Astray by Amy Christine Parker | Audiobook Review

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

A few years ago I read and loved Gated by Amy Christine Parker. It is this awesome book about this girl named Lyla who lives in a Community that is run by this man named Pioneer who insists that the outside world is evil and so the Community keeps themselves secluded and await these mysterious aliens called the Brethren to save them. Lyla meets a boy and he’s a catalyst for her. Things come to a head. There’s all kinds of action. The book ends. I did not really feel like there was room for a sequel. YET THERE WAS A SEQUEL with Astray, which takes place relatively quickly after the end of Gated. I listened to this book because I was in the mood for something that felt YA and you can’t go wrong with cults.

What’s The Story Here?

Astray is about Lyla adjusting to life after the Community while also deciding to testify against Pioneer. She’s no longer living at Mandrodage Meadows but instead lives with Cody’s family. This definitely makes their relationship awkward. Meanwhile there are members of the Community who are still true believers and they want Lyla to come back and to be Little Owl again. Also? Lyla is navigating public high school and trying to be a normal teenager and make friends outside of the Community. It is a lot to take in for her. OH and there’s a winter festival going on too that Cody’s mom is planning and Lyla is looking forward to that and being jealous that her mom is a total true believer who cares more about Pioneer and the Brethren than Lyla. ALSO! Lyla is attending therapy sessions under a Child Protective Services mandate as are her parents. Lyla, however, does not trust her therapist.

How Is Lyla’s Character?

I like that Astray deals with some of the trauma that Lyla felt, especially after seeing a death. I like that there’s moments of weakness for Lyla where she considers maybe that the Community isn’t entirely wrong. There’s a lot to like about Lyla herself. She is very determined to do the right thing and to stand up against the Community and testify against Pioneer. She believes if she is strong enough to testify, others will too. She just has to take the first step. I also liked seeing her interact with Cody, even when things are a bit weird with him and her being under the same roof and all. Also? Seeing her long for an actual maternal figure is enough to break your heart.

How’s The Narration?

Sometimes it can feel weird going from reading a physical copy to an audiobook, especially when you do not have the physical copy to reference. Yet, I thought Astray was easy to listen to. Alicyn Packard does such a great job narrating. I honestly was tempted to put my iPhone in the freezer at several scenes because it gets nerve wracking. Her narration adds a flair for the dramatic, but not in a cheesy or weird way. This book is absolutely great on audiobook. I know I keep saying GREAT but for real you guys that’s how my brain thinks after work. I honestly really did enjoy listening to this book. I think this is one that you should add to your audible or library TBR.

What Did I Think Of This Sequel?

Astray, sequel to Gated takes us to some dark places. Amy Christine Parker brings the action to another level. I loved that the Community would not give up on Lyla, not because this is a good thing, but because it adds in this really creepy layer to the book. I loved that parts made my toes curl with horror. I loved the quotes from actual cult members and from Community members. There’s even a sort of reference to the Charles Manson family trial too. It is the perfect young adult book for a person who is obsessed with reading about cults (i.e. ME). I am actually really glad I listened to this sequel. I did not even know I needed it, but it definitely has enhanced my summer reading for the better.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Okay, so this book isn’t quite as peppy as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but as I listened I found myself drawing parallels, in that Lyla is just as strong as Kimmy, for the most part.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. Oh I love your review – and your blog! I’ll definitely have to check this series out!
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