Hear ye, hear ye! Today I will be reviewing The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse.
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.
First off, I would just like to say that I think that this book is really underrated and shoved to the side, all because of explosively popular books. This book, in my opinion, is one that I think many people won't ever even know about because of books like The Hunger Games (not that I have a problem with their success, I just like to spread the love).
Considering that I came in with such low hopes, not to mention the fact that it sat on my shelf for four months, I was really surprised and happy with this book.
The beginning of the book really reminded me of Divergent by Veronica Roth, simply because of the personality test, but that was where all similarities ended. Personally, with that comparison set, I was expected a Divergent knock-off, just another reason why this book was really pleasing to me.
I really liked the idea of finding the criminals in the UNA's world, something that I can see many countries may even trying to do in the future. I can see it happening. Maybe someone will write a book about it. Or some poetry (not naming any names).
I really liked the Wheel, and how it reminded me of Catching Fire (sorry for the plethora of book references). I feel like the savagery that took place was real and potent.
I can't say I really enjoyed the romance. As of late, I feel like every character I read is boring and flat, so it's all or nothing with me. Sadly, I felt nothing for him. He wasn't even there for 200 pages, and then suddenly, Alenna loved him. Man, I sure do that in real life.
The dystopian world was incredibly crafted. It wasn't overpowering, but it was still present and powerful, unlike some where I can't even tell if it is a dystopian novel.
However, I felt like I couldn't really connect with Alenna's character. It was like I was watching a movie with a protagonist who wasn't the main character. But, it was hardly even noticeable. I didn't realize that I still didn't even know what Alenna looked like until around page 200.
I also enjoyed how every plot revelation would come hit-after-hit, not like one moment after a 300 page lead-up. It was very action-packed and kept my eyes glued to the page. But, hey, you know what's hyphen-packed? This paragraph. Though, I have heard some people say that they could predict the moments, but in my experience, I could not.
I did really enjoy this book, in the end. Parts may have irked me, but the overall story had a very nice vibe to it. I will be recommending it to my friends.