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Gated    by Amy Christine Parker order for
by Amy Christine Parker
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Seventeen-year-old Lyla lives in Mondrodage Meadows, a small end-of the-world cult community that has withdrawn from the wicked world outside their gates. Pioneer, the cult leader, dictates that outsiders are evil. Members of their community are the cherished ones, God's chosen survivors.

For ten years they've been preparing for the devastation that will come. When the story begins, the residents have only three months before they'll go into an underground shelter where they'll be safe while the rest of the world perishes.

Under pressure from Pioneer and her intended husband Will, Lyla practices shooting cutout targets representing the men, women and children who will attack to get inside their safe haven when the end begins. Pioneer is angry about her lack of progress. Lyla doesn't say so, but she finds it hard to believe that they all must be armed and ready to kill to protect their loved ones.

The chosen only leave the community to buy needed supplies but the people they meet then don't seem evil. When the nearest town's Chief of Police visits a family inside the community to notify them of the death of a relative, Lyla meets an outsider her own age. In one short hour the son of the Police Chief makes her feel more than Will has in all the years she's known him.

Lyla is about to learn that Pioneer can be brutal when he needs to be, to keep the chosen in line. Lyla watches her beliefs fall apart just when she needs them most.

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