Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

by 5:18 AM 5 comments
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy for fans of The Hunger Games.

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.
Overall Thoughts:
This is the kind of book that completely encases you in it's world and has no mercy until the absolute last page. I was totally entranced!

The Forsaken is about 16 year old Alenna Shawcross, who has everything ripped away from her at only 10 years old when her parents are stolen away right in front of her, by the government: The U.N.A - or United Northern Alliance. The U.N.A is the super-country consisting of the old United States, Mexico, and Canada. Afterwards, Alenna is forced to grow up as an orphan until she has to take the GPPT test, or the Government Personality Profile Test. The GPPT test is administered to all juniors in high school, and predicts if a person has an inclination to do criminal activity. If you pass, you continue on with life as a docile follower of the tyrannical government; if you fail, you are marked as an "Unanchored Soul" and shipped to a desolate prison island called Prison Island Alpha, later known to it's inhabitants as "The Wheel", where the life-expectancy is only 18 years old.

After taking the test, Alenna is absolutely shocked to find herself waking up on Prison Island Alpha with no recollection of how she got there and no idea of how to survive. But she finds purpose on the island when she learns that both of her parents have been former inhabitants of Island Alpha, and have sent messages to her years ago. While Alenna looks for answers to her past, she must also: learn to adapt to the barbaric lifestyle of the island, try to dodge it's deadlier populace, and think of a way off - all without running the risk of falling in love...

What I liked about this book:
The Forsaken has been compared to The Hunger Games and I can see why. It was absolutely riveting! The action was a 10! The plot development was a 10! The characters were detailed and complex! I like that Stasse explained everything early on, about the government and the island, but she still left some surprises for the reader as well!

Alenna was an amazing main character! At first, I was afraid she would crumble under the weight of the island, and become weak and feeble but boy, was I wrong! By the end, she nearly transforms into a strong, confident, and beautiful warrior! I was proud, to say the least.

The uniqueness of the plot has me wanting to crawl into Stasse's mind just to see what I'd find in there. It was such an expansive idea - sending exiled teenagers to a prison island with no rules, ways of life, OR technology/advancements - but Stasse made it work in every single way!

What I disliked about this book:
There was a tiny bit of insta-love between Alenna and Liam but I didn't mind at all! It was still romantic as ever, and I still swooned!

Please read this book if you love action, romance, or just simply getting lost in amazing books! It will not disappoint!

I will be anxiously anticipating the next book in this series, The Uprising!


Carmen Shaw


Carmen N. Shaw is currently a biology major at Georgia State University. She is the owner and developer of the book blog, Understanding Carmen's Story.


  1. I am DYING to read this book. Your review just made me want it MORE. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I haven't read this but looking at the video it's like a mash up of HG & Divergent. I didn't pay attention to this one because I didn't like the cover LOL but now that you've raved about it, I'll earmark this the next time I'm craving for Dystopia.

  3. Great review! I'm so glad that you loved this one. I received it for review a little while ago, but I haven't been able to get to it yet. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Steph @ A Dream Within A Dream

  4. I saw your comment on my IMM earlier. I'll start this one asap per you're request. Great review!
    <3 Doodle @ Doodle's Book Blog

  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I love fast-paced and full of action plots as well, and Alenna sounds like an amazing character. As you probably know, I got THE FORSAKEN this week, so I'm absolutely excited get started on it! :)

    Wonderful review, Shae!


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