Young Adult Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker


Age Range: 12 and up

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 6, 2013)

Language: English

Series: None

Genre: Thriller

Source: Won

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

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.

Amazon | Goodreads


A tense psychological thriller that will leave you gasping for breath as you race to the very last page.” —Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten, August 3, 2013:

“When I found out that there was a YA book about cults, of course I had to read it. As it turns out, Amy Christine Parker’s Gated is an awesome, creepy book that reminds me of my favorite cult films while still being surprising.”

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:
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.”

School Library Journal, October 2013:
“This well-plotted tale will allow readers a glimpse into the possible
world of a doomsday cult…The language is accessible, making it a
good choice for reluctant readers. After the last page is turned, the
question will linger: ‘Could I ever be deceived like this?'”
well-rounded and thorough look into cults while still remaining
entertaining throughout. I look forward to reading more of Parker’s
works in the future.”

About the Author:

AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida,
where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one
ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at and follow her
on Twitter @amychristinepar.

My Thoughts on Gated:

Kool-Aid anyone?

So…wow. I don’t really know what to say about it. It left me a little
bit speechless. It is nothing like anything else I’ve ever read, except
for national news. It actually reminded me of a “family” I knew once

This is a fascinating look at the inside of a cult. I hate to use that
word, especially when the Comminuty didn’t start out that way. They were
just a group of people looking for an escape from the pain and
suffering of the world. They found it in Pioneer. His lunacy manifests itself later,
but by that point, they all trusted him enough to believe everything he

Lyla is a great character to follow. She is very easy to relate to. It’s
difficult to understand how a group of people could fall for something
like the teachings of Pioneer, but this book makes you see it through
their eyes. They’ve been cut off from the outside world for so long that
they no longer know what is fact and what is not. Pioneer is perfectly
creepy and he is just the kind of man I could see leading a group like

I discussed this book with everyone that would listen to me. My husband, my mom, my friends, random people on the street…

Ultimately, this book is an interesting look at the inside of a cult.
While the beginning takes a while to really get going, the book is a
fast paced page turner with moments of breathtaking suspense. Recommended for ages 14 and up due to violence. This would be a great
book club read.

Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book in a giveaway, which did not affect my review.

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