The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

the forsakenThe Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Length: 375 pages
Genera: Science Fiction
Subjects: Dystopia, romance, love, prison
How I obtained the book: Library; hardcover

Rating: ✭✭

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.


This book had so much lost potential that it’s almost sad. The plot promises to be the next Lord of the Flies, it promises hints of The Hunger Games and The Giver. Sadly, it does not live up to huge expectations. It doesn’t even begin to touch any of my smaller ones (such as a passable plot, good world building, and likable characters).

The Forsaken is an odd sort of read. It’s a exciting boring novel – which doesn’t make any sense I’m sure but once read, what I mean is quite clear. The Forsaken is a fast paced read that no matter how much you hate the book, you just can’t stop reading till the very last page. Once I closed the book, I realized two things.

1. I had finished the book in 2 hours.
2. I hated the book.

I didn’t realize the second point till around the last 50 pages really. I was too involved with the plot to pick up on the fact that what I was reading was complete crap.

I guess The Forsaken wasn’t too bad of a book. But as the first book of the year, I sort of wanted it to be better than it was. I wanted an amazing book to start the year off, which sadly I didn’t get and here’s why.

The main character Alenna was a complete idiot who was lucky to survive a few hours on the island. I seriously wanted to strangle the bitch. Alenna seems to believe everything goddamn thing she hears. She finds another prisoner on the island and immediately believes everything he says. Whaaa?

She falls in love with a guy after around 7 hours (new record) and spends most of the book describing him and then moaning on how they could never be together.

Oh but let’s not forget about why she can’t have him. Liam used to be her new BFF’s boyfriend, Gayda. Gayda has to be the biggest bitch in the history of books. She has severe mood swings which center around Liam and Alenna. Example:

Alenna; Hey… *looks at Liam*
Alenna: Ok… *looks away*
Gayda: Sorry, friends again? You’re my bestest best friend Alenna.

and repeat.

Gayda literally says “friends again?” around four times during the book.

Just no. This is not acceptable in any shape. Why did you turn a completely capable character into a plot device bitch.

Liam was that guy. That guy who acts he’s all cool but really is no more interesting than a brick. He had no personality, no anything other than his amahzing looks.

Plot and Writing
The plot of The Forsaken is basically a bunch of kids are sent to a prison island because of a difference in how they think. Interesting but cliched. It turns out there are two warring factions on the island: a group of unnamed people who are our “good guys” and the Monk’s clan.

I had a lot of problems with the plot which I’ll address individually.

1. Cliche
The Forsaken is very much a “cookie cutter book”. There are no different takes on old topics here. No, the plot and the turns are very overdone and unoriginal. It’s pathetic really. Even Gayda is a cliche element really.

2. Clans
The clans idea was fun but I think that there needed to be a) more clans and b) more backstory and developing of the clans. And I’m not alone in this idea. Many reviewers before me have mentioned that there needed to be more clans. The clans were also a bit under described – like the rest of the book really.

3. Why?
It’s not really explained why they are sent there. I know it’s a difference in the way they think but that’s so overused and bland. I wanted more on why and how they pick it out.

4. Rushed
I had no idea what happened by the end really. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense really. (view spoiler)

The writing wasn’t bad but Alenna had a tendency to make everything boring. I don’t know how or why but her descriptions made things seem less exciting than they were. It was very bland writing really, not bad but not good either.

What I liked and didn’t:
* The Beginning which was interesting enough to keep me reading and get me out of a bad slump
* David
* Engaging enough to keep me reading

* Everything else really

In conclusion:
The Forsaken is not a book I’d recommend. In fact, it was quite bad. One star for getting me out of a slump and one star for everything I mentioned in the “Like” section.

2 thoughts on “The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

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