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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ARC Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

I've lost count how many times my heart fluttered, almost stopped, skipped a beat, and then thumped rapidly while reading this book. I've lost count when the book sucked me in after 20 pages. I've lost count the number of times I cursed because I wanted to know the ending so much it hurts. I think that's a good sign of a great read.

Title: The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1) by Lisa M. Stasse
Pages: 375
Release Date: July 10 2012
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Source: Author (Thanks Lisa!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Will she die? Will she live to survive another day? Those are the two questions that will constantly fill your mind as you read The Forsaken. Alenna lives in a harsh world, and it's about to get harsher as she was taken to an island where there is no rules, and to kill is to live.

Alenna is weak. She's not the type of character one will type cast as fierce or strong, she was even having second thoughts braving it out in the wilderness of Island Alpha. She freezes at the most important moments and sometimes cowers in fear. But Alenna had one thing going on for her: her spirit was never broken. She did not need to pretend to be the heroine made of steel from the onset, instead she acknowledges her weaknesses and tries to do something about it. And that's what made her worth a read. Liam, on the other hand, is a character that felt a little too expected. He's the best boy in the tribe, the best hunter, best fighter. I wanted a more solid, stronger, darker male lead considering that he's been in Island Alpha a little longer than Alenna and has been exposed to its fierce environmet. But Liam has his own set of charms, and he's a welcome distraction to the grit and rough life in the island.

Life in Island Alpha is tough. It's an island overrun by teens, with no rules, warring tribes and factions fighting for the power to rule a piece of land for the unwanteds. You have to do what you can to survive. But the true horror lies in other ugly facets the island had. Those who were affected by The Suffering, the incurables, are just left to die. Those in The Monk's camps, the teens reveling in sex and violence. It's tough when a book is marketed as something similar to The Hunger Games, but the author took a little of those familiar elements we loved in THG and created a book that is worth a look. Just how far can one go to survive? Island Alpha's harsh, unforgiving terrain tests the psyche of even the toughest person there is. The promise of escape is the biggest driving force for Alenna and most of the teens, but freedom comes with a price. Don't get too attached to any of the secondary characters because most have horrible fates awaiting them.

As much as I loved the rugged, uncertain, dreary feel of the book, I can't help but be very wary of meddlesome characters like Gadya. Alenna seems like a push over a lot of times and Gadya's interference of her 'blooming' love life with Liam seems a little too much. I thought it was her chance to be someone completely opposite of the wallflower she was before? Why does it matter what Gadya thinks? And with Alenna and Liam, though they share a lot of fleeting, toe-curling romance, they seem to be always having them at the most inconvenient of times. It throws me off a little when you think how they are supposed to be fighting for survival and then something sweet and tender happens.

Be that as it may, Lisa did a great job blending a dystopian world with science fiction. Boring is the last word you'll think when you describe this book, because it throws you into a world full of danger, and the only way to move forward is to get through devastating action scenes and plenty of surprises, unexpected twists are thrown here and there. The Forsaken will definitely get your blood pumping good and your heart racing. A good adrenaline rush of a read!

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Things took an interesting turn during the last part of the book, and I am curious to know what happens in book 2!
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
One of the best covers I've ever seen!

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I have been seeing some mixed reviews on this book but, I have been wanting to check it out, especially because a dystopian and science fiction blend sounds really good! Thanks for your thoughts!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  2. I saw the trailer of the book and I think it's good. Another dystopian book and I'm not a fan of weak protagonist but she tries to do something about it, so it's okay. Thanks for your honest opinion.


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