Book Review: Gated

Book Review: GatedGated by Amy Christine Parker
Series: Gated #1
Published by Random House LLC on August 6th 2013
Pages: 339
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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. Amy Christine Parker’s beautiful writing creates a chilling, utterly unique YA story. Perfect for fans of creepy thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.

thoughtBehind closed gates, anything goes.

I am not sure exactly what I was expecting from Gated, but what it delivered was unlike anything I have ever read.

For Lyla, her family, and friends, the end of the world is coming. Literally. Or at least, that is what they have been told and even passionately believe. After the events of September 11th’s attack, who are they to question the direction the world is going in. They lived through it. The choas. The terror. For them, everything Pioneer tells them seems reasonable… believable. Swept away from everything they know, Lyla and her family take root in Pioneer’s gated community. A community that promises that they will survive. After all, he has had a vision, and these people living within these gates are the Chosen Ones. The people he has been told are pure. So pure that they must survive the end of the world… at any cost.

Gated is a hard book to talk about. Mostly because I am torn. While Gated was like nothing I have ever read, it is still a hard book for me to swallow. I know there are people out there every day that get sucked into the type of life Lyla has, but it takes her a long time to really start to have the questions that many of us probably would have had a long time ago. Plus, it is not as if she comes to question everything she knows on her own or even because of the people she has known all her life. Nope. She does it because of a boy. An outsider boy. A boy she has known for all of two seconds. She meets him and it is like game over for everything she has known, or at least thought she did for years. I know sometimes it takes a certain something to wake people up to see what is truly around them. However,  it is hard to believe that you are fearful of every Outsider one moment, but then like “He is different. I trust him.” just because you find him attractive. Come on!

One other major issue I had with Gated was its pacing. Some chapters went super fast, some felt dragging. Throughout Gated, it never seemed to keep the same pacing. Slow. Fast. Fast. Slow. Slow. It was hard to get through at some points because of this. It wasn’t till almost the end that Gated really started to show its true colors. But by then, it felt like it was almost too late.

Verdict:

I applaud Gated for being different. It wasn’t a perfect read, but the differences it offers kept the pages turning.

 

Kate

Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.

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