Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse


The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genres: Dystopian

Release Date: July 10th, 2012

Source: Bought on Kindle



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.

My Review:

I’m not quite sure what I expected with The Forsaken, probably something more The Darkest Minds-esque, but what I got was something very different. That’s not to say this book isn’t enjoyable, because it is. I think I was just hoping for more emotion, more connection, which unfortunately, we didn’t really get with this book. Nonetheless, this was quite a riveting dystopian novel that I overall enjoyed.

Alenna, our main character, was admirable. She seemed a bit distant at first, but as the book progressed and explanations were provided, I began to understand her more. Her strength and determination was truly enjoyable to see. She’s a tough girl, for sure. For the most part, I liked Alenna. She was independent on top of everything, so she definitely got some respect points there. The secondary characters were mainly well-developed as well, and seeing Alenna’s interactions with them was actually really interesting.

The plot was also another aspect that kept me engaged. Things move along quickly, and I’m surprised to see how much Stasse could fit into a single novel, because it was a lot. It was really addicting because of the stakes that were set up, and Stasse made it clear from the beginning that she was pretty ruthless. It was definitely an edge-of-your seat kind of thing. The author’s creativity to some of the elements in this book was also surprising and really upped the stakes as well, making this book stand out a little in the midst of a genre clogged by Hunger Games look alikes.

However, one aspect of this book really ruined a lot for me.

The romance.

It was bad. Like, cringe-worthy bad. It was sloppy and completely rushed. Totally unbelievable. It was the basis for a lot of the book as well, and the Alenna’s emotions, but I couldn’t buy into it a tiny bit. I’m not picky at all about romances, but honestly, there was no connection built, nothing. The romantic scenes were basically “they kissed passionately” (yes, that sentence appeared in the book). If the romance was going to be such an integral part of the book, then I needed something. Some sort of emotion, or feels, or anything. Unfortunately, there was none of that.

Also, I worry a bit about where this book is heading. It seems like The Forsaken is going towards the stereotypical YA dystopian that all of us have become familiar and, honestly, quite bored with. I’m holding on hope that this series will take a turn towards the unique, but with that (slightly predictable in a way) ending, I’m not so sure.

Overall, this book had its good moments with the wonderful main character Alenna, and a riveting plot. However, that romance. It ruined the book for me in a lot of ways. Plus, I’m not sure if this series is going to be something new in this over-done genre. I’ll be reading the next book, but with freshly lowered expectations. I’d recommend this one to dystopian fans looking for an addicting read, but be wary of that romance.


  1. Aw man, I'm disappointed to see that this book had little emotional connections. I remember you telling me you were reading The Uprising, and not really getting into it. Now that I've read your review for this one, I'm not really sure I want to pick it up. I love dystopians, and there seem to be great action-packed moments in this book, but the fact that this series is headed in the cliche direction makes me want to shy away from this book. And a sucky romance? Blegh, no thank you. Thanks for your honest thoughts though, Aneeqah!

  2. I really liked the plot in this book, and I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it too overall. This was one of those rare books for me where I was still able to enjoy it despite not connecting with the characters. I can't remember what I thought of the romance, but I guess if it didn't stick with me, I can't have been that impressed. I've still yet to read the sequel. Great review, Aneeqah!

  3. I think I was the same way when I read this. I had really high expectations because it just sounded so good, and then it was really different from what I expected. It was definitely fast-paced and interesting, but I didn't enjoy it like I thought I would. I had to go look at my review to see what I thought of the romance, and yep, instalove. Boo. Well, I hope you enjoy the sequel! I'll have to look out for your review to see if I need to pick it up! Great review!

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

  4. It's always the worst when a romance in book ruins the book for you. The romance in this especially doesn't sound like the kind I enjoy. I need build up and more connection. That quote is enough to make me cringe. It's such a shame though because the actual story line sounds like it's well-done and well-written since you mentioned it being addicting. This is a series right? I hope the next book is much better for you and the romance not too cringe-worthy.
    Lovely review, Aneeqah!

  5. Hey, Aneeqah! I wanted to add you on twitter, but when I clicked on the button, it said that the user doesn't exist? :O Anyhow, you can add me and then I can add you, if it suits you that way :) As for your review, my IRL friend read this and felt the exact same. It was good-ish, but not exceptional. And she had the same problem with the romance too! Ugh, so sorry you didn't enjoy it and it felt so rushed =/ You know.. I can't tell you if it will get better or not, because my friend Amber read #1 and #2 and while she loved Forsaken, Uprising was such a disappointment for her that she actually gave it 1 star. Sorry this wasn't a huge success for you. I hope your next read is better :) Lovely review, Aneeqah!


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