by: Lisa Stasse
published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
publish date: July 10, 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.
I saw this book compared to The Hunger Games and thought I'd give it a read. Plus, I really dig the cover. That's some amazing art!
Alenna fails her test and gets sent to The Wheel. The Wheel is divided into two warring factions. One group follows The Monk. This group is crazy, disgusting, and out of control, except in their cult like following of The Monk. The other group is just a collection of somewhat regular kids trying to survive life on The Wheel and not get killed by one of the Monk's drones or get picked up by The Feelers. Alenna is captured by this second group and falls in with them.
The Forsaken is pretty much like every other YA dystopian out there. The unassuming female lead character stepping up and kicking butt and falling in love even though she doesn't want to. The one thing that The Forsaken had going for it was an ability to surprise me. The identity of The Monk totally threw me. Wasn't expecting that one at all.
I think readers of YA dystopian will probably like this one, but maybe think of it as Hunger Games Lite. In terms of parental warnings, I didn't find anything really objectionable in it, so it would be ok for most YA readers.