Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review: The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1)

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Length: 375 pages

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.


Characters: Alenna is first shown to be reserved and slightly antisocial, however, after being sent away she develops a stronger personality. She begins to fight back against the society that has forsaken her, rather than play into their sick game. She quickly befriends David, a boy who she finds soon after waking up on "The Wheel" however, he seems to be shrouded in secrets and mystery. His calm demeanor and vague comments make him a fascinating character. Alenna is also quick to befriend Gadya, a girl who saves her life from the more savage inhabitants of "The Wheel" Gadya is a short-tempered and fierce character who constantly rivals with Alenna over the affections of Liam.

Romance: Liam and Alenna's romance is an all consuming fire as the tension between the two is quick to develop early on in the storyline. Liam used to date Gadya but since she broke-up with him in a regretted fit of anger before the start of the book he doesn't show romantic feelings towards her anymore. From his first official meeting with Alenna he shows his feelings for her in a rather unsubtle way. Alenna initially rebuffs him due to her friendship with Gadya, but will she be able to resist his charm?

Predictability: Never have I been so caught off guard while reading a book. Even though the author left subtle clues all throughout the book, the pieces didn't click until it was too late. There were also things which had no clues leading to the shocking discoveries and dramatic twists that this fills this book.

Ending: The final chapter is an emotional roller coaster that provides answers and asks daring questions. Though it doesn't have a closure or defined cliffhanger aspect I enjoy when the book comes to a close, the ending is satisfying and will leave you wondering what will happen next in a way that isn't too agonizing. The new questions introduced in the end as well as the questions left unanswered will give you things to ponder and speculate while waiting for the next installment.


This book was an amazing emotional roller coaster, while it does have it's downsides as any book does, they are very small and there aren't that many spread throughout the book. I'd say pick up this book as soon as you can, if you're a fan of the Hunger Games you won't regret reading this book.


  1. Your review of this book has sparked my interest to check this one out. I haven't heard of it before and I'm now anxious to read it! =)

  2. I've never heard of this book, but it sounds really interesting. I'm going to add it to my "to read" list. Thanks!

  3. This looks good. I have seen it around. Great review! Thanks!

  4. I've been on the fence about whether or not I should read this one for a long time. I remember seeing the cover at ALA last year. It's very interesting, that's for sure. I think I'll just have to sit down and try it sometime. Haha!

    Awesome review! I like how you did different categories and then elaborated. Sometimes reviewers put it all together and it doesn't leave as much of an impact on me. I'm especially interested in the ending now. :-)

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sounds like the perfect dystopian read! The romance is thrilling, and plenty of action too :) Thanks for the review!

  6. Thanks for the review! Few booktubers also recommend this book and I can't wait to read it!