Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken
Lisa M. Stasse
July 10th, 2012
375 pages (hardcover)
S&S Books for Young Readers
Source - Author
"When the rest of world has given up on you, who will you become?

Alenna Shawcross hasn't seen her parents since they were dragged out of her house by government soldiers of the UNA, a new nation formed from the remnants of Canada, the USA, and Mexico. And now, as a sixteen-year-old orphan, she has failed a government personality test designed to diagnose subversive tendencies.

As punishment, Alenna is banished to the wheel, a mysterious island where all the kids who fail get sent. A place where teh conditions are brutal, and a civil war rages between two very different tribes of teenagers.

So when Alenna meets Liam, a charismatic warrior who is planning to escape, she must find the strength to make a difficult decision: to either accept her new life on the wheel, or to embark on a journey that will uncover shocking secrets about the UNA – and her own identity as well." 
"The journey has begun, and there's no stopping it." *

While the UNA is the epitome of the words corrupt and control, Island Alpha or the "wheel" is simply pandemonium. Teenagers who fail a government personality test are banished to the wheel, where some of teens (called drones) take a Lord of the Flies approach to the island and lose themselves to chaos. The drones maniacally worship a man who controls most of the island, called the Monk. Alenna, our narrator, escapes this fate and instead falls in with a more sensible group of teens that live in the last, and smallest, sector left uncontrolled by the Monk. There's no way off, and no way to know who to trust....On the wheel, there are more enemies than just each other, and tomorrow is never guaranteed. 

The Forsaken takes readers on an adventure full of twists and danger at every corner. Stasse's attention-getting prologue sets the stage for a fascinating story set in an unsettling futuristic world. This story took me by surprise in multiple ways, especially with the jaw-dropping twist near the end and how well this futuristic world is portrayed. There's more complexity and layers to The Forsaken than expected at first glance, and some insightful moments buried beneath the thrilling action and surprising revelations that take place throughout the story. Action, adventure, danger, excitement...welcome to the unpredictable world of The Forsaken

Highlights: Alenna could have been a victim of her circumstances and continued relying on others, but then she chose to rise to the challenge and became willing to take charge and fight. There's one plot twist that I never saw coming, which is a rarity for a reader like me1. I enjoyed many of the characters and their different personalities. The varying ways of life on the island and the social structures were fascinating, too. 

Lowlights: Liam and Alenna's relationship came a little too close to instalove - I could have forgiven this if the I had gotten to know Liam's character better. Dialogue sometimes came across a bit awkwardly in the beginning (after that, it either improved or I stopped noticing). 


* (Stasse 338)
1 Anyone who loves surprises will be in for a treat with this book.



  1. Hate insta love but LOVE surprises... So I'm in two minds about this one..UK cover of this one is so pretty that I might just buy it (UK version) for the cover :P

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. The hint of Lord of the Flies makes this intriguing to me, and the world sounds really interesting! Wish you had a chance to get to know the guy a bit better before "love" struck.

  3. Oooh I have this one on my shelf so I need to read it soon! While I am not a fan of insta-love, I do enjoy a good surprise! :) Nice review!

  4. I really loved her character and strength as well, but def see where you were a bit annoyed by instalove. It kinda did come out of nowhere.
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. Awesome review! The storyline of the novel sounds really interesting and the characters all seem very complex too. However the fact that the romance was not too well-developed is a bit of a disappointment. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing.


  6. I've had my eye on this book for a while now! I love your review! I absolutely love surprising plot twists so that's awesome! Kind of sucks about the instalove though. I tend to get quite picky about romance in books so maybe that will throw me off.

    I think I'll try to pick this one up eventually. :) Thanks for the awesome review!

  7. I agree with your points about Liam and Alenna's relationship. I actually didn't they either of them were particularly well fleshed-out, but I still really enjoyed this book. I was caught off guard by a few plot twists too. This was definitely an exciting read. Great review! :)

  8. Oh wow, I've never seen this book, but it sounds dangerously tempting O_O Great point on the layering of it, and the twists sound impressive, if you didn't see it coming ^_~ Definitely sounds like a good read, I shall check this one out. Fabulous review!

  9. I know exactly what you mean about Liam and Alenna's relationship. It came a little too close to insta-love for my liking as well. Still, good read overall, like you said! :)