Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date Published: August 6th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Thriller, Young Adult
Description: A fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.
Appearances can be deceiving.
In the Community, life seems perfect. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited Lyla’s family to join his group and escape the evil in the world. They were happy to be chosen, happy to move away from New York and start over in such an idyllic gated community. Now seventeen, Lyla knows that Pioneer is more than just their charismatic leader, he is their prophet . . . but his visions have grown dark.
Lyla is a loyal member of the Community, but a chance encounter with an outsider boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community—everything. And if there’s one thing not allowed in the Community, it’s doubt. Her family and friends are certain in their belief. Lyla wishes she could feel the same. As Pioneer begins to manipulate his flock toward disaster, the question remains: Will Lyla follow them over the edge?
From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story of the Community from the inside looking out, and from behind the gates things are not quite so simple. Amy Christine Parker’s beautiful writing creates a chilling, utterly unique YA story. Perfect for fans of creepy thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.
I don’t think I quite understood that Gated was going to be a book about a cult, so when the weird creepy leader guy kept feeding the people in the Community all these lies, I kept wondering when people would catch on. Then I re-read the blurb and realized nope they’re not going to catch on and this leader of theirs has a really creepy cult thing going on. Gated was definitely a thriller, but I can’t say it was an edge-of-your-seat kind of read as much as it was disturbing and I wanted it to be over and the people to be rescued. It sounds to me like the Pioneer gathered people who have been hurt in one way or another by the real world and was looking for an escape. Lyla’s family was invited into the Community after her younger sister was kidnapped right before 9/11. It was weird though how these seemingly normal people started believing all the crap about The Brethren and the alien planet and all that. Sure, I can buy that they believed Earth was going to be wiped out by natural disasters – especially after he showed them the footage of Hurricane Katrina and major tsunamis and earthquakes – but come on the other stuff was just too much.
As far as the characters go, I did like that Lyla started out being afraid to act but realized it was up to her and found the courage to do what was necessary to survive this situation. I liked Will and was sad for him but since he was the Intended, I would have expected to get to know him better and I didn’t feel like I got to know him as well as Cody, the Outsider. I wished Lyla’s mother overcame her grief and stopped carrying around the younger daughter’s shoes years after her disappearance. She all but ignored the fact that she had another daughter who needed her. I felt like the rest of the characters were pretty much glossed over.
Overall, this was not exactly my cup of tea, but it was a compelling read nonetheless.