Lisa M. Stasse
Released: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Southern ARC Tours
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Alenna is growing up in the U.N.A - an new super country that consists of Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. All sixteen year olds have to take a test to determine their criminal tendencies and when Alenna takes the test, she's shocked to wake up and learn she's failed. She's now on "The Wheel," an isolated place where few make it past eighteen. She knows she's not supposed to be there, so when others on The Wheel start plotting an escape, she's in.
I hate writing difficult reviews. I had a few problems with The Forsaken, but I don't want to stop anyone from picking up this book because I know there are people out there who will love it. I can only report my feelings while reading it honestly. I will admit, the first pages of The Forsaken really drew me in. I was intrigued with the concept of the U.N.A and even more interested in the process all teenagers have to go through to determine whether or not they're criminals. Obviously I knew even though Alenna thought she was a good girl she would be sent away, but it was what happened after she was sent away that got me.
After Alenna arrives on The Wheel I found my interest waning in the plot and it actually wasn't until the last four chapters that I really felt I couldn't put the book down. As a result it too me a week to read. The middle of the novel has many similarities to The Hunger Games (I could have written an awesome paper in high school comparing the two) and I even got a little bit of The Lord of the Flies vibe from the book as well, though Piggy was sadly absent. Quite frankly, it wasn't what I was hoping for. I didn't feel attached to any of the characters, even by the end of the novel, and I didn't feel any chemistry between anyone in the token love triangle.
On a positive note, the ending really did grab my attention and gave me hope for further novels in the series. The futuristic world building in the last few chapters were fantastic and I wish that had been the basis of the novel. Three hundred less pages about The Wheel and three hundred more pages about Alenna's family, the U.N.A, and it's technologies to deal with its presumed enemies would have been more interesting to me.
Three stars. Two and a half if I dabbled in half stars. The Forsaken is The Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies to me. I recognized a lot of elements from both novels, but ultimately I found the similarities to The Hungers Games to be too much. I felt like the plot lagged too much and was going to give it two stars until the last four chapters changed my mind. But, there are a lot of Hunger Games fans out there who have loved The Forsaken, so I definitely think it's worth a look if you're on the fence.