Publishing Info: July 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 27, 2012
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.
I really enjoyed this one. It actually seemed like a pretty quick read even though it was well over 300 pages. To me, it almost played out more like a TV show/movie than reading as a book. For one, I couldn’t get the TV show Lost out of my head. They were dropped off on an island with the sole intention of getting off, they have to fight off another group of people (the Others/the drones), someone else used to live there and the remnants of civilization are crumbling, and there was even a hatch! At least with THE FORSAKEN, we actually get answers to all of our questions whereas with Lost, I’m still a little upset about all the things that never got answered!
Alenna was likeable enough but I felt like she was still very much a teenager and I didn’t see a ton of growth from her in the book to mature on. I wasn’t totally into her relationship with Liam – I was rooting for them overall, but I wasn’t really sold on it as a whole. We DO get the explanation as to why she feels so connected to him in the end, which really helps tie everything together. I think I was just hoping it would come sooner and a slower trickle of answers than just all lumped together in the end.
I think my favorite character was actually Gadya. I found her to be a much stonger (not just physically, but a stronger presense in the book) than Alenna even though Alenna is our narrator. I made more of a connection with her in her strength and we also see some of her softer side.
I also really liked the way David was woven into the story. He’s dropped off on the Wheel the same time as Alenna so she believes him an ally, but when he gets mixed up with the drones, none of Alenna’s group trusts him and fear him to be a spy. I liked how we were never really sure whether to trust him or not. I always wanted to, but I didn’t know if we were going to be given another twist that might reveal his true nature!
I really liked the development of the Wheel! It was a really interesting place with tons of twists and turns. We weren’t sure who to trust, who was on the wrong side, and who might turn against Alenna. The different sectors were also really interesting and I loved what the gray sector turned out to be (no spoilers here)! Whenever we get into a mega-developed society, I’m always a little hesitant to believe in these kinds of advancements (I think the year was 2039? So that’s not really that far off), but none of it was too far out of the realm of possibilities.
Overall, I enjoyed it, but found it a bit predictable – A lot of just kind of “fitting the mold” of a dystopian. Still really fun to read and glad I picked up a copy!
- p 56: “‘Those two don’t like anyone except each other. Canadians are weird.'”
- p 114: “His teeth are very white. I wonder what people use for toothpaste on the Wheel because my teeth feel furry.” – I just thought this one was funny!
- p 149: “The bow reminds me of my guitar – Except the notes its string plays are violent and deadly.”
If You Liked This, You Might Like…
The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I really saw a lot of similarities between TMR and The Forsaken as I was reading. Mostly the feel of the book and the way the events were laid out. It was non-specific to any characters, but it was an overall feel and maybe a bit of setting that reminded me a lot of The Maze Runner!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins — Of course The Hunger Games too. Kids in different colonies/zones all pitted together in a tight spot, violence, survival, a strong heroine, a bit of a love story – It’s all there! I think this is easily a good comparison and I think fans of THG would really liked The Forsaken as well!