After a global economic meltdown, resources were so scarce and people were so scared that violence and crime skyrocketed. Leaders of Canada, the USA, and Mexico decided that they would be better equipped to rein in the criminals if they worked together, and thus formed the UNA (United Northern Alliance). Citizens of these countries were angry about the alliance and rebelled, which led to massive riots. Then Roland Harka came along. Using both charisma and force, he took over the UNA and appointed himself Prime Minister — for life. With freedoms and civil liberties taken away, communication restricted, and severe penalties for people who disobeyed, order was restored. As a result, all 16-year-olds now have to take the GPPT (Government Personality Profile Test). During the GPPT, teens’ brains are scanned to reveal which teens are predisposed toward a life of violence and crime. Those who fail, often referred to as Unanchored Souls, are sent to Prison Island Alpha, also known as The Wheel.
Alenna wasn’t really worried about failing the GPPT, so she was completely taken by surprise when she woke up on The Wheel. She knows she is not crazy, and she has never been prone to violence or crime, so she thinks there must have been a mistake. But, how does she even begin to contact people back home so she can try to get herself off the island? Unless she manages to align herself to one of the two “tribes” of teens who already live on the island — and who constantly battle one another — she might not survive long enough to try and escape. This book, the first of a trilogy, is a worthy addition to our If You Liked the Hunger Games list!