Review of Gated by Amy Christine Parker

By: Amy Christine Parker
Release Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher:  Random House Childrens

Electronic copy was given to me in exchange for an honest review
Note: I don’t feel that I can rate this one with stars

Summary (via Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:
I have never read anything about how life would be living in a cult. I thought the book description was intriguing; especially adding in the fear of end times. I couldn’t help but think that reading about Lyla and her experiences would be entrancing and interesting in a psychological way. I wasn’t wrong- this was an incredibly interesting read though I did not overly enjoy the experience. This had nothing to do with the story telling or writing; it all had to do with my dislike of the subject matter.

I found Gated highly disturbing and at times frustrating. I had a very difficult time getting into the head space of Lyla’s parents. Their attitudes really frustrated me and I found it impossible to like them though I did empathize with them. Lyla was relatable enough and I thought she was well rounded but it wasn’t enough to make the reading of Gated pleasant for me personally. Let this be a warning there was violence towards animals which I found really upsetting even though the descriptions were not graphic.

Parker included quotes from cult leaders (real and Pioneer’s) at the beginning of every chapter which really created authenticity to her story. She mastered giving her reader what felt like a real glimpse into how life would be when raised in this type of environment. The pacing is slow for the majority of the book though you can feel the tension build with every page turn.

Don’t be mistaken…this is not a negative review. I think this book was done very well and that a lot of people will find Gated interesting and engaging. I misjudged myself in thinking that this book would be for me.


  1. says

    A very honest review, as always! The book sounds very intriguing, but I agree with you that it might just be difficult to deal with it from an emotional point of view… I think I’ll give it a shot and we can compare notes then.

    • says

      Being a mother myself I found it especially difficult to consider from Lyla’s parent’s point of view. I will love to hear your thoughts after you read it.

  2. says

    This one sounds emotional, but I don’t think it would be for me either. It really does seem a complex book that would work for specific readers, and I can’t say I like that Lyla’s parents didn’t help matters by being too frustrating. Sorry this didn’t work for you, Kristen, despite the positive aspects, but thanks for the honest review. 🙂

    • says

      It was very emotional read for me. It accomplished a lot in giving me an understanding or at least an imagined point of view from behind the gate.

  3. says

    Thank you for your honest review, sweetie. <3 I'm sorry you felt that you couldn't rate it, though :\ Still. Loved reading your thoughts about the book 🙂 Will still be getting my pre-ordered hardcover, but unsure when I will read it.. Sigh. Got accepted via Edelweiss ages ago, but I could never find a download button. Sigh. Still. Thank you for sharing sweetie 😀

    • says

      I hope you enjoy it…I found it to be incredibly interesting and well done just too depressing for my liking. Let me know what you think once you’ve read it.

  4. says

    Sounds like such an interesting book, a pity it wasn’t your thing. Sounds like it will be a tough read too living in a cult and having close minded people everywhere. You’ve piqued my interest in this book however, think I’ll add it to the TBR 🙂

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