photo home_zpspjo8kmb0.png photo about us_zpsarf3yetn.png photo reviews_zpshqab7na7.png photo book recs_zpsdmrlfetg.png


February 16, 2014

Double Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker & Countdown by Michelle Rowen


Title: Gated
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: August 6, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Cult/thriller)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Appearances can be deceiving.

In the Community, life seems perfect. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited Lyla’s family to join his group and escape the evil in the world. They were happy to be chosen, happy to move away from New York and start over in such an idyllic gated community. Now seventeen, Lyla knows that Pioneer is more than just their charismatic leader, he is their prophet . . . but his visions have grown dark.

Lyla is a loyal member of the Community, but a chance encounter with an outsider boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community—everything. And if there’s one thing not allowed in the Community, it’s doubt. Her family and friends are certain in their belief. Lyla wishes she could feel the same. As Pioneer begins to manipulate his flock toward disaster, the question remains: Will Lyla follow them over the edge?

From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story of the Community from the inside looking out, and from behind the gates things are not quite so simple. 
Gated gives you a front row seat, or more like the actual insider experience of what it is like to grow up and live in a cult. Initially when I started reading Gated, I just assumed that it is a dystopian book, however it really isn't. The rest of the world, outside Lyla's little community is living its life just like we currently are. However for Lyla, her family, and 20 other families, they live in a closed off, gated community run by Pioneer, the Brethren's prophet (Think psychotic cult leader using religion to brainwash these people). Before, whenever I hear stories about cults and what they do, I always wonder how blind the followers are.. can't they use logic and just SEE that how they're living is just all kinds of crazy? But being put in Lyla's shows.. and hearing what Pioneer says and how he manipulates them, I really can't blame these cult followers anymore. 
The synopsis says so much… but some of it is too much while other things are a bit misleading. I spent more than half of the novel waiting for Lyla to realize that Pioneer is a psycho.. but what I did spend almost half of the novel on is her obsessing over the Sherif's kid who came with his father in the community and went on a quick tour that Lyla got stuck showing. I get that this is the first time she talks to an Outsider, but this felt too insta-love-ish.. He wanted to meet her again, she says no, then tells him she's going to be at Walmart next saturday (once in a couple of months or years, a family goes to buy all the supplies).. then she spends the rest of the novel obsessing over him. I just disliked the direction the book took and wished it was more fast paced and spent more time after she figured out Pioneer doped them all. 
Still, towards the end you do get to witness some action and see Pioneer for who he really is.. and he is one scary sociopath. I personally didn't care much for the characters, not even Lyla, but I did like one person and that is Lyla's best friend, Marie. I wished we got more scenes with her. I would recommend this novel to people who have always wondered about cults. While some parts were boring and I wished the book picked up the pace quicker, I still enjoyed it overall.  


Title: Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: October 1st, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Dystopian)
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.

Kira Jordan is a homeless orphan who has survived in the world using her cunning wits and her low level psi, giving her the power to sense people's feelings, but only with skin-to-skin contact. Rogan is a notorious criminal who had gotten out of Juvenile Detention a couple of days before they met. Now, they have both been thrown into a game where you need to survive, time is your enemy, and a clock is always ticking. Having to stay within 90 feet of each other (or both Kira and Rogan's head will explode), Kira and Rogan must find a way to beat each level of a horrible underground game, all with crowds of rich people watching their every move on a private T.V channel. But Rogan knows more about these games then he will let on, and his secrets may lead to a horrible truth...........
This. Book. Is. AMAZEBEANS!!!! I honestly would be hard pressed to find a book like this one (if you're thinking Hunger Games right now, I totally understand, as there are some similarities, I know). I fell in love with Kira and Rogan. Kira is a very sarcastic and witty girl, and sarcasm is my best subject. I love being sarcastic!
The ending was sooooo gooooood!!!! It was so sweetly tied up, and I liked the ending theme (I can't tell you what it was, but it has to do with a certain boy and a certain girl). Countdown is written in first person, in Kira's POV, which makes this book like 10000 times better to me. A great read for teen ages 13+.



  1. It's funny I loved Gated but only liked Countdown. I think my biggest issue with Countdown was Kira. I swear she was Bi-polar. I definitely agree about Marie from Gated I was hoping the book would have a novella or something from her pov it would probably be fascinating. Great reviews!

  2. I really liked Gates, but I haven't read Countdown. I like the sounds of it, so I will have to add it and keep an eye out for it. Great reviews.

  3. I would totes have thought Gated was a dystopian based on the name and cover! But, it really sounds good

  4. I think Countdown is on my list of books to read. It sounds really good. The cover for Gated freaks me out a little haha. I can't remember if I've got that one my list too... Great reviews :)