Friday, August 23, 2013

Joint Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Author:  Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: August 6, 2013

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.

I ultimately enjoyed Gated. But I will admit that the book frustrated me to no end.  I had a hard time reconciling the fact that the parents in this "community" actually bought into what Pioneer was feeding them.  So much that they gave up everything to follow this man.  I found I had to let all of that go in order to enjoy the book.  The scariest part of this book is that it isn't a dystopian present.  Because the reality is that there are people in real life who choose to believe things like this.

I liked Lyla and her strength in questioning Pioneer.  I was really rooting for her to turn things around.  There was the kind of love triangle, but it wasn't as annoying as they usually are in YA books.  The one things that kept creeping me out throughout the book was the quotes from real-life cult leaders that start each chapter.  I swear I kept getting shivers.  Definitely recommend this debut novel.

I, too, enjoyed Gated.  It's all about Pioneer leading these families into his "community" to prepare for Doomsday.  Have you watched Doomsday Preppers?  I don't think this scenario is too far off for some of these people.  It made me question how much of this is going on right now.  Are there groups of people living underground right now living out the apocalypse?  There might be!

This was one of the books Kari and I discussed quite a bit because she had a hard time believing that people would follow some crazy scheme like the Pioneer had, but I pointed out that history has proven that people will do those crazy things.  I think the quotes in the book by real cult leaders, like Jim Jones and Charles Manson, were brilliant to remind the reader that these thing have happened before.  Like Kari, I definitely recommend this book.

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