Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gender Game (The Gender Game, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Gender Game (The Gender Game, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gender Game

(The Gender Game #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  43,503 ratings  ·  2,771 reviews
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 priso
Kindle Edition, 418 pages
Published September 24th 2016
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gender Game, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
L If the first book is any indicator the answer is no. The entire "gender" concept is ignored save for a few comments on what is acceptable and what isn…moreIf the first book is any indicator the answer is no. The entire "gender" concept is ignored save for a few comments on what is acceptable and what isn't. The author really didn't thoroughly think through acceptable reactions to the main character's actions either as she frequently does things that are aforementioned as being "unacceptable" and "worthy of strict punishment" and yet no one even bats an eye at her actions.

I would NOT recommend reading this book or this series. (less)
Rozelle Unfortunately there aren't any trans or non-binary characters in the first book at least. I don't know if there are any in future books. It's more abo…moreUnfortunately there aren't any trans or non-binary characters in the first book at least. I don't know if there are any in future books. It's more about the stereotypes of gender and how someone with 'male' traits survives a) in the female world and b) in the males world where women are expected to have no male traits. Then there is a heterosexual storyline of forbidden love between two people from the different worlds.

I really like your idea though. Maybe you should write that book!

There's a good list here that may interest you:

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  43,503 ratings  ·  2,771 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Gender Game (The Gender Game, #1)
Carol [Goodreads Addict]
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)
Jan 04, 2017 marked it as nein-nein-nein
"matrus and patrus" i am in awe at these names. how astonishingly witty and original. another thing that's astonishingly witty and original: battle of the sexes. because wow because i've never heard that before. cutting-fucking-edge stuff right here guys.

(EDIT: i just remembered this thing i wrote so i looked at it again and gfdgfgdgfdgfg i realised that not only are they just unoriginal but "matrus and patrus" are ways to make mother and father sound more Fancy and Sophisticated by using the c
Jill Maloney
Apr 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
I have to stop buying $1 Young-Adult Kindle Reads and expecting them to be well written and well plotted. Played myself.
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 2.5 stars.

I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Bella Forrest, and the publisher, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, for this opportunity.

The Gender Game is set in a world where the community is divided on two sides of a river bordered by toxic wasteland. One side is a society dominated by men, and the other a society dominated by women. This seemed like a unique and exciting foundation for a novel, but, unfortunately, i
Nov 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Forget the shoddy plot. The childish writing. The bland characters. Forget, even, the anvil heavy symbolism and imagery throughout the narrative.
No, perhaps the most problematic thing about this book is the author’s complete misunderstanding of what exactly the patriarchy is.

Dismantling toxic masculinity doesn’t work when you position your main love interest as a ‘rugged’ cage fighter who smells of pine and ‘virile’. Dismantling toxic masculinity doesn’t mean making a female character really
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to NightLight Press and NetGalley.)

“Once you reach the other side of the river, trust no one, Violet. Do you understand me?”

This was a YA dystopian story, in which different genders ruled in different cities.

Violet was quite unfortunate in this story that she kept finding her way into trouble. At points it even seemed like she was doing it on purpose as she had very little regard for rules and
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 ...more
Nov 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
DNF at 25%

I was sent this book by the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Sadly, I can't bring myself to finish this book as of right now. I can't say that this book is really bad, but I also didn't enjoy anything about it.

I found the writing extremely flat. The narrative was full of pointless information and tiny details that only bored me, and it was a info-dump nightmare. Even the new characters were introduced in a very info-dumpy and totally not realistic way. Like, she
Lori Brown clapper
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Being familiar with Bella's writing, I was thrilled that she was starting a new series. I dove in expecting the same type of story as I've become accustomed to with her Shade series (which I adore), but this was VERY different - in a VERY good way! The Gender Game drew me in and kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Although Bella tackled a completely different genre and theme in this book, her telltale descriptive writing and personable characters were still were the most ...more
Ari Reavis
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
*ARC received from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

2.5 stars

When I saw the blurb, I immediately wanted this book. Then I saw the author and knew I just had to have it. But sadly I'm left underwhelmed and confused. The biggest letdown was the romance because.... What romance? There was 1 kiss and what I would call a barely there friendship. The whole book leads up to this big climax and the climax just ended up being a big ball of confusion. Who did what and why? Then there were burst
Maria Dimitrova
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
3.5 stars
This is a hard one to review. I liked the main character but the world drove me mad. It's not bad world building it's just that the world is so wrong that it makes you want to scream. Imagine a world ruled by feminazis on steroids. With men totally subjugated, told what to do, what to work and tested for violence at a young age and then if the show any sort of spine are (view spoiler)
Sep 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
(I got a free copy from NetGalley)

The premise of this book is ridiculous. The secret service of a country, with direct input from the queen, needs two people to carry out a dangerous mission in order to prevent a national crisis. Who to choose? How about our protagonist, a 19 year old juvenile delinquent, currently incarcerated? She has a history of impulsive, self destructive, violent acts and no experience at anything related to this mission. Her only skill is she has been trained in self defe
Oct 20, 2016 marked it as nope
i never saw a premise so awful
like... how can anyone not see how inherently transphobic and enbyphobic this is
i bet there isn't a single trans character in this book & that non-binary genders aren't mentioned at all
this looks like it's such a huge mess smh
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this curious story about the split between the genders, we see a dystopian world where the countries of Matrus and Patrus are split by a toxic river. Patrus is a Patriarchy, where women have no rights and belong to their husband. They are little better than pets and are treated as such. In Matrus, we have the Matriarchy. Women are the ruling class, allowing few men to live in their midst. They tolerate little violence and even test young boys that are born to screen them for 'undesirable' mal ...more
Lisa Dunckley
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ha
Jorgie Eskew
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this as ARC from Netgalley and I gotta say, I was not expecting this book to be very good. But boy was I wrong.

This a story about a world where two countries are split by a river. On one side we have Matrus, on the other we have Patrus. Matrus is ruled by woman. Patrus is ruled by men..See now why I was hesitant

In Matrus there is Violet, our amazing, tough and protective Heroine. After attempting to save her brother from being sent off to the mines and failing, she gets put in the “sy
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

A generous 3.5

I felt quite sorry for the main character in this at points. For most of the story she was an okay character, but there were times where she annoyed me slightly.

This started out quite good, and I was really interested to see where it was going to go. Unfortunately though, after the first 25% or so, it went downhill a bit for me.

It was still an interesting read, but there were a few parts that dragged for me, as t
Marta Cox
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
Ok time to be honest and say although I've read the first two Shade of Vampire stories I just wasn't that impressed so in spite of friends loving that series I'd given up. Then I spotted this on Netgalley and was curious but when I looked online so many good and bad reviews popped up that I thought wow this is a contentious book and I need to decide for myself .
Ignore the title and don't expect something along the lines of certain books and blockbusters that are popular with teens recently. This
Melissa Taylor
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
BRILLIANT. I consider myself an avid reader of quite a few genres so it's easy for me to get cynical about storylines, originality and (if I make it far enough) the ending. A storyline dealing with, at first glance, such a hot topic as gender expectations is extraordinarily risky but I'm thrilled and proud to say that the author exceeded my expectations by not only rising to the challenge but soaring over it. From the first word to the final word I was gripped. This is an intelligent book that I ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Full of surprises, intrigue, corruption. With Lee leaving Violet in a very precarious mess. I can't wait to see what this brave young woman will do. This is a very different concept for a book that works wonderful. Poor Violet has suffered most of her life and her personality hasn't helped her predicament. However, an opportunity comes along she has to take. During this opportunity she has her first brush with caring for a man, the way a woman would. She also has a brother that may or
samantha  Bookworm-on-rainydays
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book so much! It has a riveting storyline, intriguing characters, and a refreshing protagonist. it's fast paced. has many twists and turns. for me its been a long time since i read a dystopia series and or book, and this one is pretty good one to get me but into it, the only thing i didn't like is that it dose copy the hunger games just a bit in it's wording. but besides that i would recoomend it to anyone who likes dystopias and Sci-fi books ...more
Rachel (The Rest Is Still Unwritten)
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dystopian fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aure, The Bored of the Quarantine

there's nothing more to say really. I was a bit skeptical at first due to the rating, but this totally worked for me!
I'm off to the second in the series!

Jul 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
please do not make me think about this anymore LMAO vlog coming soon.
Fiona Akkerman
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
We were on a freight train with broken brakes.
We had to execute, or die trying.
But...I knew that I had become a different kind of passenger. The kind of passenger to leap from a runaway train. The kind who would not wait until the end.

Two cities, separated by a river. On one side, Matrus is ruled by women; on the opposite, Patrus is ruled by men. Relations between the two societies are teetering. And Patrus has stolen something which Matrus wants back.

The story starts out strong. Our hot-tem
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well I was not expecting to finish The Gender Game so soon since it's 640 pages buuut I guess I couldn't help myself, this was phenomenal! Great plot, interesting characters and full of suspense. I was kept right on my toes the entire time. It is a story about a world divided by a toxic river where one side is ruled by men, Patrus, and the other by women, Matrus. We have our main character Violet, a Matrus girl who is a complete bad-ass but accidentally gets involved in some incidents that gives ...more
My main complaint about this book, is that its not a complete story. At my time of purchase nothing in the description indicated that this book was part of a series. Therefore, when I came upon the cliffhanger ending, I was a bit pissed. The story was pretty bland for the most part. I do think it has potential as a whole for a YA/sci fi dystopia series, but this one didn’t have much depth. I doubt I will continue this series. I am glad it was offered as a kindleunlimited though.
Jacqueline's Reads
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, audio
3.5 Gender Role Stars.

I don’t even know where to begin with this review. This is an audio review, so excuse me as I shout-caps at you.

I purchased this book because I thought ZACHARY WEBBER was narrating with the female narrator, Rebecca Soler, that is a BIG FAT LIE.


Call me crazy but I purchase books based on the narrators. I do, I also find books based on the narrators. Is th
Heather Anderson
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was ok

2.5 stars

OK so, I've been wanting to read this book for ages (intrigued by the 'if you enjoyed The Hunger Games then you will enjoy...' marketing) and I finally went for it when I realised the book could be downloaded through Kindle Unlimited (of which I currently have a free trial). For some reason, Facebook kept on advertising this novel, as well as Forrest's other series (Spellshadow Manor which apparently is similar to Harry Potter... I sense a marketing theme here...) and, suitably, influe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Threat Below (Brathius History, #1)
  • Seeking Justice (Gateway to Chaos #3)
  • Forest of Desire
  • Temper (Red Mage #2)
  • Configured (Configured, #1)
  • Edge of Darkness (Edge of Collapse #3)
  • The Princess Trials (The Princess Trials, #1)
  • Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)
  • Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
  • The Elephant Tree
  • Where There's Smoke (Sugar Mountain #2)
  • In Our Bones
  • The Zombie Room
  • Brainwalker
  • Dueling Fates
  • Missing Wings (Aranysargas, #1)
  • Median Gray
See similar books…
Bella Forrest is a lover of fantasy, romance, action, and mystery infused stories with twists you don’t see coming. She has sold over seven million books since her first novel was published in 2012.

☞ A Shade of Vampire: A Gate of Light (Book 91)
☞ Harley Merlin 20: Persie Merlin and the Witch Hunters
☞ Darklight 8: Darkwilds

Sign up to Bella's New Release email list and you'll aut

Other books in the series

The Gender Game (7 books)
  • The Gender Secret (The Gender Game, #2)
  • The Gender Lie (The Gender Game, #3)
  • The Gender War (The Gender Game, #4)
  • The Gender Fall (The Gender Game, #5)
  • The Gender Plan (The Gender Game, #6)
  • The Gender End (The Gender Game, #7)

Articles featuring this book

As fans of The Hunger Games know, your enemies always seem to reemerge right when you least expect them. That's right, this month, Suzanne...
101 likes · 66 comments
“But this wasn't a fairytale.
Viggo's and my story was everything but.”
“It's called life," he replied dryly. "Things lose their shine when you get too close to them.” 9 likes
More quotes…