- Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Format: Hardback | 375 pages
- Dimensions: 142mm x 213mm x 33mm | 458g
- Publication date: 10 July 2012
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 1442432659
- ISBN 13: 9781442432659
- Sales rank: 124,829
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy. 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.
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Lisa M. Stasse is a digital librarian at UCLA. The Forsaken" is her first novel.
By avry15 11 Jan 2013
originally appeared on: Bookshelf Confessions
I'll start with thanking the author for giving me this book in exchange of an honest review, thank you so much. But I assure you guys, I'll really be honest with what I feel about FORSAKEN.
The cover isn't too glamorous, but it's enough to get everyone's eye and try to check it out. I notice that these days, those books that were fashioned in a not so fashionable way are actually the ones that hit the movies.. like the twilight series and hunger games, so maybe FORSAKEN is one of those, right? :D
For the first few chapters, it's actually hard to delve into the story. This may be due to the fact, that we are just learning Alenna's world. We get the facts about the UNA (Mexico, USA, Canada) -wow, these countries combined to be the superpower of the world (who would have thought!!!) and it's exclusive, they totally are independent from other continents, the prime minister Harka (who seems to have a say in what the people eat, listen, read), how the people are being controlled by the government, the headphones that plays about how good and trustworthy the government is and is self-automated (it knows when to turn the volume up to drown negative noises), Alenna's feeling of being different from everyone, the GPPT test that determines a person's ability of being psychopathic despite not knowing it himself, etc. This is not sci-fi, but with all those futuristic gadgets/way of life/terms, I was a little bit lost.
But still I prodded on, and I wasn't disappointed. On chapter 3, page 23, when Alenna found herself on The Wheel, FORSAKEN owned me. I was in the world Stasse created. What started off as just a peek, turned out to be a one-late-night-read.
With every turn of the page, excitement and thrill run through me. From the very first hours Alenna's on The Wheel, there's lots of action, running, fighting, and yes, death. She found friendship which she hadn't in the outside world, and of course there's romance, but don't worry, it isn't the main story, which I'm thankful for. Alenna and Liam's attraction, just like most of the books today is instant and although it's explained why at the later part of the book, I would have prepared if there's a solid reason why they feel attracted to the other. But with or without romance, FORSAKEN is still FORSAKEN.
The plot, although dystopian, is still unique in some way. Others may very well, compared this with Hunger Games, but Katniss and Alenna are totally different. Alenna doesn't have strong survival skills, she's not a fighter, in fact, if not for her newfound friends, she would have died (of course that won't happen, she's the heroine remember). I just loved her, because she thinks and she cares deeply for her friends. She doesn't want to compromise things, and will always risk her life and save her friends. It's refreshing that this not only deal with government conspiracy, but also with science, and once you figured it, it's truly gruesome what The Wheel truly is for.
The characters are all significant. Each one has his own story to tell and unique personality, which sometimes is very unpredictable. Take Gadya for example, one time she's all a fighter and Alenna's best bud, the next she's emotional and blames/taunts Alenna. I couldn't really say for sure if I hate her, though. In the island, you won't know who to trust, who's the real enemy and who will stick with you til the end.
The writing style always keep me on edge. Perhaps, I found another author that's truly a master of twists. When I thought, I finally figured it out, Stasse drops the bomb, and here I go scratching my head again. Especially the monk's identity, I admit it intrigues me but I didn't thought it would be possible. Good job Lisa! I was totally surprise.
Although, it's a clean end, there are still some mysteries I'd like to unravel on the sequel. I can't wait how Alenna and her allies will destroy or somehow stop the government.. and hmmm, I believe Alenna and Liam's romance may take a bigger stage on this one. And, I almost forgot, Canadians are always mentioned when Alenna evaluates a person-the author might answer that for us.
FORSAKEN is not just another dystopian novel, here you'll find action, learning, mistakes, friendship, family, conspiracy, mystery, romance, nasty experiments, add all you can think of. A great debut from Lisa M. Stasse, that you shouldn't miss!! Very highly recommended.
**Contains violence and mild profanity.
By Jessica B 30 Nov 2012
The Forsaken is about an orphan girl who has to pass a test like everyone at her age that determines if she is prone to crime. If she fails, she will be shipped off to a prison island. One thing I noticed about this book was the little things that made me think of me of other science fiction novels (in an interesting and not copy-cat way). The start of the book really reminded of the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise. There are machines that remind me a little of War of The Worlds. And there was just a little dash of Divergent and The Maze Runner.
This is one of those books that takes a while to get into. It felt oddly slow at first even though lots of things are happening. I didn't like the main character, Alenna, at first, but she gets more personality as the story goes on. There were a few plot elements that didn't get explained all the way. One example is that two opposing gangs from the island decided to work together for reasons that made no sense to me. I noticed that a lot of the time there are questions kind of presented to you like it was trying to make me wonder about certain things. I really like to come to those kinds of questions on my own. The ending really picked up and caught my interest. The story closes in a satisfying way with no big cliff hanger, but there are missions left to be accomplished.
Overall, it was a good dystopian that had me entertained, especially towards the end, but I found too many things spelled out for me and some plot points not explained all the way.
By Sarah Elizabeth 09 Oct 2012
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
Alenna has been an orphan since the age of 10, when her parents were taken away by the government for being political dissidents. Now, at the age of 16, Alenna must go through a test, (The Government Personality Profile Test) where dye is injected into her veins and a brain scan performed to check if she has antisocial tendencies.
Alenna knows that she will pass the test; she has no problems with the government, and has no desire to be shipped off and dumped on Prison Island Alpha, with all the other 'Unanchored Souls', especially given that life expectancy on the island is age 18. So imagine her surprise when she finds herself waking up on Prison Island Alpha, and being attacked by boys dressed in robes!
Rescued by a girl named Gadya, Alenna finds herself in a small village in the 'blue sector' of 'the wheel' (what the kids on the island call the island). The village is under attack from kids from the other sectors though, a tribe of kids in robes who worship 'the monk', a religious figure who brain washes kids to follow him and do his bidding.
The kids in the village have a plan though - to make it to the 'grey' sector, where they believe the aircraft that bring kids to the island land. The journey isn't easy though, especially when Alenna finds that they will have to journey through the monk's territory to get there. What exactly is happening on the island though? Who is the monk? What goes on in the grey sector? And what happens to the kids who are hauled away by the 'feelers'?
I did enjoy this book, but I also found it a struggle to get through, at times I was captivated, but a lot of the time I felt like I was wading through quick sand just trying to get through it.
Alenna was an okay character, but she was very ordinary. I can see why this book is compared to 'the hunger games' - there's a bunch of kids living on an island, more or less in a forest. They can't get out, and there are gangs of teens out there trying to kill them. Alenna is no Katniss though. Alenna has no idea who to survive in the wild, she has no training like Katniss had, and she is definitely not kick-ass, although she is trying to learn. Gadya (gay-dee-ya) is much more like Katniss, but she has a mouth on her too. I liked Gadya, but sometimes wished that she wasn't quite as mouthy and forward as she was.
The romance angle to the story was very brief, and although the love interest - Liam, did seem pretty yummy, there wasn't much in the way of romance or even interaction between the two, I can only assume that this was meant to be a bit of a side plot, and I'm interested to see if anything more will be made of this in the next book. Unfortunately there was the obligatory love triangle, as Liam was Gadya's ex-boyfriend, and she still had feelings for him.
The storyline was interesting. I guessed the identity of the monk pretty early on, and my prediction was found to be true around page 271 I think. I don't know why I guessed at who I guessed at; I had two possibilities in mind and one of them was correct. I didn't expect the events which happened once they got to the city in the grey zone - very strange and puzzling, although these were explained by the end.
Overall; an interesting dystopian, and I will be interested to read the next in the series.
8 out of 10.
By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 15 Jul 2012
The Forsaken is a heart-stopping, action packed beginning to a series that I already have fallen in love with and am yearning for the next.
Alenna has always felt like an outsider, different in some unexplained way from society until she fails the personality test and is shipped to The Wheel, where even though they all should be mentally unstable or have a predisposition for violence, she finally feels like she fits in.
I know that I could really relate with Alenna, I never quite feel like I fit in, and one day I hope that I find that circle of people where I really do. It comes close with book blogging, and fortunately I have my husband, but I still feel on the edges sometimes. So it really is awesome to watch Alenna come to realize her strengths, and bond with the people around her. She has things to teach Gadya, Rika, David, Liam and the others, and they have things to teach her. Like how to fight, the value of being kind, that things aren't always what they seem and to never give up.
This is a gritty and suspenseful novel, and Lisa really nailed the dystopian category. The government is corrupt and it seems so powerful, but there are cracks. There are groups of rebels and they fight to survive. Lisa wrote her characters where I cared about them, and it was hard to read when something happened for them. I rooted for them and for the best to happen to them, and sometimes it did, and keeping it realistic, sometimes it didn't.
There was a spy in the camp, and I kept switching up my suspicions on who it was. Lisa really had a talent there, making people seem suspicious, and then clearing them in ways that I didn't see coming. David especially. One minute I was warm to him, and believing that he really had Alenna's best interest at heart, and then he would do something to make me think, well... Hmmm... But I didn't even really suspect who they said it was in the end... but I am wondering if it is really that person because of the phrasing.
Lisa Stasse paces the story beautifully. There is always action going on, keeping me on my toes, wondering what will go wrong next, and how they will get themselves out of each sticky situation. She throws me just enough of a bone with the romantic tension, of course leaving me wanting more, and for each question that she answers, I have more that I just know will be revealed in its sweet time.
I flew through this story, staying up til 2am to finish because I couldn't go to sleep without knowing what happened to the characters that I grew so attached to.
"The Forsaken presents a classic dystopian theme, with a corrupt government becoming overpowering and tyrannical, with the twist of science-fiction robotics and genetic manufacturing... Stasse has brilliantly combined two popular teen genres into a world of action and suspense that most teen readers will not want to put down."--Blake Norby "VOYA "