Gated by Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Contemporary, Cults and young adult
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Pages: 224 (Hardcover)
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.
First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Random House for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
I was honestly expecting a lot more from this. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched and read a lot of articles and documentaries about cults and religious groups that I was expecting a lot more. Especially from Lyla, I was hoping that over time, her character would change, not already be changing. Amy Christine Parker does a fine job pushing the limits, showing readers what the inside of a cult might look like but I felt like she could have pushed it more and made it more…darker? Sinister? Sadistic? Something like that.
Getting into the book is a bit tough, everything feels very stiff and boring. I couldn’t relate or feel anything for the characters nor did it grab my attention like I wanted it to. The romance in gated feels very contrived and unrealistic to me with how everything ends up, almost like a happily ever love story. It also has an insta-love type of feeling to it and I don’t like insta-love at all. I wish there was more information about Pioneer and his tactics, what’s wrong with him and how he became this way because he changes and there isn’t enough information to leave me feeling satisfied about it.
Nonetheless, I love Pioneer’s character. He’s scary and well-developed, going from sweet and trusting to something else in such a short span of time. The pacing is also very well done, most of the novel didn’t feel rushed or too slow and the suspense builds up to make a gruesome ending. As far as endings go, Amy Parker does bring her game and gives readers something insane to read about, it’s gory, confusing, and definitely dark. I love it. I had to close the book a few times just to get a hold of myself!
Gated is not a bad book, it just falls short of my expectations around a topic so serious like this one. But I know that a lot of people will like this book because of the genre that it’s in and to have an insight of how easy it is for some people to take advantage of others when they’re most vulnerable and will believe just about anything.
For quotes from this book, click here.