Banished – Sophie Littlefield
Genre: YA; Fantasy
Summary: Growing up in Gypsum, Missouri hasn’t quite been what sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell wants out of life. I mean, when the nickname for your town is “Trashtown,” how happy can you be? Ultimately, Hailey doesn’t really feel as though she fits in with anyone, especially her ailing grandmother who is her guardian, so she mostly keeps to herself and longs to know more about her dead parents. All that begins to change, however, when a series of events occur that has her running for her life. Will the information Hailey learns prove to be too much to handle?
Review: On a scale from one to unicorns, I’d give Banished a solid meh.
I liked the main character, Hailey, as she really embodied a typical sixteen-year-old. She wasn’t really a hero one would expect, especially when her background is taken into consideration, but ultimately, I was rooting for her. There was something about her that was infinitely likeable, and even though I wasn’t particularly fond of the story, Hailey was one of those characters that made me see the book in a more positive light. In the same vein, the villains, especially Rattler, were easy to hate because they were so repugnant, and it served to make me want to see Hailey removed from that situation even more.
The story itself, however, wasn’t really one I could connect to. While I thought it was great that the author chose to use a setting that isn’t normally portrayed in books, it just didn’t do anything for me. I know the reasons for the characters living the way they do were expounded upon, but it didn’t make me like the story any more than the ambivalence I started off with. Furthermore, even though there was plenty of action, I just wasn’t particularly drawn in. I’m not sure why, but something about this just didn’t work for me.
If you like books that feature an unlikely hero, supernatural powers, and secrets, you might enjoy Banished.
Sequel to Banished: Unforsaken