Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Strasse

The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1) by Lisa M. Strasse
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication date: August 2nd, 2012
Number of pages: 432 pgs
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository | Book World Australia

Alenna Shawcross is a sixteen-year-old orphan growing up in a police state formed from the ashes of Canada, the US and Mexico after a global economic meltdown.

But when she unexpectedly fails ‘the test’ - a government initiative which supposedly identifies teens destined to be criminals - she wakes up alone on a remote island reserved for the criminally insane.

Terrified and confused, she soon encounters a group of other teen survivors battling to stay alive, including Liam, a boy who will become her love... and her lifeline.

Soon Alenna makes the terrifying discovery that there’s more to the island (and her past) than she could ever have guessed... But who can she trust? And can she ever escape?

Lisa Strasse has come up with a imaginative story to dig into, as we find ourselves in a government funded dystopian novel. This genre has exploded since the arrival of The Hunger Games. I know that I was very hesitant to get into this kind of thing back then, but since those books.. I have discovered a crave for this very genre moreso than any other.
There have been so many books I have read, while some more similar than others, but each have their own individual spin on this dark, haunting and devastating world.

Welcome to the United Northern Allegiance; formally known as The United States, Mexico and Canada. 
We're introduced to Alenna Shawcrossed, who after losing her parents (not by death, but by disappearance) at a young age, becomes an orphan. At age sixteen she takes the compulsory test every student takes that will determine whether or not you have rebellious tendencies toward criminal behaviour. Most people pass... and some, don't.  Aleena never thought much about not passing because she couldn't harm a fly even if she tried, so when she does fail by whatever means she can't believe her luck.
After failing, Aleena finds herself being shipped off to a prison camp alpha where the life expentancy for each 'unachored soul' is eighteen years of age.
After she and another person wake up on 'The wheel' for which the inhabitants call it, since it's split into different sections, they try to find their way out. When they are caught for being in a section they shouldn't be in, Aleena and the other newest recruit to The Wheel need to try stay alive before they end up dead.

I was very impressed with this book. I had a feeling I would enjoy it, but never imagined how much. While things do start out slow... when things start to reveal themselves, it takes on a whole new meaning.

While there is romance in this book it doesn't take up the main plot, or does it overtake it. I know some may not like the way it happens, but I found it rather cute. It's not the earth-shattering love, nor is there a love triangle (thank goodness).
I love the friendships Aleena makes during her time on the island. Not only with Liam, but with the other people in the tribe which take her in.
There is certainly one surprise that I didn't see coming and makes for some interesting story.

The end...while leave for more story-telling, but I don't think it is as bad of a cliffhanger as I have seen in other books. It's good enough though to make me want to know more. To see where things will progress.

Bring on August.

Rating:  4.5/5


  1. I actually hadn't really considered reading this one before but now I must! Going to get my hands on a copy a.s.a.p. Great review! :)

  2. Oooh so intriguing - I need to get my hands on this after your review. And YAY for no love triangles!!

  3. Yes, authors need to learn to lessen down on the love triangles in YA. They aren't always needed.