Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

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.  - Goodreads.com

Wow.  This story just worked for me from page one.  It reminded me of an awesome movie called No Escape that starred Ray Liotta.  If you haven't seen it before, look it up and rent it.  It's awesome.  The idea of people being dumped on a special type of prison island like this, and the fact that it is teenagers, was so shocking, sad, and violent.

I loved Alenna from the very beginning.  This is a girl who goes through so much.  She starts out kind of quiet and mousy, and then almost from the moment she steps onto the island, it's like she discovers an entirely  new side of herself.  She becomes brave, even when I know I'd be cowering in my shoes.  I love to read about characters that are thrown into horrible situations and find such strength in themselves.

The romance wasn't the central theme, of course, but it definitely added a nice element to this story.  I absolutely LOVED this guy.  He was awesome and brave as well.  I think he and a couple others in the story really rubbed off on Alenna.

This story just had such great suspense.  There is a major twist in the story and I was definitely very shocked.  The writing was fast-paced, descriptive, but not in a way that bores you, and there are passages that really make you think.  So many people in the story are just not what they seem... and that made it even more interesting.

A great first book in this new series.  I can't wait to read the next one.

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