Author: Amy Christine Parker
Series: Gated #1
Read: July 3, 2014
Summary: 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. goodreads
Review: This book came out of the blue and I'm so glad it did! For some reason, I thought this was a dystopian thriller. I'm not sure where I got that idea but it colored the first half of the book for me in a completely different way than if I would have know the whole thing was a crazy cult to begin with. When I was introduced to Lyla and her family, I really thought the "end was coming." The "breathren" were a stretch but I thought it was some sci-fi thriller thing and just went with it. Yes, the community sounded a little cult-ish but it didn't hit me that we were dealing with full-on Jonestown, drink the kool-aid, cult.
When the community is visited by "outsiders," we quickly learn the real world still exists and they don't know the world is coming to an end. As Lyla starts to see some of the cracks in Pioneer's teachings and beliefs, we start to understand how crazy this cult is. And if there is one thing I love, it's crazy cults! I think the psychology behind them is so interesting and the indoctrination is so creative. It's super creepy but I love that stuff.
So not only did I enjoy the premise of the story but I thought the plot was well developed and I enjoyed how we learned more and more that the real world still existed. I wonder what other people think the story is going in and how that affects how they view the various characters and their beliefs. I'm glad I thought this was dystopian because it helped me align with Lyla and I was learning the truth right along with her. Well done and I look forward to the next one!