The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse 3.5 STARS
Synopsis- 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
Overall- I liked this book overall. Generally it was interesting and kept my attention for most of the book. Im looking forward to reading the next books and am highly intrigued. I must say though it does remind me of the other dystopian books out there, but the all start to sound alike at some point right? I think what sets this one apart is probably the "drug" issue the prime minister and the island/wheel. While the beginning felt stiff, and awkward, the writing and pacing picked up and I really started to fall in love.
Plot- This plot line really intrigued me. Especially having read Hunger Games and Delirium which this book was reminiscent of, the problems for me, were really the uncivilized characters and regime that this book carried through the first half. I was constantly reminded of the Savage behavior of these boys and felt like I was reading Lord of the Flies except with females involved. I was confused by the wheel and how things were broken up, and felt that at times, certain events or activities, werent well explained.
By the time the characters were all moving through the wheel to the Grey zone, I was intrigued and couldnt put the book down. I really started falling for the story at that point, and the twists and turns the author took me on is what really kept me interested and following along! I liked that the ending provided some conclusion to the first book, but set up the next. The final scenes, while somewhat predictable, were refreshing because the author allowed explanations to occur giving the reader the closure you need. I wish some of these answers had been provided through the course of the book, rather than at the end in one final swoop, but nonetheless I was pleased. I was also happy with the turn of events that ocurred throughout the book. Yes I predicted some of the events but the execution of these events is what made me continue reading and enjoying this book! I thought that the romance could have been more developed, but in the end it makes a lot more sense, and that puts me at ease on this issue.
Liam - I liked Liam, however, I felt that the author could have spent more time on getting to know him. It seems like there was an insta connection between him and Alenna, which is explainable, but at the same time as the reader I dont feel like I know him, and find him somewhat forgettable until the end.
Gadya- I, like Alenna, had a love/hate relationship with Gadya. She is one tough cookie! But I like her. She forced Alenna to be stronger and to be a better person and I liked that they had each others backs even when they were upset with each other. I appreciated the tension and friendship that Gadya brought.
David- Im still not sure what to think about David. He confused me. In so many ways. Im not sure if he is a good guy or a bad guy, is he helpful, is he dead, what in the world is going on with this one!? I sure hope I find out in the next book!