Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: August 2014
Lyla is caught between two worlds. The isolated Community that she grew up in and the outside world that she’s navigating for the very first time. The outsiders call the Community a cult, but Pioneer miraculously survived a shooting that should have killed him. Are the faithful members right to stay true to his message? Is this just a test of faith? One thing is for sure: the Community will do anything to bring Lyla back to the fold. Trapped in a spider’s web of deception, will Lyla detect the sticky threads tightening around her before it’s too late? She’ll have to unravel the mystery of what Pioneer and the Community are truly up to if she wants to survive.
I've had this sequel in my TBR pile for a while. I'm sorry that it took me so long to finish out this duology because Astray was really good. I was a little concerned that I might not be able to enjoy the book because it had been too long since reading Gated. But, the author did a great job of reminding the reader what happened in Gated, so it didn't take long to reacquaint myself with everything.
I did enjoy Astray. I felt like this one was a lot creepier than the first one. Lyla is out of the cult, but she is definitely struggling, The other members aren't making it easy for her to stay out. The thing I really liked about this story is that it didn't portray things as all hearts and roses for Lyla. Sure, she is out, but she still has a lot of inner turmoil about what she believes and if she made the right decision. Her struggle to fit in came across as realistic and believable.
I don't think this one would stand up well as a stand alone. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend starting with Gated.