Welcome to the BCM Author Spotlight! Every month we'll select an author to feature for our BCM Spotlight, so be sure to stop by each Sunday to learn more about the authors we've chosen. With book bloggers constantly creating wonderful and exciting new memes, we'd like to thank the lovely ladies at Page Turners Blog and Portrait of a Book for the inspiration behind our BCM Author Spotlight.
For the month of September we'll be spotlighting the lovely and talented Lisa M. Stasse! For those of you who may not know, Lisa penned the ah-mazzz-ing book, THE FORSAKEN, which released on July 10, 2012.
I've had the pleasure of reading THE FORSAKEN and am absolutely, positively, incredibly, I want to read it again, in love with it! So, it was a no-brainer that we'd host Lisa as a spotlight author. Please join us in welcoming her!
This week I'll be sharing my review of THE FORSAKEN with you.
THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
About (from Goodreads): 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: We've all heard that dystopian is getting overused and tired, right? I'd beg you to reconsider that as you think about THE FORSAKEN. I didn't know much about the book before I received it for review. All I knew was that the cover is gorgeous, and with a cover that intricate, there had to be a good story behind it. I can tell you that I was not disappointed.
The book starts with our protagonist, Alenna at the tender age of ten, losing her parents to the government for reasons completely unknown to her. Most children would hate the government for doing such a thing, but not Alenna. Alenna believes in the UNA. She trusts that what they do is in the best interests of everyone who resides within its boundaries. So when it comes time for her to take the test that all teenagers dread, she is confident that she will pass. If you pass, congratulations, you'll spend the rest of your life in the UNA, blissfully admiring all that the UNA has to offer. But if you fail, you'll be sent to a secluded island filled with cannibals and murderous teenagers bent on destroying one another; a place with a life expectancy of only eighteen.
The last thing Alenna expects is to fail that test, but still she wakes up bruised and confused, next to a strange boy on the island. Things begin to rapidly deteriorate until Alenna is rescued by an unlikely girl with blue hair who Alenna isn't sure she can trust. After all, this is a desolate place for nothing other than criminal minded villains. When she's brought into a small village on what she now learns is dubbed "The Wheel," Alenna realizes that the teenagers there don't trust her any more than she them.
The Wheel turns out to be so much more, and less, than Alenna ever anticipated. The village residents all appear to be hardworking and protective of one another. She finds herself making friends and actually wanting to preserve what's left of their civility. But how can that be? Has everything she's ever been taught about the island been false? Alenna would never hurt anyone, would she? Could she?
In THE FORSAKEN we watch Alenna grasp that life on The Wheel, and in the UNA, may not be what she'd been told they were. Each page is crammed with action from violent cult followers, sick and dying teenagers, and mysterious feelers set out to take every last one of them to imminent death. And let's not forget Liam, the boy Alenna can't help but feel connected to despite all the danger around them. When Alenna, her new friend Gadya, and the warriors from the village set out to find out the truth about the island, do they end up losing more than they gain?
I enjoyed every single page of THE FORSAKEN. It's a book I've been recommending to all of my friends and family since the moment I finished reading it, and I hope you'll enjoy it too!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, we are giving away THREE finished copies of THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 10/1/12.a Rafflecopter giveaway