The Forsaken #1
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Reading Level: YA
Released: July 10th 2012
Review SOurce: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Summary: (from goodreads) 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 always worry a bit when I start a new book that is in the Dystopian genre. There have been quite a few recent releases in the past year alone and many have been great. So my concern is always will this be the one that flops. Lisa doesn't have to worry about that with me, The Forsaken did not in any way fall short of being great. Lisa was able to conceive a new concept and even throw some science fiction into her dystopian novel. This book is full of plot and a big thrill ride.
Alenna lives in a time that now the US, Canada and Mexico are called United Northern Allegiance (U.N.A.). Alenna parents were taken at a very young age and she has been an orphan since. In this new system all teens at that age of 16 have to take a GPPT test. If you fail you are removed from civilization and sent off to an island for criminals and what they consider those who don't pass future criminals. Aleena even though her parents were taken by the police and she never saw them again, she doesn't worry about failing the test. She is a great student and doesn't cause problems. Well Aleena is shocked to her core when she ends up in Island Alpha and realizes she failed and doesn't know how or why. She is determined to find a way to contact someone to tell them they made a mistake. The island is not what Alenna thought it was, its worse and she must learn to survive the island and forget looking to prove her innocence. Island Alpha has one to many lions that want to be in charge of everyone and everything. Aleena and her new tribe will be tested and pushed to the point of no return.
The Forsaken is so vivid you feel like your in the jungle setting alongside Aleena. Lisa created great characters, maybe one or two annoyed a bit at times but it matched the plot. Now don't think there wasn't any room for some romance, Lisa did fit it in and very well. The books will give you plenty of twist and turns throughout. I cant wait to see what Lisa brings to the table with book 2. I have no clue where she might go with where it left off.