Also appears on my blog, The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received via Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tours.This novel could have been so fantastic, especially considering the shades of other, greater novels within it (such as Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and The Giver) and its fast pacing. Unfortunately, The Forsaken fails to be half as good as any of the novels it borrows from and somehow manages to be an exciting bore. I'll explain what I mean by that in a minute.The fast pacing and near-relentless action sequences kept the novel moving and it's easy to keep turning the pages until there aren't any pages left to turn. While few of the twists caught me off-guard, there was one that managed to surprise me and I thought it was a pretty good twist. Unlike many YA novels, it's not afraid to kill people and get a little violent the way it should, though the violence is still tame. I want to say more, but that's really all the good The Forsaken has to offer.What makes this an exciting bore is that while the action is exciting, the characters involved in that action are bland, unmemorable, and more like pieces to be moved when needed than characters. They do what they're supposed to in a certain place to move the story along and that's about it. Alenna is easily forgettable and her romance with Liam is insta-love. There's no spark or reason to care whether or not they get to be together because they're so bland and lack deeper characterization. The writing is more tell than show and Alenna's thought processes are often eye-rolling, such as anything she thinks in italics when describing a scene. Whether a plane is crashing or they discover something terrible, her thoughts can always make it seem less dramatic than it is.Yet another problem is that the blurb claims this book is thought-provoking. What thoughts does it provoke? The Forsaken treads the exact same themes about freedom and the evils of a government becoming a controlling tyranny that every other dystopian novel published in the last three years has covered. This book offers no new questions--it doesn't even offer an interesting spin on the same old questions. It's a cookie-cutter book.Don't even get me started on Gadya. She's a contradictory, badly characterized mess and exemplifies many of the qualities I've been complaining about for months concerning negative female characterization. Really, she's going to start an argument about boys when she and Alenna are on an island where kids are regularly dying? She'll act one way in one scene, another way in the next scene, another way in the scene after that--basically, she acts however she needs to in order to move things along. She has no set characterization because she is the Every-Character (tm), who can conform to fit any role the plot demands a character to fit.If turned into a major motion picture, The Forsaken would be one hell of an action movie. Maybe that's my problem: I don't like action movies because they often lack the character development and depth I desire, and I don't like books that read like action movies waiting to be made.