Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 10, 2012
My Rating: 2 stars
"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
I read the summary of this book a long time ago. It was one of those books that I felt like was written for me specifically. A nice girl on a violent island? I love it when the main characters are nice so I was super excited to read this book. I feel like I was let down. Big time. I debated with myself rather or not to give this book two or three stars, and in the end, I had to be honest with myself. I hated it. It took me weeks to read this book. Weeks! That never happens! I usually finish a book within a few days max.
I saw so many good reviews about this book, and there were reasons why I almost gave it three stars. Like I said, the plot was fantastic. It was unlike any dystopias I've ever read before. The main thing I liked was how fast the plot moved. There was never a boring moment. I also liked what the book was trying to do. It was trying to have Alenna, the main character, be a strong character. It was trying to have a best friend and a love interest. It was trying to have all these staples in many ya dystopias but it only succeeded to a degree.
Alenna was okay. She seems like someone you'd find in the real world. A normal, average teenager. But the author tried to disguise her as a tough heroine. Alenna kept taking initiative and acting like a leader one second and then the next second practically begging to be protected by Liam. Liam who was a bland, boring person. I never got the appeal of him. Their relationship was definitely insta- love. An excuse was given at the end of the story but it didn't make up for how annoyed I felt through out the entire book. I hate insta-love. Alenna's "best friend " Gadya was really mean. She treated everyone awfully but then during battles she suddenly cared about people.
I hate slamming someone's writing but here goes nothing. The writing was good in parts of the book. But a lot of the writing was not so good. I just found that some of the word choices didn't fit right. The writing didn't flow. Also despite it's unique plot, everything was written in a manner that the book became predictable. It had a cliffhanger at the end but I already knew what the cliffhanger was going to be. Finally, the world building was very general, and I found myself confused at times.
Despite it's flaws, I gave The Forsaken two stars because it had redeeming qualities. It had a lot of potential, and I think that the right person could enjoy it. It would be perfect for fans of dystopias that don't mind insta- love.