Review: The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

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.


This was a book I was really looking forward to reading. I thought the concept was unique and interesting. However, I ended up feeling rather disappointed.

I felt that the book was severely lacking in world building. We are not given much information about how the two nations came to be, and the history given did not sound realistic at all. There wasn’t much about how the nations worked other than the fact that they were ruled by a king and a queen, and there is no information about how it came to be( why would a new nation in the future be a monarchy?) We are constantly told that Matrus is a terrible place for men and Patrus for women, however we don’t really get to see it for the most part.

I also found the main character Violet really annoying and frustrating. She struck me as a special snowflake who did not care to listen to anyone and yet ended up winning at everything. And while I did like the love interest, Viggio, I did not care for the romance as well.

This book seemed to indulge in almost every dystopian cliche. Female main character who is ‘not like the other girls?’ Check. Cruel government? Check. Hot love interest? Check. Spoiler alert, secret rebellion? Check.

This is not to say that the book is all bad. It had a compelling storyline, and overlooking the flaws, it was a quick, gripping read.

My Rating: 3/5


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