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The Forsaken

By Lisa M. Stasse

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Format: Hardcover, 375 pages
Published In: USA, 01 July 2012
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.

About the Author

Lisa M. Stasse is a digital librarian at UCLA. The Forsaken is her first novel.


Gr 7-10-Alenna Shawcross just turned 16, which means it's time to submit to the Government Personality Profile Test to see if she has (or might some day have) tendencies toward crime or antisocial behavior. Luckily, she isn't worried about passing. Though she's never felt she fits in, she was raised in a government orphanage, and while she is curious about the Prison Island Alpha images she has seen on the government-sanctioned vid screens, she has never exhibited any deviant behavior. Imagine her shock to wake up, bruised and confused, in the undergrowth on Prison Island Alpha. Alenna is drawn into a band of young rebels who don't seem at all like the criminals she expected. Within two days, she's joined the leadership of the Orange Sector, battling the Blue Sector "drones" who worship the Monk, eventually making their way to the Gray sector, which appears to lead to escape. Unfortunately, the backstory and time line don't hang together. Although Alenna can remember watching TV with her cozy family in New Florida, her parents were taken away in the middle of the night when she was 10, and by the time she is 16, Minister Harka has put UNA (encompassing Canada, the U.S., and Mexico) under strict military rule; outlawed cell phones, the Internet, and personal computers; put the population on "thought pills"; and convinced families to let their teens submit to the GPPT. The author has creative moments, but this story of independent teens retreating to the forest with homemade weapons to find young love and resist overbearing government has been told many times in recent years and The Forsaken doesn't have anything to distinguish it from the masses.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"The Forsaken presents a classic dystopian theme, with a corrupt government becoming overpowering and tyrannical, with the twist of science-fiction robotics and genetic manufacturing... Stasse has brilliantly combined two popular teen genres into a world of action and suspense that most teen readers will not want to put down."--Blake Norby "VOYA "

EAN: 9781442432659
ISBN: 1442432659
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Dimensions: 21.69 x 14.88 x 3.3 centimeters (0.45 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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