Gated

Hey Book Lovers,

If you read my review on The Beckoners you have a slight understanding of my love for stressful books. I love a book that is so fast paced and unpredictable that I am pacing and fidgety while I read it. Is that weird? Oh well, I am kind of a weird person. Anyways, I recently read Gated by Amy Christine Parker and this book was just that. At one point I was standing in my kitchen and bouncing up and down and gasping every few pages while I read. I am pretty sure my housemates think I am insane. That being said, Gated was a fantastic read.

Gated centers around 17 year old Lyla who has lived in The Community for the last 10 years of her life. The Community, a cult lead by a mysterious man name Pioneer, is preparing for the end of the world, which they are told by The Brethren will be in a mere three months. The Community is all busy preparing for the end of the world, meanwhile Lyla is beginning to have doubts. Her whole life she has been the gentle soul in The Community. She most definitely is not ready for the end of the world to come. And with the introduction to a cute Outsider she begins to rethink everything she has ever believed.

Let’s just start off by saying a book about a cult is basically automatically interesting. Pick up a book about a cult and you know things are going to get crazy. And Gated definitely lived up to that expectation.

Lyla was a very relatable, and quite frankly awesome main character. It was very easy to get into Lyla’s mind even though I have never been in a situation even remotely close to hers. First she is struggling through being the weak link of The Community. And then she meets a cute Outsider, Cody, and doesn’t really know how to handle a crush. Plus she’s basically engaged to someone else who she doesn’t actually love. (Once the youngest child in The Community turned 12 they had a ceremony in which Pioneer paired every child with their “Intended” a.k.a who they would marry once of age). So many teenage emotions! And growing up around the same 20 families with your future planned for you from the beginning doesn’t exactly teach you how to handle hormones. But seeing Lyla struggling through these emotions makes her seem normal even though her situation is kind of crazy.

And then there is Pioneer. The fearless leader of The Community. At first I didn’t hate Pioneer very much. What if he genuinely believed he was getting visions about the end of the world from some alien race? What if he wasn’t just a crazy, manipulative, control freak? However, it is made very clear that that is not the case. About half way through the book it becomes evident that Pioneer is a psycho, manipulative maniac! And then things get interesting.

This plot kept me wanting more the entire time. I had a hard time doing normal people things like working and sleeping and cleaning. I just wanted to read! Although ultimately, it is kind of easy to see how it is going to end I still found myself stressing about if everyone was going to be ok. Also, I could have done without the little love triangle, but it does not distract from the storyline. Cody ends up helping quite a bit so I am not too annoyed.
I give Gated by Amy Christine Parker 5 out of 5 stars and I would highly recommend it. If you’ve read it let me know what you thought! I would love to hear.

Happy Reading,
Sam

The Beckoners

Hey book lovers,

I really like reading bully books. This might sound really weird, but bullying is just such an interest topic to me. I love getting a look into the brains of the tortured and their tortures (although most bully books are in the point of view of the bullied). These are usually the books that I don’t want to put down until I know every last detail. The Beckoners by Carrie Mac took the world of bullying to a whole new level.

The Beckoners is about sixteen year old Zoe whose slightly unstable mother moves her family around A LOT. With another move comes another new school. Zoe kind of falls into this vicious clique (or small gang, whichever you prefer) called, you guessed it, The Beckoners. Lead by the always brutal Beck, this group of high schoolers teeter on the fine line between bully and criminals. Zoe quickly realizes she does not want to live the life of a sixteen year old gang member. The need to get out is intensified by her growing friendship (?) with The Beckoners favorite viction, April (also known as Dog). However, once initiated into The Beckoners it’s not so easy to get out.

This book had me pacing and clenching my fist the whole time I read it. I am a big fan of a book that stresses me out (in a good way) while I read it. If I am so invested in a book that I don’t even want to sit down then it’s a good one.

I have never read characters as crazy as Beck and her followers. I had to keep reminding myself that these are 16 YEAR OLD GIRLS. What? That’s insane. I have never in my life met a 16 year old girl as intense and terrifying as Beck. Maybe I just grew up in a nice little happy bubble with nice bullies? No, I just think these girls are psychotic. That being said, they were so interesting to read! Also, Zoe was a great main character. Mac really captured the thoughts of a girl who is used to moving. A girl trying to muddle through high school and the dilemma of which side of the line was better to be on: the victims or the bullies. Mac shows that not everything is as black and white as it may seem. We get to see Zoe’s whole thought process. Zoe had to learn who she really was and what she wanted to stand for. Although, Zoe does have a little life in the Beckoners I think she is a great role model.

The plot of this story was great. There was never a dull moment. Like I said, I was literally pacing while reading parts of this book. The books opens with an introduction to Beck and Dog before launching into Zoe’s story. And it’s probably one of the nicer things she does to Dog in the whole book. It’s a great introduction to just how crazy the book gets.

I give The Beckoners by Carrie Mac 4 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book. If you’ve read this book let me know what you thought. I would love to hear your opinions!

Happy Reading,
Sam