y, hot hunter type. Then of course Gadja with her blind let me at ‘em wildness, she could have been my favorite character except this independent woman was cut down by her tendency to be blinded by a jealousy that was, sadly, a tad too predictable. Argh! The Forsaken could have been good too… but at least it got better eventually~ in the last twenty percent to be exact when things got even more complicated with people joining up when you wouldn’t think them doing so, and with people showing who they were and what they could do. Thank you Simon and Schuster G&G2.5/5
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very fast read with lots of action. It was really good but I found the ending lacking and unsatisfying. It wasn't that it was bad- this was not the case at all, it's just the ending was not as good as the rest of the book. Alena saw her parents taken at 10 years old by the UNA. They tell her their gone and she's theirs now- the UNA's orphan. When children reach 16 it is mandatory for them to take a test which- known to them decides if they will be rebels or not. They are designed to This was a very fast read with lots of action. It was really good but I found the ending lacking and unsatisfying. It wasn't that it was bad- this was not the case at all, it's just the ending was not as good as the rest of the book. Alena saw her parents taken at 10 years old by the UNA. They tell her their gone and she's theirs now- the UNA's orphan. When children reach 16 it is mandatory for them to take a test which- known to them decides if they will be rebels or not. They are designed to keep the peace and when Alena blacks during the test and when she awakes she's on Island Alpha- a prison island used to harbour all potential rebels. There she joins the blue sector and finds out what Prison Island Alpha is really used for and forms new friendships, a relationship and finds a family. Could this island be where her parents were taken, is there a way off, will she and her new friends ever be free? This book is fast paced, thrilling and endearing. It is written well and has a good underlying concept. It will keep you immobile and waiting in the next word. There were so many sad times in this book as more and more 'people' lost their lives. (view spoiler)[ I hate the thought that Gadya wasn't with them at the end in the 'safe place'They searched for and she was seemingly forgotten. I knew from the start Alena's mother would be alive. I don't see why her father couldn't have been aswel but there we are. (hide spoiler)] I enjoyed this. Like I said the ending could have been better its why I only give it 4 stars. Intrigued by what will happen next. Will they all get out alive?? That is the question.
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  • Melissa **Just Really Loves Musicals**
    January 1, 1970
    What a disappointment. I was looking forward to this book for so long. I even bought it in hardback because the cover is so pretty and I honestly thought I would love it. But I just didn't. If it wasn't for the pretty good plot, it would've been a 1 or 2 star for me. But I really did enjoy the story itself. The main thing that annoyed me about this was the characters. Or, to be more precise, the ridiculous romance and love triangle. It was a serious case of insta-love, it it was so cheesy it What a disappointment. I was looking forward to this book for so long. I even bought it in hardback because the cover is so pretty and I honestly thought I would love it. But I just didn't. If it wasn't for the pretty good plot, it would've been a 1 or 2 star for me. But I really did enjoy the story itself. The main thing that annoyed me about this was the characters. Or, to be more precise, the ridiculous romance and love triangle. It was a serious case of insta-love, it it was so cheesy it literally made me cry out load "for god sake???!!!" at one point. The romance was just terrible. The main characters of Alenna, Liam and Gadya were extremely unlikeable. The side characters were forgettable. The only interesting characters were David and The Monk. The twist, I must admit, with who The Monk was, was pretty good. I didn't see that one coming. Overall, a disappointing read. However, I will be purchasing and reading the other 2 in the trilogy, because like I said, the story was pretty good and I am definitely intrigued with the world and what's going to happen next. I just wish the main 3 would all drop dead and the story would follow from David's point of view!
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Ugh. This book has a lovely cover. It is a shame that it is so completely meh in every other way. It took me way too long to read it, just because it was so...un-interesting. In every way. It wasn't TERRIBLE, I just didn't care. The characters were super uninteresting and underdeveloped, the love story had no power behind it or desire, the world building was kind of downright awful (this all takes place 20 years from now? I just...no?), the writing was blah, and it was TOO LONG. Overall, this Ugh. This book has a lovely cover. It is a shame that it is so completely meh in every other way. It took me way too long to read it, just because it was so...un-interesting. In every way. It wasn't TERRIBLE, I just didn't care. The characters were super uninteresting and underdeveloped, the love story had no power behind it or desire, the world building was kind of downright awful (this all takes place 20 years from now? I just...no?), the writing was blah, and it was TOO LONG. Overall, this was just a super mediocre, boring Hunger Games rip-off. It wasn't AWFUL (hence the two instead of one stars), but it just had NOTHING stand-out going on.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    The whole concept of this book was completley awesome and I loved it, I just felt like it could have been done better. My main problem with this book was the characters. I didn't feel any sort of attachment towards any of them. When characters died or were taken or left behind, I didn't care. I didn't feel the emotional response I'm used to with books. I even felt detached from the main character, Alenna. I really wanted to love this book because the plot just sounded so great, but I only got a The whole concept of this book was completley awesome and I loved it, I just felt like it could have been done better. My main problem with this book was the characters. I didn't feel any sort of attachment towards any of them. When characters died or were taken or left behind, I didn't care. I didn't feel the emotional response I'm used to with books. I even felt detached from the main character, Alenna. I really wanted to love this book because the plot just sounded so great, but I only got a lukewarm feeling from it in the end.
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  • S.J. Abbo
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers)
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! This book has left me utterly SPEECHLESS!!! My mind is still racing with all the action and adventure in this book! It was truly ONE of the BEST Dystiopian books I have EVER read! And that's saying a lot because I have read so many great dystiopian books, but this one ranks up there near the top! Where do I start to name the many ways why I love this book? It was an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end! And NO, I'm not exaggerating one bit!! It truly was! From the minute WOW! This book has left me utterly SPEECHLESS!!! My mind is still racing with all the action and adventure in this book! It was truly ONE of the BEST Dystiopian books I have EVER read! And that's saying a lot because I have read so many great dystiopian books, but this one ranks up there near the top! Where do I start to name the many ways why I love this book? It was an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end! And NO, I'm not exaggerating one bit!! It truly was! From the minute Alenna arrives on the wheel to the very end of the book were caught up in so much action, that I literally had to take breaks because my heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to explode! It was such a much fun to read this book! I LOVED IT!! I'm so glad I waited as long as I did to read this, because now, the second book is right around the corner, and I don't have to wait long to jump back into Alenna and Liam's adventure. And I heard the next book is just as good as the first one, if not better!THE PLOT: The United Northern Alliance the UNA for short has taken control of the government by brainwashing the citizens to believe that their is a threat within them! That the same people that are in the population are the same people bringing their world down, and they need to be stopped!! So they come up with the idea to detect early behavior problems in kids at the age of 16. They are given a test to determine if they have rebellious tendencies or as the government calls it Subversive Tendencies. And if they fail the test they are considered a threat either now or in the future, and are exiled and sent to the wheel, a mysterious island where they'll live their remaining days waiting too die. The life expectancy on island Alpha (The Wheel) is only eighteen years of age. That's only two years to live on the wheel! The Wheel is a treacherous place where kids battle each other for territory and anything else they can claim. Their cruel, dangerous, and will kill you in a heart beat without thinking about it! Its not a place to mess around. But not all the kids on the wheel are like that. Their are two different groups of kids on the wheel. The Monk's Tribe called the Drones and the other Tribe from the blue sector. The other tribe doesn't have a name, but the drones call them The Heathens. So you can pretty much say you have the good "normal" kids that are from the blue sector, then you have the drones, the bad kids that are insane, that run 4 of the 6 sectors. The drones are brainwashed by their leader the Monk who claims he has spiritual powers and tells his tribe that the wheel is just a test and if they do what he says they'll get off the Wheel one day or find their reward in their afterlife. And some kids believe him an do what he says. The other kids that don't go to the blue sector with the semi-sane kids. If they can make it there without the drones capturing them and forcing them to join their tribe. Alenna is one of the kids that failed the Government Personality Profile Test, GPPT for short, and is sent to the wheel, to pretty much wait for death to take her. She wakes up on the wheel and doesn't remember what happened to her or where she is, until it all starts coming back and she realizes she is at the last place she thought she would end up, the wheel! She immediately puts up a wall and trust one, and she's right too because these kids are dangerous. She has a run-in with one of the drones trying to claim her as one of them, and take her back to their leader the Monk. She is luckily rescued by one of the good kids from the blue sector, and is brought back to their village, and that's when Aleena's adventure starts! She starts to form friendships with some of the kids from the blue sector, and quickly learns the ropes of how the wheel works. They are at a constant battle with the drones, and have their village attacked constantly. Their numbers are dwindling by the day, and they don't have enough kids to go to battle with the drones. So theirs only one other option if they want to survive the wheel, Escape... So from there on Aleena and her group are traveling from their sector to the gray sector where their is talk of helicopters and a way off the island. But theirs just one problem! They have to go through enemy territory to get to the gray sector, the only sector that holds any hope of escape! So as you can see they have a constant battle in front of them if their going to make it to the gray sector and find a way of the island, alive! It was truly an adrenaline ride that was action-packed, that kept me glued to the pages craving more! I can't wait until I can get back into this sickening, yet captivating world that Lisa Stasse created! She say an amazing imagination and surly shows it in this book! Overall this book was everything I could of hoped for an more! It was full of action, adventure, friendship, betrayals, romance, and most of all, a fight for what they believed in! It just can't get any better then that! This book will forever hold a special place in my heart and bookshelf, and will go down as one of my favorite books of ALL TIME!!!
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  • Cocktails and Books
    January 1, 1970
    Started a bit slow, but definitely picked up momentum. Can't wait to find out what happens next.
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