Alenna is an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada). When she was ten, her parents were dragged off by government soldiers and never seen again.
Six years later, she takes the government exam administered to all sixteen-year-olds. The test looks for subversive tendencies. The test shows she has a capacity for brutal violence. If you pass, you’re fine. If you fail, you’re sent to a mysterious jungle island known as THE WHEEL (where all would-be criminals end up) and left to fend for yourself. With dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the life expectancy on the wheel is just two years.
There Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars between 2 teen tribes for land ownership, and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island, lead by the fearless warrior Liam.
It's a total cliff hanger. It would have been a good stand-alone novel, and I was bummed to hear it was part of a trilogy. But I guess if you're really into it a trilogy would be a nice way to spend your time.