Book Review: The Forsaken

Book Review: The ForsakenThe Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Series: The Forsaken #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books on July 10th 2012
Pages: 384

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.

The Forsaken is a book that I have been eyeing for quite some type. A brutal blend of a dystopian world and survival of the fittest. What could go wrong here?
Stasse sets her world in the not too distant future. This world hangs in a perilous balance. War, famine, and uncertainty rocks the North American countries causing the creation of the UNA, a super country of sorts. The foundation of the country lies in its youth's upbringing. As they will be the future of the community, the UNA wants to ensure that only the best have access to all that the UNA has to offer. Thus, the creation of the GPPT (government personality profile test). At age sixteen, all teen are given the test to check for behaviorial and other issues. You pass? You get a pat on the back. You fail? The Wheel awaits you.
Alenna, our main character, was different. I am not really sure how to describe her, honestly. Losing her parents at a young age, Alenna knows going into the GPPT that she should have nothing to fear. She has done all that she can to avoid standing out. But it seems that her hardest was not good enough. Having awoke on the Wheel, readers begin to see another side of our MC. A side that I was not expecting.
The Forsaken was exactly what I was hoping it would be. A destructive society that projects itself as something great, but in reality is completely dysfunctional. And the Wheel. Pure genius! I loved discovering this part of the world. It was gritty. Brutal. Not afraid to kick ass and take names. Too often, young adult dystopians will toe the line. Taking readers to the point of no return, and then just before it gets there, do a complete 360 and go back in the other direction. Not The Forsaken. 
Final Verdict:
The Forsaken maybe the closest that I will ever get to finding everything I want in a dystopian read. Strong characters? Check. Brutal world? Check. Believable danger? Check. Plot twists that change everything? Triple check. Stasse has created an exciting page-turner with The Forsaken. If you like your dystopians a little raw, The Forsaken is a read that you cannot miss!
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4 responses to “Book Review: The Forsaken

  1. I just finished The Forsaken and I really enjoyed it too! I loved the whole atmosphere of the Island, and the secondary characters (specifically Gadya and Rika) were so much fun to read about! Glad you liked it too, Kate! 🙂

  2. I tend to like a lighter dystopia but my interest has been piqued by the amazing cover and it seems like an intense read that doesn’t cop out at the end.

  3. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    So glad you liked it! It definitely seems intense, but the concept is really cool. Plus that cover? Gorgeous!

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