Gated - Amy Christine Parker 2.5

Gated is the story of Lyla, who, along with her parents, goes to live in this gated community with other selected families all controlled by a man who calls himself Pioneer. Pioneer’s been telling them that the end of the world is coming and they are the chosen few who will survive, but they must be ready. They have no contact with the outside world except for the trips into the local town every once in awhile for supplies. Since she was young, Lyla has been brought up trained to protect the community at all costs and not question anything.

Until she meets Cody.

First, I want start off by saying people who follow so-called leaders with blind faith just rub me the wrong way. I don’t understand it and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t understand how Lyla’s parents are ok with their daughter being matched off at the age of 13 and taught to shoot to kill (not injure, but kill). I don’t understand parents who let their “leaders” punish their child – physically punish their child – in front of an audience. A lot of this book was just very uncomfortable and unnerving.

The plot was interesting. I liked Lyla for the most part. She was the only one around her who questioned their lifestyle – raised in a cult-type setting and being introduced to the outside world. Yes, this mostly happened because a boy helped her, but at least she was finally waking up. She wanted more, believed there was more and I don’t blame her. Her parents ignored her, her mom was stuck in the past, holding onto a lost child and completely forgetting about her living child. I felt bad for Lyla.

The other characters in the book were just okay. Will was sweet, Cody was sweet, her friends were okay. Cody seemed a little wasted and unnecessary. I didn’t feel their instant connection and he was mostly used to get her to question herself and her matching with Will.

Then there was the pacing of the story. For the most part, it was very slow moving. Just a bunch of set up for the end of the world. The last handful of chapters were where the action finally sets in and things start happening.

My main issue, and why my it's a lower rating, was Pioneer. He was their leader, telling them they were all handpicked to survive and he wanted nothing more to protect them. But as the story continued, his lies and secrets were revealed and they didn’t make sense. What was his reasoning? Why was he doing what he was doing? What was his ultimate goal? None of these were answered. There’s only so much a good plot can do, but you have to be able to answer simple questions about your characters if you want it to be believable or even understood.

I did like the authors writing style and I would be interested in reading more from her, but this book just wasn’t for me.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

This review can also be seen here at my blog.