ARC Review: The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

25 Sep 2016

Book Title: The Gender Game
Author: Bella Forrest
Series: The Gender Game #1
Release Date: September 24th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender.

Women rule the East. Men rule the West.

Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus.

Ever since the disappearance of her beloved younger brother, Violet's life has been consumed by an anger she struggles to control. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now she has been sentenced to death for her crimes.

But one decision could save her life.

To enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit.

Everything about the patriarchy is dangerous for a rebellious girl like Violet. She cannot break the rules if she wishes to stay alive.

But abiding by rules has never been Violet's strong suit.

When she's thrust into more danger than she could have ever predicted, Violet is forced to sacrifice many things in the forbidden kingdom ... including forbidden love.

In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive...

I'll admit that this book caught my attention when I read the blurb and I'd thought "Hey, this sounds like another Hunger Games or Divergent book". I'd probably should have kept my expectations in check. While the dystopian world illustrated in this book is mainly about a world divided by gender, one can only start to wonder the kind of drama it would unfold.

As I said, the world is divided into two lands, Matrus and Patrus, which you can already probably tell that Matrus favors the female while Patrus does the total opposite. Before you start wondering if each side is solely inhabited by one gender, it's not. The idea behind the gender separation is aimed towards which gender having the higher power (for example, Patrus is where the wife is pretty much rendered useless and should not be caught wandering around in the streets).  

Our heroine, Violet is a quite the troublemaker and earned herself a fair bit of reputation for being hot-headed. An incident in the facility she was living in got her into her serious situation whereby the only way she could escape punishment would be to serve the Queen of Matrus. This mission would entasked her to travel to Patrus to retrieve a top secret weapon, but with a catch. She would be need to be married to enter Patrus on low suspicion. 

While the premise generally sounded very enticing and possibly exciting, I found myself losing attention to the story somewhere after the 25% mark. It got a little draggy for me and probably because I was expecting more action or more character introduction. A heavy chunk of the story only seemed to revolve around 3 characters; Violet, Lee (fake husband) and Viggo. I thought Viggo was a nice addition to the read and it was no surprise to me of the role he was about to be play when he was first introduced.

The last 20% or so is when the story really started to pick up and a major plot twist was thrown in. I was definitely surprised by the sudden twists of events, but I'm hoping this would give the direction this story needed for the next book. Overall, The Gender Game was a fairly decent read but not a show-stopper than it initially sounded. 


ARC received by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Best known for writing fantasy, Bella Forrest is a lover of romance, action and mystery-infused stories with twists you won’t see coming. She has sold over five million books since her first novel was published in 2012. 

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