I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Gated by Amy Christine Parker
Series: Gated #1
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on August 6, 2013
A fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.
Appearances can be deceiving.
In the Community, life seems perfect. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited Lyla’s family to join his group and escape the evil in the world. They were happy to be chosen, happy to move away from New York and start over in such an idyllic gated community. Now seventeen, Lyla knows that Pioneer is more than just their charismatic leader, he is their prophet . . . but his visions have grown dark.
Lyla is a loyal member of the Community, but a chance encounter with an outsider boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community—everything. And if there’s one thing not allowed in the Community, it’s doubt. Her family and friends are certain in their belief. Lyla wishes she could feel the same. As Pioneer begins to manipulate his flock toward disaster, the question remains: Will Lyla follow them over the edge?
From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story of the Community from the inside looking out, and from behind the gates things are not quite so simple. Amy Christine Parker’s beautiful writing creates a chilling, utterly unique YA story. Perfect for fans of creepy thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.
Can I just say right in the first sentence of this review that this book is AWESOME? Okay, glad that I got that out of the way. Trust me, it will come up again later.
Gated is about a girl named Lyla whose sister was stolen when she was a kid. Both of them were outside, though Lyla went inside. When she and her mom came back outside, her little sister was gone. Around the same time, 9/11 occurred. Since Lyla’s parents were so scared of all the terrorists around where they lived in New York, they automatically believed Pioneer when he told them that he knows the end is near. He explains that he can hear the Brethren and he can see the future. In other words, Pioneer is a prophet who can see more than anyone else.
Right after that, the family is whisked away to Mandrodage Meadows, a gated community where the Chosen live. In this gated community, everyone follows Pioneer’s rules and there is no trouble or terrorism. As long as everyone follows the rules and trains for the apocalypse, everything will be good. In Mandrodage Meadows, all the kids are around the same age. Because of this, each person also has an Intended, or person that they are going to marry in the future. Lyla’s Intended is Will, a guy she’s been really good friends with for a while. He was her first friend when she moved to Mandrodage Meadows.
Everyone in Mandrodage Meadows must know how to use a gun, in case of an emergency occurs during the apocalypse. Lyla doesn’t like to shoot at the cutouts, because she doesn’t want to shoot a mother and her child, even if it is just a cutout. She really cares for others. There’s also a silo in Mandrodage Meadows. This is where everyone in the town will go when the time of the apocalypse comes. There’s only one small thing, if you’d consider it small. How can anyone really know that Pioneer is telling the truth? What if he’s showing and telling everyone things that aren’t even true?
Like always, I MUST talk about the characters. Especially the characters in this book, because these characters were amazing.
Lyla was a great lead character. She always followed her instincts, so I really respected her. I also like how she wasn’t exactly scared to go against the flow. If she knew something was wrong, she did it anyway, with a little contemplation. Lyla is a really great friend as well. She was there for Marie through the entire novel, even if Marie wasn’t always there for her. I also think that Lyla grew a lot as a character throughout the entire novel. She started out as a goody two shoes who was really innocent and ended up as pretty much the complete opposite. You go girl
Will was so sweet. He was Lyla’s Intended and he always treated her respectably. I felt really bad for him because Lyla didn’t feel the same way about him, so the feelings were only one way. Will was still an amazing best friend for Lyla.
Marie was such a great person. I think that she really influenced Lyla from the start, so basically Lyla owes Marie a huge thank you. Marie is Brian’s Intended. Brian is also pretty good friends with Will and Lyla. He’s part of their little group. Brian is really good at shooting.
Cody, the sheriff’s son, was really phenomenal. He definitely changed Lyla’s life. If Lyla didn’t meet Cody, I don’t know what would’ve happened to Lyla and everyone she loved. Cody definitely liked Lyla from the beginning and vice versa. Cody is really funny and cute. I’d definitely want to meet him!
Pioneer is seriously a new favorite character of mine. It really makes me wonder what’s going through his head. Pioneer was just such a complex character and it was really interesting getting to know him through Lyla’s (Little Owl’s) eyes. Pioneer definitely had a soft spot for Lyla.
Alright, back to the awesomeness that I mentioned in the first sentence of this review. Gated is phenomenal. This story is so eerily creepy because it could happen in real life: it’s almost like a real life situation. It’s also pretty great because the entire time your reading the book you’re thinking one thing, and then right at the end, BOOM. You’re confused and wondering why you ever thought what you did. I love books with endings like this. The characters were terrific and the story idea was just pure brilliance. Gated is currently my favorite book of 2013.
I’m still a little creeped out, though I’ve been recommending this book nonstop since I read it. I’m pretty sure my recommendations for this book will never stop, so you should really read this book soon, before I bombard you with more recommendations! Amy Christine Parker, you are definitely extraordinary and I can’t wait to read more by you in the future!
Oh… and one more thing before I end this review…
You must read this book!
Recommended for fans of:
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse