Publication Date: August 2, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult
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
I absolutely adore psychological themes in books, specifically a book that attempts to understand the mind of a cult. While I strongly despise legitimate cults, their mentality is something that fascinates me. It shows how preying on the weak really helps you come out on top. It's horrible yet intriguing. So, naturally, I really wanted to read this book.
However, it became increasingly obvious to me that this book was not only going to be creepy, but intense. This book is all about the mindset. You can't read it unless you're ready for it. And, if you want the truth, I just wasn't ready for it. As a college student I barely get any time to read. If I find myself struggling in the beginning of a book, I can't push my way through it. It'll put me into a huge reading funk that I can't afford because I have so little time to read to begin with. And, well, this is one of those cases.
I had to DNF in a mere twenty-five pages. The main reason for this is because of our heroine. I'm not a big fan of her. She's meek, and it's not something I'm currently in the mood for heroine-wise. While I support her ways wholeheartedly, I just wasn't in the mood. This girl was at target practice and decided to take out someone's legs instead of shooting them for the kill. Good for you, girl, but even I could sense everyone's disappointment and annoyance with you. You're in a world fighting to survive. When the zombies come, you're going to be the first to go.
And when Pioneer, the leader of the cult, showed up ready to critique them and check up on his future soldiers, I just got this sick feeling in my stomach and then had no desire to continue because I was oddly uncomfortable. Perhaps this is an amazing aspect of the book because it's already coming across strong, but it's not something I'm mentally or emotionally prepared for at this time.
If you have the chance, I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to think. Clearly, this is a psychological book that will take you on a journey and get you thinking.