Synopses & Reviews
A fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.
Appearances can be deceiving.
Lyla Hamilton is a loyal member of the Community. Her family was happy to be chosen by Pioneer to join such an lovely gated neighborhood. Here, life seems perfect.
But after meeting Cody, an outsider boy, Lyla starts questioning Pioneer, her friends, her family--everything. And if there's one thing not allowed in the Community, it's doubt. As Pioneer cleverly manipulates his flock toward disaster, the real question is: Will Lyla follow her heart or follow Pioneer over the edge?
From the outside looking in, it's hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story 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.
"A tense psychological thriller that will leave you gasping for breath as you race to the very last page." --Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten
HelloGiggles.com, 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:
"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."
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?'"
"A 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."
"It's the end of the world, and no one's fine in this tense psychological thriller, Parker's debut. Seventeen-year-old Lyla is part of the Community, a group of families led by the charismatic Pioneer, who has secluded them from the outside world in anticipation of the imminent apocalypse. With Pioneer's prophesied deadline fast approaching, Lyla struggles with her faith and resolve. A chance encounter with Cody, a boy from the outside, further tempts her away from the way of the Community, but when events escalate with her salvation at stake she may have to choose between following her heart or staying true to her friends and family. Parker skillfully explores the mindset and inner workings of an apocalyptic cult, steadily building toward the inevitable moment of truth. The appeal of the Community's simpler way of life is balanced by a growing sense of wrongness, as cracks appear in Pioneer's faÃ§ade. Lyla's internal conflict is well-played and believable. As for the apocalypse itself, Parker keeps things suitably ambiguous, resulting in a complex, intriguing tale rooted in real-world events. Ages 14 up. Agent: Lucienne Diver, the Knight Agency. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Welcome to Mandrodage Meadow, a typical middle-class, close-knit community. The families here are drawn together by shared values and a commitment to living a peaceful life in a beautiful, somewhat insular suburban development. But there's a problem: you're actually not welcome—at all.
The last thing anyone inside the compound wants is attention from the outside world. For over ten years, the members have lived happily under the direction of Pioneer, the charismatic leader who took them away from their sad, damaged lives. So when Pioneer pinpoints the end of the world and plots a very specific and drastic course for his cult (they must arm themselves and prepare to move into an underground silo to save their community) everyone falls in line; even seventeen-year-old Lyla. At least she's trying to. Lyla wants to paint instead of take target practice. And she'd rather think about the possibilities and people outside the compound (like Cody, the cute son of the local sheriff) than imagine married life in the silo with her intended, Will. As the end of days draws closer, Lyla will have to do more than daydream—it's time to pick up a gun, take a side, and let her family know exactly where she stands.
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 amychristineparker.com and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.
She thought the evil lived outside the walls. She was wrong.
Amy Christine Parker's deliciously chilling story is a fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.
In the Community, life seems perfect. Lyla Hamilton believes she is one of the chosen. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited her family to join the Community and escape the evil in the world. They've thrived under his strict, charismatic leadership. 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.
Pioneer has visions of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must prepare to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the Silo, the underground shelter where the Community will wait out the apocalypse.
Lyla loves her family and friends, but a chance encounter with an unchosen boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community--everything. She needs time to figure out the truth. But with Pioneer's deadline for the end of days fast approaching, time is the one thing she doesn't have.
About the Author
AMY CHRISTINE PARKER earned her degree in elementary education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and then proceeded to try out many different jobs, including collectible doll maker, fondue waitress, and inner-city schoolteacher. It wasn't until she became a mom and began making up bedtime stories for her children that she finally realized what she was meant to do. Now Amy 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 amychristineparker.blogspot.com.