Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Edition: Hardcover (375 pages)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Review: I think this is the coolest cover. It's colorful yet not at the same time. The spine is even prettier!
Tagline: When the rest of the world has given up on you, who will you become?
Series: The Forsaken #1
Main Character: Alenna
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy for fans of The Hunger Games.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.Oh. My. Goodness. The Forsaken was amazing! It's about a girl named Alenna who had to take the universal test that is given throughout her land. The test determines if you are allowed to stay in the civilization or not. If you fail, then you are sent to this island where the age expectancy is only 18. During the presentation, Alenna sees this young man who seems oddly familiar. He makes hand gesetures as though he's trying to communicate. Alenna is a really smart girl and she knows that she will pass. She believes that there is no doubt about it. Alenna has lived in an orphanage for a long time because her parents were taken when she was younger. She hasn't ever heard of an orphan failing the test before either, because that would just look bad for the government.
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.
Of course, Alenna ends up failing and all she remembers is blacking out. When she woke up, she was suddenly on an island. Alenna starts freaking out until she finds this guy named David. David and Alenna try to survive together until he ends up being taken and Alenna ends up in a civilization that is surviving quite well. On the island, there are different sectors. There are also two civilizations-the Monk's civilization and the civilization that Alenna is staying with. The Monk's civilization always raids this civilization, trying to bring the civilians over to their side. In this civilization is a boy named Liam who just happens to be the same guy who Alenna saw during the presentation. He still feels oddly familiar to her.
I felt as if there was a bit of an insta-love situation here, but they are teenagers after all. It does happen often. The characters in The Forsaken were very enjoyable. Alenna thought that she fit in amazingly with her land, but found that she didn't. It was like she was an outlaw. I really enjoyed following her around as she tried to figure out why she was sent to this island in the first place. If you've read The Maze Runner, I'd say that she reminded me a lot of Thomas.
Liam was the love interest in this story. I thought it was pretty awesome that he was just about the strongest guy in the tribe. He was seriously experienced with weapons as well. One of the things I enjoyed most about his character was his past. I always feel like I understand a character a whole bunch more after I learn about their past.
Gadya was the best friend. Alenna and Gadya were kind of on and off as friends, but they definitely had each others backs 24/7. Gadya used to be Liam's girlfriend, but she ended up breaking up with him. For a while, she kind of resents Alenna because Liam seems to like her. Gadya is one of the only girl fighters in the tribe. When they get invaded by the Monk civilization, Gadya runs for weapons and she runs towards them and defends her tribe. She is definitely a strong character with a great personality.
All in all, I thought this book was FANTASTIC. I think I enjoyed it mostly because of all the non-stop action. I just couldn't stop reading because I kept asking myself questions about what was going to happen. The Forsaken reminds me of some of my favorite books as well. It was almost like a cross between The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. If you're a fan of any of those books, I highly recommend reading it. NOW!