Title: The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1)
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
My Rating: 4/5
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. (Summary from Goodreads)
I still feel dizzy from The Forsaken. Reading this book was like being on one crazy roller-coaster that had my adrenaline going like nobody's business. Just when I thought it was safe to let my guard down, I was hit with another twist that had me reeling. The Forsaken was one crazy ride that I would gladly go on again.
The best way to describe this book is to call it "action-packed". It was one battle after the next, one twist after another. I think this kind of fast-paced plot can be detrimental to a novel but in The Forsaken's case, it was exactly what the story needed. It kept me on my toes. I never knew what was going to happen next! My jaw fell open countless times, and I kept flipping the pages faster so I could see how it would all play out.
As for the characters, I liked them well enough. Since the book was so plot-focused, the characters were pushed to the side a tad. We got a general feeling for them, but I didn't feel like I was super invested in them. More invested in the idea of them. Gadya, though, was a stand-out for me. Although she drove me a little crazy with her jealousy sometimes, I loved her passion and her drive. She was a fun, interesting character, and one heck of a bad-ass. She was the person I hoped Alenna would emulate (and was happy to see that she did). Alenna herself, I thought, was a great narrator. She was a character that the reader could relate to and one that we could cheer for. I liked that she pushed herself to become a strong person, even when she was petrified. Alenna is going to be one to watch out for!
One of the coolest and most interesting parts of this book was the idea itself. I haven't read a lot of dystopian recently, but this book reminded me why I love the genre. There's so much passion, and growth in dystopian and always a really intriguing premise! I was a bit wary when there was a info-dump right off the bat. I like to be slowly introduced to the world, not have it shoved at me in the first couple pages. Regardless, the idea I was being introduced to was really interesting. The all-controlling government, the thought pills and earpieces, the test that is supposed to determine criminal tendencies and, of course, the wheel itself. I knew this was going to be a world that would keep me interested, and that would set itself up for one crazy rebellion.
The Forsaken was a great dystopian adventure! I'm looking forward to exploring more of this crazy world soon.
- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)