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August 09, 2012

Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse - Juhina

The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)
Title: The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1)
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Publication date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult (Dystopian)
Challenges: Dystopian, Debut
Source: Publisher
Format: Finished Copy
Pages: 375
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

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.
You know how all dystopian novels are now labeled the next "Hunger Games"? and you know how every time, the book has nothing to do with HG or just isn't up to its level? Well The Forsaken not only has a total HG vibe, but its unique plot, mystery, characterization, and excellent storytelling mark it as one of my favorite dystopians of 2012! 
This dystopian world has two types of people, anchored and unanchored souls. If a person has an unanchored soul when they go through the GPPT test, they are sent to Alpha Island, where everyone runs around and kill each other like savages and the unanchored souls they are. But us readers know thats not the whole truth, a dystopian world isn't one without its lies, schemes, cover ups and power hungry leaders. When the main protagonist, Alenna, is sent to Alpha Island, she gets sucked into turf wars. She ends up on the good side, the other being one where the people do act like savages, wearing masks, killing anything in sight, and worshipping their mysterious monk, hence the given name Drones. Alenna is an orphan, her parents were taken one night and she never saw them. When she gets there, she finds herself discovering something about her parents and joining an expedition, trying to find a way to get out of The Wheel. This is when the excitement begins. 
At the beginning, we get  a quick romance line between Alenna and a guy on the wheel, however I was glad when the plot refocused on the expedition and trying to survive. This is why the second half of the book was so much more enjoyable than the first. The characters battle drones, machinery, and the harsh weather. I honestly could not put the book down. Also this novel did not go stingy on deaths. She didn't cling to her characters and the unrealistic need to keep them all safe in a place where not many people can stay alive. Lisa also threw at us so many unexpected and shock worthy information. I was gasping every 10 pages towards the end of the novel. Also the characters were always given a choice to do the right or wrong thing and at some points doing the wrong thing is what really needs to be done. Lisa M. Stasse has captured my attention from the first page of The Forsaken, but what made the book for me was the flowing plot and the narration. The ending is a promise for me but it is free of the massive cliffhangers that break our heart. I honestly can't wait for book #2 and continue on the journey of Alenna!


2 comments:

  1. I know what you mean by everything being compared to the Hunger Games. *rolls eyes* I even wrote a post about it.

    Alpha Island sounds like a Lord of the Flies type thing. *shudder* creepy.

    I really do need a novel to gasp at. I will pick this up soon!

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  2. I love the cover and the review made me want to start this book today! I have marked it on my list and can't wait to read it. It sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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