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The Forsaken

The Forsaken is a YA dystopia written by Lisa M. Stasse.

It’s been six years since sixteen-year-old Alenna Shawcross became a ward of the government of the UNA, a new nation formed from what was left of the USA, Mexico and Canada. Six years since she watched her parents get ripped from their home, dragged away by government soldiers. She assumes they’re dead.

Relatively introverted and mostly unnoticed, Alenna has been getting by fine – doing well in school and so on. That’s why she knows, as the day approaches, that she’ll pass the government personality test designed to detect subversive, criminal tendencies that everybody has to undergo at the age of sixteen.

She’s wrong.

When Alenna wakes up on the Wheel, the mysterious island where all kids who fail the test are sent, she’s scared to death. She’s sure there’s been a mistake, as she’s never had a rebellious, violent thought in her life. And the thought that the island is stuffed full of those who do frightens her.

But when Alenna meets others on the island she finds that it’s not what she expected. There are those that are aggressive – a civil war is raging on the island between different tribes of teenagers. However, the group Alenna ends up with is populated with teens that seem just as normal as her, if harried and hungry.

And when Alenna meets Liam, a striking, magnetic warrior in the tribe, she finds herself facing a decision to join him in his plan to escape – and uncover secrets about her past and the real reason the UNA is sending them to the island…

The Forsaken
has a very intriguing premise, so I was happy to invest time in reading it.

My reaction is a bit mixed though…

Alenna starts off very innocent and naïve, which I don’t mind in a character, but I couldn’t help but want her to be more suspicious of the test, of the government. That’s a personal opinion issue, though.

When Alenna meets up with strange little community of teens she starts surviving in the wild amidst many types of threats. There’s a plotline involving her determination to learn to fight and defend herself. It was interesting, and I liked Alenna more the tougher she became, but sometimes it also bordered on hokey…

The dialogue and narrative occasionally came across as convoluted forced, to me. One particular issue I had is that I felt like Alenna was too self-aware. Unbelievably so, actually. And I continually had problems finding an emotional connection to the characters. I was still engrossed in learning more about the dystopic world Stasse was creating, though! Actually, I wouldn’t have minded more info on the world outside the island. We only got a taste of that, really.

Now, once the romantic element came into play, which I saw coming a million miles away, I was not very impressed, sadly. It was another case of insta-love, I felt. Really was lacking in substance and friendship that builds on attraction, which is my preference. Even chemistry wasn’t there for me to at least feel their connection. So, that whole portion of The Forsaken was limp for me.

Alluring mysteries and twists did continue to keep my interest though! The eventual villain was certainly creepy and freaky, and there are some surprises I did not see coming. Action and excitement increased as it built up to a rather bizarre, but definitely attention-grabbing, climax.

Certainly some big reasons to read The Forsaken for yourself!! Plus, it was super easy to read – I chomped it down in little over a day.

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