(Goodreads) 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.
The Short Story? - A fast-paced dystopian debut with something for everyone! The Forsaken is a brilliantly written dystopian with excellent world-building, an original and exciting plot and captivating characters that stay with you long after the last page! A brand new concept mixed with the much loved dystopian elements of YA fiction, The Forsaken is a memorable debut! Must-read!
The Long Story? - The Forsaken is definitely one of the most unique YA dystopians I've read. The premise is rather unique because why it does have a controlling government-like figure, the novel is more of a survival-based post apocalyptic YA. The story is set on an deserted island which kinda serves as a penal colony for teenagers who shows signs of rebellion against the government. On the island, the kids are split up into two groups. One group are devotees to the Monk ( a mysterious unknown man) and one group is "normal" and the "normal" group of teens are trying to find a way off the island. That's a little on the background, I absolutely loved the plot of the novel! It has been described as Lost meets Lord of the Flies but I can neither confirm nor deny because I haven't watched Lost or read Lord of the Flies. However, it's a very fast-paced, action-packed plot. It's quite a dangerous adventure that leaves your heart-pounding. Stasse has kinda incorporated the "and then there were none" element into The Forsaken so along the way, people die and others go missing or get taken. It's definitely one of the darker dystopians that I've read. I would highly recommend loves of Divergent or Enclave to read this one!
While Stasse introduces a lot of characters into the novel, the characterisation of these characters is rather brief. This is probably a good thing because along the way of their journey to freedom, a lot of them either a) die or b) get taken so forming an emotional bond with each and every one for them would probably cause you a lot of grief. However the characterisation of "main" characters was done really well. Alenna, our protagonist, went through one heck of a transformation. She really had toughen up to survive on the island and eventually she become a little bit of a leader. She was determined, level-headed and easy to connect with. Alenna lost her parents at a young age so she was pretty independent to begin with but getting put on the island really gave her a backbone. I adored her. Gadya was a great supporting character, feisty, quick temper and a lot of fun but in the end proved to be a loyal friend. There was a romance thread through the book but it wasn't even remotely important in the big picture. I personally thought the novel would probably have been better without. It was a little rushed and felt a little unnatural but the idea of Alenna and Liam as a couple still makes me HAPPY!
Overall, The Forsaken is a highly recommend YA dystopian. It's beautifully written and narrated, the plot was unique and the premise was very different. Loved the characters, loved the setting and the ending definitely calls for a spectacular sequel! I look forward to book 2 and to see where the plot takes Alenna. A remarkable debut that is probably one of the most impressive dystopians I've read in 2012. Put this one on your radar!
What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck
( UK/ Australian Cover)
Badass Bookie xx