Genre: YA, Contemporary, Thriller
“But even lambs have to be lions sometimes.”
-Pioneer, Gated (Amy Christine Parker)
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]
Dark, Intriguing, A twisted version of a modern day Noah’s Ark.
Jim Jones, Charles Manson, David Koresh, cults have always intrigued me, especially because it is something that takes place in the real world. This book was not at all what I expected. Of course I read the synopsis when I brought it but I like to go into books semi-blind. I have to admit thought I thought it was going to be a dystopianish book. Gated is based on a group of people that are living in the middle of nowhere in a development called Madorodage Meadows and are led by a man that goes by the name Pioneer. It is told by the view point of a one of the girls, Lyla Hamilton. She starts to question everything she has ever believed and been taught. This book is not for the light of heart. It is extremely deep and dark and cause a lot of feelings. I thought it was wonderfully written and Amy Christine Parker did a fabulous job developing the characters and world and really makes you understand a little bit behind the ideas and beliefs that are involved with “cults”. I liked and appreciated the quotes included at the beginning of each chapter from other known leaders of cults, I felt it really added to the story. I was so intrigued by this story and most was driven by pure curiosity. You hear about such topics in the news and school and I felt that this was a good fictional written book on the subject.
I had to many feelings about this book to not elaborate and further discuss matters of this book. It is the idea of cults and such that cause a high level of curiosity within me. I just don’t understand how people believe such things and allow for such things to happen. Whether it is fully true or not I felt like Parker did give explanation behind why such things happen and how people go about following such insane ideas and unstable individuals. Fear and evil can persuade people to do crazy and radical things. I do not read much contemporary mainly for the fact that for some strange reason I don’t like to be happy. So many contemporary books end up fluffy and happy, but this book was so different. It was intense and dark, and at point had to handle. Knowing things like this happen in real life just make it that much more of an impact and really makes you feel for the characters especially Lyla. When she finds out she has been lied to for her whole life and then when she finds out that Pioneer plans to kill them all, I couldn’t help but cry and feel for her. The worst part was when they kill the animals, the description that is used is mortifying and the way you realize and find out what is happening alongside Lyla… I had to put the book down and take a break from reading. The abuse was also tough to handle. This book was overall really sad and although it end “happily” for lack of a better cliche, it really affected me. It just really makes me realize that there are so many people and situations in which they don’t know better or have never known different and just assume what they are going through is rightly deserved. It makes me sad for the world. The reason that I did not give this a full 5 stars is because as much as I enjoyed and was intrigued by the story I still felt like it was missing something. (Even though I am not sure what could have been added or done differently, I just didn’t feel like I was totally and completely in love with it. It seems morbid to even associate “love” with this book” )
I will stop my rant now and if you read this far 1.) sorry I ruined it for you 2.) The sequel comes out in August!