For fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent
comes a story like no other...
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 her strong suit, and when she is 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...
*Over 11,550 worldwide 5-star reviews of the series*
What Early Readers are Saying:
"Bella takes this genre to a new level. Imagine the intrigue of Divergent, the suspense of The Maze Runner and the heart-pounding excitement of The Hunger Games. That is the magic Bella is working with her new novel The Gender Game."
"The next BIG THING. Unique and brilliant."
"The perfect mix of adventure, mystery, thrill, blossoming love and heartbreak.
READ THIS ASAP! You will not regret it."
"You can never predict where Bella Forrest will take a story!"
"Intrigue, danger and mystery at every corner."
"Once I started reading, I knew I wouldn't be able to stop. My heart raced along with Violet's [...] The twists and turns so far in this book have left my mouth hanging agape."
"Intrigue, espionage, and a strong, smart female at the center of it all. Had me sucked in from the get go."
If you enjoy Suzanne Collins or Veronica Roth, this will be a ride you won't want to miss.
About the Author
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Gender Game is book one in a brand new series by Bella Forrest. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, NightLight Press, and by Bella Forrest. I have to give so much credit to Bella Forrest for such a big change from her Shade of Vampire series. I would classify this book as Dystopian. I loved the world she has created here. It is so unique . This world consists of two societies. On one side of the river is Matrus, ruled by a Queen where women are the dominant. The men do have a few rights but not many. The Matrians strength is in their advances in Biology and Chemistry. On the other side of the river is Patrus where the men rule. In Patrus, women have no rights at all. They are completely under the rule of their husbands. They are not allowed to go out alone, ever. They must obey their husbands at all times. They own nothing. Any possessions they might take into a marriage become their husbands. The Patrians strength is their agriculture and architecture. The two societies are forced to trade for survival but there is a constant competition between them to outdo the other. Violet Bates was born in Matrus. But her life was a hard one. She and her little brother were orphaned early when their mother died. Violet’s biggest responsibility was to take care of her brother. And when he was deemed unfit, she tried to smuggle him out of Matrus. Thus began the bad luck that followed her throughout her life. I have seen several reviews where people didn’t like Violet. I actually really liked her. She is nineteen when the main part of the book takes place. Does she have a temper, yes. Has she made some poor decisions out of anger, yes. But she has seen nothing good in her life. She tries to keep out of trouble but something always happens. In my opinion, the events that lead up to the main part of this book might have been manipulated in order to get her on board with their plan. This is completely my own thoughts here. Just a hunch. Violet is forced to choose between death for her crimes or to go under cover into Patrus to steal back an item they stole from Matrus. Of course she will take the mission. Her contact in Patrus is Lee, whom she must marry for the plan to work. Lee is busy with the details of the plan and appoints a guardian that can look after Violet while Lee is at work. His name is Viggo. Enter the strong, silent type with the painful past. Now, this is NOT a love triangle. Lee is simply a fake husband and part of the mission. He puts Violet into all sorts of dangerous situations but Violet does as she is instructed every single time. Violet tries to keep her emotions out of things, trying to keep her eye on the end goal, something the Queen promised her if the mission was successful. But the further in to things they get, she can’t help but feel like Lee is wrong. That there has to be a better way. “However dangerous this mysterious mission could turn out to be, anything was better than death…Wasn’t it?” I really did enjoy this book. I am rating it four stars but it is a VERY strong four stars. I felt like it was a little slow at times but in true Bella Forrest fashion, the last 25% was crazy intense. And what an ending!!! Just WOW! I did miss the romance factor in this one but am hoping for a little more in the following book. I do love my romance. The next book in the series will be called The Gender Secret.
This is the first book I’ve read by Bella Forrest, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series! This is a dystopian Young Adult series that should appeal to readers of The Hunger Games and Divergent and similar books. First the negatives: the characters aren’t very developed. Main character Violet is fairly developed, everyone else is kind of thin, basically a trope (handsome brooding muscled guy who is drawn to heroine? Check! Teacher/mentor who feels heroine is best student she’s ever had? Check! Etc.) The setup is a little weak—both the Matrius and the Patrius countries seem horrible, and there appears to be plenty of undeveloped land surround, seems like the vast majority of people would want to abandon both countries and start a normal one. I had a hard time believing that men would want to stay in Patrius, where few women would want to be because they are literally property, and I had a hard time believing that women would want to be in Matrius, where men likewise didn’t have the same rights and therefore wouldn’t want to be (and families would reeaalllyy have to drink the Koolaid to be ok with having their male children taken away to work as miners because they weren’t passive enough!). When you read fiction, you need to be able to suspend belief and have everything be real and make sense in the world of the book. And I don’t like it when I’m thrown out of the book because things are too hard to believe. Some plot points seemed really convenient, also. The book seems like it was 100% designed to capitalize on The Hunger Games and similar successful books. Several times characters would do stuff where it didn’t seem logical, like it didn’t match what we’d read so far about that character, and it would seem a little…off. And it tries too hard to hit all the desired tropes in the plot. But, there are a lot of positives. I basically liked it in SPITE of what I wrote above. Violet has always wanted to track down her brother—he was sent away to toil in the mines because as a child he tested as having aggressive tendencies. When she commits a crime through self defense, she is told by the ruler of Matrius that she will be executed—UNLESS she agrees to infiltrate Patrius, pretending to be the new spouse of a sympathetic resident, and get back an egg stolen from Matrius. And then not only will she stay alive, she can be reunited with her brother. The plot is interesting, the pacing is great, there was a lot of action, and the book definitely held my attention and made me want to read the next book. It isn’t a super deep book, but you know, I found it enjoyable. If you’re looking for excellence in literature? Umm…noo…But, if you’re looking for a engaging read? Sure! Even the similarities to The Hunger Games and others isn’t necessarily BAD—there’s a reason we loved Hunger Games, after all! I would recommend this to people who enjoy dystopian series books, action-packed YA, or kickass female protagonists!
Exactly as I expected, Bella Forrest has another hit on her hands! This highly creative masterpiece has definitely hooked me and and I can't wait until November for the second book! Absolutely love the ingenuity it took to create this amazing storyline! The action had me glued to my seat and I love that I really can't predict the outcome for this amazing main character!!! A definite must read! My copy of this book was obtained via KU.
I found myself mentally digging deep into Bella Forrest’s The Gender Game for possibly some unintended symbolism or deep meanings? Two societies exist, separated by a toxic river. Not only are their ideologies different, but the battle of the sexes has taken a very ugly turn as one side of the river is dominated by women and the other by men. The men of Matrus are powerless, pieces of property, much as women have been seen as for centuries past, while the women of Patrus are also the lowest form of non-citizen property. As a child, Violet fought to save her brother from the cruelty of Matrus in a thwarted attempt to smuggle him across the river to Patrus. Her punishment, a prison type environment that will leave her hardened, bitter and yearning for a sense of freedom neither side can provide. Her latest crime will leave her scheduled for death until she is offered the opportunity to play spy as the wife of a Matrus sympathizer in Patrus. All is not as it seems as she navigates the stifling world of Patrus and the one man she should fear the most is the one man who steals her heart, and yet, she must betray him, but for what? Are you looking for one brave and bold heroine to root for? Violet is amazing with her strong convictions, her ability to be like a chameleon and how far she would go for one she loves. The action is not so much in the physical as it is in the emotional and mental journey violet is on. Her eyes are opened to a world that will deceive with ease while tossing trust out of the window for power and dominance. Maybe I took this too far with my search for symbolism and meaning, but, let’s see, women vs men, a toxic river dividing them, deceit in its worst form, and the hidden quests for power and control with hopes of destroying all who oppose them, all while actually needing each other for the strengths each other side possesses. I liked the story, I liked the heroine and I liked the relationship she was developing with “the enemy.” I received an ARC edition from Nightlight Press in exchange for my honest review.
*This book was received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* This was one of the best and most enjoyable books I have ever read. I loved Violet's character, especially how interesting she is and her moral dilemmas. Viggo was also one of my favourite characters with his tough exterior hiding a tender soul. The romance that blossoms between Viggo and Violet is sweet especially since they have so many things in common even if it is unbeknownst to them. I really hope though that in the next book Viggo can forgive Violet even after what she was a part of. All throughout the second half of the book when Violet and Viggo's romance was developing I was silently dying to shake Violet to her senses so she would admit to Viggo who she really was and what she was doing, not only in order to save their relationship but also because Viggo was innocent and didn't deserve to be framed. I really loved reading the action scenes where Violet takes down opponents and reading the descriptions of Viggo's fights. I did not see the twist at the end coming and it left me reeling. While the ending felt complete and answered some questions I was left with more than I began with; What exactly is the object inside the silver egg? Why does everyone want it? What will Violet do next? What happened to Viggo? and finally, will Viggo forgive Violet? After the cliff-hanger ending, the awesome characters and the intriguing and fast placed plot established in the first book, I can't wait for the next installment of this series.