Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Published: August 6, 2013 by Random House Childrens
Length: 352 pages
Source: Random House Childrens (ARC)
“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.
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.”
The setting of Gated is after the 9/11 tragedy and it is a post apocalyptic novel. I have mix feelings for this book. I do like how the main character, Lyla, changed from the beginning to the end of the book. She’s known as “Little Owl” because of her soft spot while the other people in her community are kick-ass and ready to fight whoever tries to invade their established community. Her actions and choices are believable which made her a good protagonist. Pioneer is the leader of Mandrodage Meadows (the community) and whatever he says, his people have to follow him or else there will be a punishment. He believes that the outside world (us) is full of evil, destruction, etc. I also like some of the supporting characters. I really liked Lyla’s bestfriend (I think her name is Marie? I forgot) because she also changed from the beginning to the end. She’s sort of a rebel and is tempted to get things from the world beyond the gated. Also, per chapter, there’s a header, and in that header is a quote from other cult leaders which I thought was pretty creepy but unique because not all books have quotes at the top of the chapter.
What I did not like about this book is the lack of world building. It is mentioned in the book that there are more than 20 families in Mandrodage Meadows, but while reading it, you’ll feel like it’s a very small community, like there are only 8 families. If the author’s target is for the readers to be able to feel that there are more than 20 families in the community, well, the author didn’t do justice for me with the world building because I could only picture 10 families maximum. I’m not really sure how to picture their community except that there is a silo and it is gated. See? Lack of world building. More description of the place is appreciated. It would give the readers more “feel” of the place.
I also did not like the love triangle. It revolves around Lyla, Will, and Cody who lived outside of the gated. First of all, I didn’t buy how Cody ‘loves’ Lyla after being toured. Let’s say I’m on a college tour cause you know, I’m going to college next year. I decided I wanted to go to Unviersity of Whatever, and in UOW (University of Whatever) there’s this hot dude who tours me around the campus. After about an hour, the tour ends and I go home. End of story. That’s basically what happened except Lyla tours Cody around their community and Cody is swooned by Lyla and there’s no END OF STORY. I find that not believable and it could’ve been better. What’s worse? Lyla was ‘swooned’ by Cody also. I kind of understand that because she’s curious of guys who lives outside of the gated & Cody is different from the guys in her community BUT the fact that Will and Lyla have been best friends for 17 years and is bound to get married and suddenly BOOM she likes someone else (ehem Cody ehem) who’s only been with her for an hour and they only know each other’s names… ummm.. yeah. Did not buy that at all.
The book was a bit boring at the beginning, but the last 5 chapters got me flipping the pages. This book was not bad, and I did enjoy reading it because I wanted to see how the ending was going to be (was the world going to end like Pioneer predicted? Or not?).