The Forsaken & 52 Reasons To Hate My Father Giveaway Winners!

I have some giveaway winners to announce today!  The giveaways for The Forsaken and 52 Reasons To Hate My Father ended last night.  Congratulations to the winners, and thank you EVERYONE who entered and spread the word 🙂

Entrant #11, Ashley White, is the lucky winner of a signed copy of The Forsaken!
Thank you, Lisa M. Stasse, for offering a signed copy for my giveaway.

Entrants #18, 20, & 30 (Kare of Epic Book Nerd, Kathryn of Thrifty School Marm, & Brooke Polcik) won copies of 52 Reasons To Hate My Father


Thank you to the publisher for offering these copies for my giveaway!

All winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to respond.  If they do not another winner will be chosen.

Review: The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

Title: The Forsaken

Author: Lisa M. Stasse

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: July 10th, 2012

Interest: 2012 Debut Author / Dystopian

Source: Purchased

Summary (From Goodreads): 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.

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse is a cool new addition to the dystopian YA genre.  It’s fast-paced, and while there are comparisons to The Hunger Games, The Forsaken is its own book.

Lisa M. Stasse’s debut is full of non-stop action.  Within the first few chapters readers are taken to The Wheel with Alenna and thrown into a precarious situation.  Teen readers looking for a book that’s adventurous and fast-paced are going to love The Forsaken.  So many of my students will stop reading a book because of “the slow parts.”  There aren’t any slow parts in this book.  It actually felt like the story had a rhythm; there would be an intense scene full of flight-or-fight scenarios and then there was a more subdued scene after that.  I’m really expecting my students to enjoy this one, and I’ll be sure to hand it to those looking for something that’s “like The Hunger Games.”

I like the premise of The Forsaken as well.  No one really knows why these kids, like Alenna, have been shipped to The Wheel.  There’s plenty of speculation, but nothing is really understood until the last couple chapters.  There’s also the feeling that everyone on The Wheel is being watched, but no one knows who’s monitoring them or where they are.  The premise and setting made me think of Lord of the Flies and also Variant by Robison Wells.  I haven’t read The Maze Runner by James Dashner, but I think they might be comparable also.  There’s just something intriguing about leaving teenagers to their own devices without any direct adult supervision, especially when they’re stranded on an island.

While I enjoyed the fast pace of this book, the beginning needs more world building and character development.  We’re given a glimpse of what the country is like and how the government has taken over, but we don’t know many details about it.  More are revealed at the end, but I needed something extra to get me more invested in the story.  I also need more time with Alenna before she’s sent to The Wheel.  We barely get a chance to know her before she’s sent there.  The whole process happened in a blink of the eye, although much of that is part of the story and the mystery behind why certain kids are sent away.  The Forsaken felt very plot driven to me and I usually prefer character driven stories.  I want to feel like I connect with the character(s) and I didn’t feel that way at all while reading this.

As a reader, I wanted a little more from The Forsaken, but as a teacher I know many of my students will enjoy it.  The students in class craving an action-packed adventure will love every page of Lisa M. Stasse’s debut.

Other Reviews:

Fountain Reflections

Literally Jen

Author Guest Post: Lisa M. Stasse “Casts” The Forsaken + Giveaway

One of the assignments in my YA Lit class involves my students choosing actors they’d cast to play the role of different characters in the book they’re reading.  When Lisa M. Stasse and I started talking about guest post ideas, I told her about this assignment and she ran with it.  I love the actors she chose!  Lisa’s also providing one signed copy of The Forsaken for a lucky winner!  See the end of the post for giveaway details.

“If I Ran Hollywood: Casting the Imaginary Movie Version of THE FORSAKEN”

by Lisa M. Stasse

Although I live in Hollywood (well, nearby in Santa Monica), unfortunately I don’t get to run the town and make all the big decisions. But a girl can dream! 😉 I am obsessed with movies, almost as much as books, so I’m always daydreaming about how awesome it would be if THE FORSAKEN got made into a movie or TV show. This is scarily possible–in fact, my agents are working on setting up something at the moment–but of course even when books get optioned, they rarely make it to any screen, large or small. I know about some of this stuff through my husband, who has written some popular YA novels and some screenplays, including one called BAD GIRLS which was under option for 5 years at MTV and Paramount, but never got made. At one point in time it was going to be a Lindsay Lohan vehicle, and I think my husband is pretty relieved that that never happened. Anyway, so I thought I’d write a bit about my daydreams and hopes for THE FORSAKEN. I have to admit, I have kind of eccentric tastes when it comes to actresses and actors, so I am probably the least qualified person on earth to “cast” any sort of movie or TV series, even in an imaginary capacity. But it’s fun to play around with this stuff, so here goes! These are my choices for a handful of the major roles in the book. By no means are they definitive. I think a lot of awesome actresses and actors could really do an amazing job with these roles.

For the role of the heroine, Alenna Shawcross: Hailee Steinfeld (a great actress from TRUE GRIT and the upcoming movie adaptation of ENDER’S GAME, one of my favorite books).

For the role of Liam, the hunter that Alenna falls in love with: Tyler Garcia Posey (a really underrated actor, from TEEN WOLF)

For the role of Gadya, Alenna’s fiery best friend: Chloe Moretz (awesome in just about anything, especially LET ME IN).

For the role of The Monk, the cult leader who rules the prison island: Viggo Mortensen (I could watch him in anything, really. He would be amazing in this role! I love him in LORD OF THE RINGS and THE ROAD).

For the role of David Aberley, Alenna’s mysterious friend: William Moseley (from the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, assuming he still looks young enough to play a teenager!)

For the role of Alenna’s mom: Rachel Weisz (a great actress who has been in a ton of amazing movies–including ABOUT A BOY. She would be fantastic as Alenna’s mom).

So those are my thoughts for now! Thanks for reading. Come find me online at all the usual places, and check out the Official Book Trailer for THE FORSAKEN if you have a minute.
Links!
Giveaway Details
  • Lisa M. Stasse is providing a signed copy of The Forsaken to ONE lucky winner
  • Giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only
  • Must be at least 13 to enter
  • Giveaway lasts until Friday, August 31st @ 11:59 EST
  • No extra entries required, but spreading the word is appreciated! 🙂
  • Only one entry per person
  • Winner will be notified via email & will have 48 hours to reply

 

Book Trailer Thursday (71)–The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

I really like it when book trailers are made to look like cool movie trailers, which is one of the reasons I’m featuring the book trailer for The Forsaken by Lisa  M. Stasse.  The other reason is that it simply sounds like a cool book that I’m looking forward to reading.

Dystopians have been super popular in YA lately, so I’m a little pickier about which ones I want to read.  I like that The Forsaken has an adventure element, which many dystopian novels have, but I also like that they’re on an island.  The premise makes me think of Lord of the Flies.  And the cover?  Love it!

The Forsaken releases on July 10th, so make sure to look for it!  If you’ve already read it, I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

Summary (From Goodreads): 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.

 

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