Sunday, July 28, 2013

ARC Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Random House Children's
352 Pages

Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They 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 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 compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

Gated is the story of Lyla, who, along with her parents, goes to live in this gated community with other selected families all controlled by a man who calls himself Pioneer. Pioneer’s been telling them that the end of the world is coming and they are the chosen few who will survive, but they must be ready. They have no contact with the outside world except for the trips into the local town every once in awhile for supplies. Since she was young, Lyla has been brought up trained to protect the community at all costs and not question anything.

Until she meets Cody.

First, I want start off by saying people who follow so-called leaders with blind faith just rub me the wrong way. I don’t understand it and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t understand how Lyla’s parents are ok with their daughter being matched off at the age of 13 and taught to shoot to kill (not injure, but kill). I don’t understand parents who let their “leaders” punish their child – physically punish their child – in front of an audience. A lot of this book was just very uncomfortable and unnerving. 

The plot was interesting. I liked Lyla for the most part. She was the only one around her who questioned their lifestyle – raised in a cult-type setting and being introduced to the outside world. Yes, this mostly happened because a boy helped her, but at least she was finally waking up. She wanted more, believed there was more and I don’t blame her. Her parents ignored her, her mom was stuck in the past, holding onto a lost child and completely forgetting about her living child. I felt bad for Lyla. 

The other characters in the book were just okay. Will was sweet, Cody was sweet, her friends were okay. Cody seemed a little wasted and unnecessary. I didn’t feel their instant connection and he was mostly used to get her to question herself and her matching with Will.  

Then there was the pacing of the story. For the most part, it was very slow moving. Just a bunch of set up for the end of the world. The last handful of chapters were where the action finally sets in and things start happening. 

My main issue, and why there is a lower rating, was Pioneer. He was their leader, telling them they were all handpicked to survive and he wanted nothing more to protect them. But as the story continued, his lies and secrets were revealed and they didn’t make sense. What was his reasoning? Why was he doing what he was doing? What was his ultimate goal? None of these were answered. There’s only so much a good plot can do, but you have to be able to answer simple questions about your characters if you want it to be believable or even understood. 

I did like the authors writing style and I would be interested in reading more from her, but this book just wasn’t for me.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.


  1. I've read mixed reviews on this one, and I'd be annoyed by the characterization too, I think. Nicely reviewed.

  2. Oh darn, I had been looking forward to this one, but been seeing pretty mixed reviews. Don't think I'm gonna bother with it anymore. Too many others to read xD Great review!


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