Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers.
Release Date: July 10, 2012.
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.
I see this book getting a lot of flak because of the similarities to The Hunger Games, and even though I definitely spotted them, they didn't bother me a single bit. It's your typical dystopian with the typical dystopian set-up but what makes this differ from most other dystopians is that you literally couldn't pry The Forsaken from my hands once I started reading. (Really, my brother tried and failed epically)
Simply put, this book excited me. There was never a chapter ending where I thought I could stick in my bookmark and get some errands done. No, it was like there was this intense need to know what was going to happen next. I was so intrigued by The Wheel and its inhabitants, especially The Cannibal Monk and the feelers. They provided a healthy dose of terror to the book. And the way Stasse had the characters react to these horrors was done so well, in my opinion. The second I would read about the noise of a feeler, I'd feel a sense of dread in my stomach. And I don't get scared a lot while reading so brownie points for The Forsaken.
Even though Alenna wasn't my favorite character ever, I did come to care for her a lot in the end. Stasse did a wonderful job with developing her skin as she spends more time in The Wheel. The other character I really loved was David because he was kind of a mystery. Even now, I still don't have a clue about him. He's one of the reasons I'm so anxious for the next book.
I wasn't a huge fan of the romance. I know that I'd love Liam a lot more if his relationship with Alenna had been more drawn out. It just seemed way too insta-love for me. I did enjoy that they were both equals in the book. They both played the 'knight in shining armor' aspect quite nicely.
Overall, I really liked The Forsaken. It was exciting and exhilarating and action-packed and so many other words that I'm too exhausted to think of right now. If you want something fast-paced and epic, I definitely recommend this one!
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