Friday, March 7, 2014

Brooke's Review: The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann

My 9-year-old daughter, Brooke, loves to read and wants to have a blog of her own one day. She has committed to review one book a week and they will be featured on Fridays. This is the first in a series we recently picked up at the library.

The Unwanteds (Unwanteds #1), by Lisa McMann
2011, 390p, Middle-grade Fiction
Brooke's Rating=5 Stars
Source: Borrowed from the library

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 occurence 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.

Quill is a dull place. There is no art, no thinking about things, it's just boring. In Quill they have Unwanteds and Wanteds and the purge. The purge is where the Unwanteds and Wanteds are decided. Unwanteds are put to their death and Wanteds are sent off to school to become very important people. Alex and Aaron Stowe are at the purge and Alex is Unwanted and Aaron is Wanted. Alex is sent off with a bunch of people he doesn’t know and a few he does. When they make it to the death farm they are all sent into a room where they will be sent to their deaths. There is a lot more to this book.

I loved this book and thought it was amazing. I like the characters in the book and they all do some wild things. They all learn a lot more about life and the world when they leave Quill. My favorite character is a girl named Lani who was on the bus to be sent off to the death farm. She is smart and catches on to what's happening pretty fast. She and Alex become friends and she's able to help him. This book was hard to put down. I liked it all from beginning to end and had to go back to the library to get books 2 and 3!

Lisa McMann lives and writes in the Phoenix area. Her books include the NYT bestselling paranormal WAKE trilogy, CRYER'S CROSS, DEAD TO YOU, and the dystopian fantasy series beginning with THE UNWANTEDS. (Book 2, Unwanteds: ISLAND OF SILENCE, comes out Sept 4, 2012).


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