It’s been an emotionally-draining week, but I still have two books to review! They are Banished and Unforsaken, by Sophie Littlefield. They’re both YA fantasy, the second one the sequel to the first. These are books you want to read if you want fairly intense, action-based reads, not deep, but compelling.
What Banished is About
Hailey Tarbell lives lives in a run-down neighborhood in Missouri, with her cruel, sickly grandmother who deals drugs out of their basement and her four-year-old foster brother, Chub. He’s the best part of her grim life, and she plans to take Chub far from Gypsum and start a new life where no one can find them the minute she turns 18. But when a classmate is injured in gym class, Hailey discovers a gift for healing that she never knew she possessed—and that she cannot ignore. Not only can she heal, she can bring the dying back to life. Confused by her powers, Hailey searches for answers but finds only more questions, until a mysterious visitor shows up at Gram’s house, claiming to be Hailey’s aunt Prairie.
There are people who will stop at nothing to keep Hailey in Trashtown, living out a legacy of despair and suffering. But when Prairie saves both Hailey and Chub from armed attackers who invade Gram’s house in the middle of the night, Hailey must decide where to place her trust. Will Prairie’s past, and the long-buried secret that caused her to leave Gypsum years earlier, ruin them all? Because as Hailey will soon find out, their power to heal is just the beginning.
I won’t tell you what Unforsaken is about because that would be one big spoiler for Banished.
Why You Should Read Both Books
The first book is definitely an intense, action-based read. I had to go right out and buy the sequel, and then I read it in two days. Hailey’s dilemma was interesting, not just in a how-do-I-handle-my-power way but also in a how-will-it-affect-those-I-care-about way. I felt that the antagonist in Unforsaken could’ve been better fleshed out, but the romance and the well-developed plot compensated. Oh, and there were zombies, which was an interesting touch.
There is a little bit of swearing, and definitely some violence.