Review: “The Unwanteds” by Lisa McMann
Description from Goodreads:
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the “death farm” there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.
But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I actually give “The Unwanteds” 4 1/2 stars.
There has been much hype surrounding “The Unwanteds”, so when I saw that Simon & Schuster had it available on Galley Grab, I downloaded it instantly…and I’m glad that I did. “The Unwanteds” was a fantastic read. Imagination as a powerful weapon? Yes, please!
The High Priest, Justine, rules Quill. Every year, she has the thirteen year olds sorted into categories: Wanted or Unwanted. Those that are Wanted are sent to the Wanted University and those that are Unwanted are sent to their death. Or so it’s believed. The Unwanteds are in for a surprise upon meeting, Mr. Today, the man behind Artime.
Alex and Aaron, thirteen year old twin boys from Quill, are separated during the Purge. Aaron is dubbed Wanted while Alex is dubbed Unwanted. When a child is deemed Unwanted, the family is supposed to forget about them, they are supposed to accept the fact that they will die. Aaron accepted it easily; he was above them all – his parents, his brother – for he was Wanted. He sees himself taking over for Justine when she passes and he’ll do whatever is needed to assure he’s next in line.
The story fast forwards, as it is told over a year, but it doesn’t feel rushed what-so-ever. We see the training that leads to the battle at the end and how the residents of Artime grow and develop their talents. There are plenty of secrets that reveal themselves through out the story, although most seem to hit you at the end. While the ending leaves you with plenty of questions, for the most part the story does wrap up quite nicely.
Make sure to check out Lisa when she goes on tour! I’ll, hopefully, be at the September 10th stop!