Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken by Lisa M. StasseRelease Date: July 10, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
IBSN: 9781442432659

A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

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.


I haven’t been reading many dystopians lately. Not many have caught my eye and made me feel like they were something new. The Forsaken definitely caught my eye. That cover might be one of my favorites ever and a prison island? Sign me up! Did the book live up to my hopes? Well, not quite but it was very different.

I loved reading about the UNA. It was kind of scary and just the right level of creepy controlling. It had that frighting realistic feel to it. That’s the element that I always love most about dystopians.

I didn’t connect with the island or The Wheel nearly as much though.  I know a lot of reviewers have compared it to Lord of the Flies, but I never read that. (Don’t hate me!) So maybe that added another level of disconnect for me. Whatever it was, I had a hard time feeling for any of the characters on the wheel. Except maybe David. I did like him. I also found some of the situations and fights bizarre. I can usually get behind things that are on the strange side but I never did with The Forsaken.

All that being said, I did enjoy The Forsaken. It held my attention and I enjoyed the unique dystopian world. I guess I was ultimately hoping for some more sinister aspects to the story, but I think it was a good start to a trilogy and I’m anxious to see what happens next.



  1. I am a little tired of Dystopians lately- not that I do NOT read them but I am just more selective. This sounds nice but not mind blowing. Plus, I always thought it might be a great read but never was completely sold. Glad you enjoyed it Lori :-)) 
    DannyBookworm recently posted..Author Spotlight: Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas – From What I Remember… & GiveawayMy Profile

  2. It’s sad to hear that you didn’t like it. I thought it would be great. Thanks for sharing!

    Great honest review! :)
    sangita recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (24): MarionetteMy Profile

  3. I’m looking forward to this one.  I’ve been so disappointed with some of the Dystopians I’ve read of late because they are kind of been-there-done-that.  I loved Lord of the Flies (still an all-time fave), so I’m hoping that people are right (you really should read it).  I hope you like your next read more than this one!

    Karis @ YA Litwit
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  4. This one sounds good, but I am hearing a lot of mixed things about it. I will definitely still check it out because it sounds interesting to me. I will just not go into it with any expectations. Great review!
    Amy @ Book Loving Mom recently posted..Cover Reveal: The Pack:Marked by Suzanne CoxMy Profile

  5. Hmmmm…I’m with you on that.  I have only been reading dystopians that are a part of a trilogy I started or that have come HIGHLY recommended.  I might start “Under the Never Sky” soon, but even then I’m kind of done with the genre for another couple of months…haha!  I hear mixed things about this book, and because it’s a dystopian, I probably won’t read it any time soon, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it, because who knows – I may love it!! :)

    Great review!!
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