Book Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

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Release Date: August 6, 2013

Genre: YA- realistic (dystopian…but not at all dystopian?)

Length: 352 Pages

Publisher: Random House

Book Summary:

She thought the evil lived outside the walls.

She was wrong.

In the Community, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban development have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives.

Lyla Hamilton and her parents moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.
Will is her Intended.
The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves and prepare to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound’s underground fortress–the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she’d rather think about a certain boy outside the development than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But as the end of days draws near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

My Review:

5/5—I rarely want to give a 5. Truthfully, 5’s are reserved for books that I can see myself reading more than once and still loving. There aren’t many books that I read over and over.

The Premise:

     I’d never read a book about a cult. Are there other YA books about cults? I thought it would be a strange topic just from reading the topic, but I know that people exist who blindly follow the strange notions that one might get from a cult. That said, I was intrigued to read on. Something I found interesting was the way that Parker began each chapter with a quote. Granted, I’d seen other books do this, yet it seemed more meaningful here. The first half of the book used quotes from the leader, “Pioneer.” Later on she uses quotes from different real-life cult leaders–a strong twist that, I think, provided a bit more of a realistic approach because it reminds the reader that these people really do exist. Great idea!

Character Development:

     What do I even say here? Man. Lyla was an amazing lead female character. I enjoyed her transition from child to fragile, hopeless follower to kick butt and save-the-day girl!

    Cody: Without giving any spoilers—he’s a sweet character and Parker was smart in using him to tie everything together.

    Pioneer: I’m just going to say this— why would anyone believe anything that this man says?! His ideas were ludicrous, yet the community chose to willingly give up everything (literally!) just to follow him? I suppose that shows what strength is possible with a good sales pitch.

Overall: I got this on NetGalley, but I’m already planning to purchase a copy, probably more than one. I’m already telling friends to snatch it up as soon as it is released. Gated is unlike anything I’ve ever read and it is nice to have a breath of fresh air in the YA world of romance or dystopia every now and then. Thanks for that, Ms. Parker!

Gated comes out NEXT TUESDAY, so grab this one up! I’ll have another reminder up soon–trust me on that 🙂

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