Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review+ Online Read: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (July 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442432659
ISBN-13: 978-1442432659 

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.

I’ll start with thanking the author for giving me this book in exchange of an honest review, thank you so much. But I assure you guys, I’ll really be honest with what I feel about FORSAKEN.
The cover isn’t too glamorous, but it’s enough to get everyone’s eye and try to check it out. I notice that these days, those books that were fashioned in a not so fashionable way are actually the ones that hit the movies.. like the twilight series and hunger games, so maybe FORSAKEN is one of those, right? :D

For the first few chapters, it’s actually hard to delve into the story. This may be due to the fact, that we are just learning Alenna’s world. We get the facts about the UNA (Mexico, USA, Canada) –wow, these countries combined to be the superpower of the world (who would have thought!!!) and it’s exclusive, they totally are independent from other continents, the prime minister Harka (who seems to have a say in what the people eat, listen, read), how the people are being controlled by the government, the headphones that plays about how good and trustworthy the government is and is self-automated (it knows when to turn the volume up to drown negative noises), Alenna’s feeling of being different from everyone, the GPPT test that determines a person’s ability of being psychopathic despite not knowing it himself, etc. This is not sci-fi, but with all those futuristic gadgets/way of life/terms, I was a little bit lost.

But still I prodded on, and I wasn’t disappointed. On chapter 3, page 23, when Alenna found herself on The Wheel, FORSAKEN owned me. I was in the world Stasse created. What started off as just a peek, turned out to be a one-late-night-read.

With every turn of the page, excitement and thrill run through me. From the very first hours Alenna’s on The Wheel, there’s lots of action, running, fighting, and yes, death. She found friendship which she hadn’t in the outside world, and of course there’s romance, but don’t worry, it isn’t the main story, which I’m thankful for. Alenna and Liam’s attraction, just like most of the books today is instant and although it’s explained why at the later part of the book, I would have prepared if there’s a solid reason why they feel attracted to the other. But with or without romance, FORSAKEN is still FORSAKEN.

The plot, although dystopian, is still unique in some way. Others may very well, compared this with Hunger Games, but Katniss and Alenna are totally different. Alenna doesn’t have strong survival skills, she’s not a fighter, in fact, if not for her newfound friends, she would have died (of course that won’t happen, she’s the heroine remember). I just loved her, because she thinks and she cares deeply for her friends. She doesn’t want to compromise things, and will always risk her life and save her friends. It’s refreshing that this not only deal with government conspiracy, but also with science, and once you figured it, it’s truly gruesome what The Wheel truly is for.

The characters are all significant. Each one has his own story to tell and unique personality, which sometimes is very unpredictable. Take Gadya for example, one time she’s all a fighter and Alenna’s best bud, the next she’s emotional and blames/taunts Alenna. I couldn’t really say for sure if I hate her, though. In the island, you won’t know who to trust, who’s the real enemy and who will stick with you til the end.

The writing style always keep me on edge. Perhaps, I found another author that’s truly a master of twists. When I thought, I finally figured it out, Stasse drops the bomb, and here I go scratching my head again. Especially the monk’s identity, I admit it intrigues me but I didn’t thought it would be possible. Good job Lisa! I was totally surprise.

Although, it’s a clean end, there are still some mysteries I’d like to unravel on the sequel. I can’t wait how Alenna and her allies will destroy or somehow stop the government.. and hmmm, I believe Alenna and Liam’s romance may take a bigger stage on this one. And, I almost forgot, Canadians are always mentioned when Alenna evaluates a person—the author might answer that for us.

FORSAKEN is not just another dystopian novel, here you’ll find action, learning, mistakes, friendship, family, conspiracy, mystery, romance, nasty experiments, add all you can think of. A great debut from Lisa M. Stasse, that you shouldn’t miss!! Very highly recommended.

**Contains violence and mild profanity.

View all my reviews

Read here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much Mr. Meyers,
    I forgot to post my reply here...lol.. btw I entered your giveaway


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