Blog Tour: Gated


by Amy Christine Parker
YA Fiction
August 6th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Jacket Summary

She thought the evil lived outside the walls.

She was wrong.

In the Community, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban development have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives.

Lyla Hamilton and her parents 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 and prepare 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 development than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But as the end of days draws near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.
Purchase from:
IndieBound - Barnes & Noble - Amazon - Random House

My Review

I haven't ever read a book like Gated before - about a group of people who believe they are the chosen ones who will be saved when the apocalypse comes (all those not in their community are evil and will be destroyed), and who basically leave civilization to build their own community and unquestioningly follow one individual. The word "cult" was used a few times in the book, but that really is too strong of a word and the wrong one to use to describe their community. These people were generally good, nice people who didn't do anything wrong or bother anyone. I would think of a cult as a group of people who regularly enact violent acts or practices. This group is fairly nonviolent, except for punishments, until things escalate at one point. Now I feel I should say that almost the entire book upset me. I didn't agree with anything the group as a whole, or the individuals (especially the adults) within the group thought or did. The author did a great job of letting her characters think and act how they should in the situation they were all in. Several of the quotes that were included at the beginning of each chapter, especially towards the end of the book, were quite terrifying in and of themselves - in that I couldn't believe that someone would think that way and do these things. I was basically terrified for the people in this community and especially for Lyla.

Obviously this is not a nice, sweet, and romantic book to pick up when that's what you need. I could have handled a few more happy moments; maybe the story starting further back with Cody and Lyla seeing each other in town on multiple occasions over time so that the romance could build up. It's almost insta-love. However, the romance is not the focal point of this story. It is more of something that drives Lyla to question what is going on in her community. It is a rather intense and depressing tale. One that, thankfully, worked out for me. It did help that the characters were well formed and felt realistic to me, and that the writing and editing were very well done. Now I just need to go read something light and happy.

I really liked Cody. He was probably my favorite character even though we only see him in a small portion of the story. I liked Lyla, but I got frustrated with her at certain points even though she reacted how someone raised as she was probably would. I disliked the parents the most - even more than Pioneer. They have these children that they choose to bring in to this community and blindly follow Pioneer even though they have experienced the outside world. They also, to me, didn't protect their children the way they should have and being a parent that really got to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't like Pioneer either, but he is empowered by the people in the community to get away with what he does. Lyla's friends were each great additions and added some different perspectives and dynamics to the group and story. Will and Marie are both rocks for Lyla. Lyla struggles with some doubts thinking that she is alone in wanting something different. Later she finds out that even her two best friends had their own hidden hopes and dreams.

Overall this was an interesting read and well done for the type of story it was. It's something I hope will never play out in the future in real life, even though it has before.

Here is my favorite quote from the book, by Lyla:
"What I do know is that looking into a sky like this one gives me hope. If a sky this dark can still be peppered with so much light, maybe this world can be too."
Content: Some strong violence in one part of the book. No language or sexual content.
Source: I received a copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.

Praise for Gated

Gretchen McNeil, author of TEN:

“A tense psychological thriller that will leave you gasping for breath as you race to the very last page.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2013:

"Parker doesn’t pull punches, indicating a level of brutality that will appropriately disturb even as it successfully conveys Lyla’s complete entrapment in the Community. Compelling and not that distant from real-world cults that have ended in tragedy."
Publishers Weekly, June 10, 2013:

"Parker skillfully explores the mindset and inner workings of an apocalyptic cult, steadily building toward the inevitable moment of truth...As for the apocalypse itself, Parker keeps things suitably ambiguous, resulting in a complex, intriguing tale rooted in real-world events." 

About the Author

Amy Christine Parker was born in Pennsylvania and spent most of her early years there. Many of her best memories are of hiding out in her room where she made up elaborate pretend play scenarios most often involving orphaned baby dolls and Barbies dressed in fashions made out of Kleenex.

Amy was always attracted to writing, but she tried a lot of other jobs on for size first before settling into writing full time. At some point or another, she has been a collectible doll-maker, a fondue waitress, an inner city school teacher, and a stay at home mom. Currently she is writing full time and lives in a suburb of Tampa, Florida with her very supportive husband, their two creative and energetic daughters, one absurdly fat orange cat, and two escape artist mice
You can find Amy here:


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