Book Name: The Unwanteds
Author/s: Lisa McMann
Publisher, year: Aladdin, 2011
Page total: 288
Date Read: September 04 to 05, 2011
Genre/s: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Science Fiction
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.
Well, I haven't written a review in a while so I'm a bit rusty, but this book definitely deserves one.
At first, what attracted me was that it was written by Lisa McMann, a fantastic writer and the author of a great YA series. Then, it was the cover. Though not one of my favorites, aesthetically speaking, it was something I think is much more important- it was intriguing. And then, finally, I read the blurb and fell in love. It not only talks about a secret world, using creativity as magic and twins, it is also a Middle grade novel. Okay, so this is not something most people get excited about, but I love MG. There are so many great YA books out there but MGs are like and endangered species (at least from what I can tell)
But let's get down to business, okay?
From the very beginning I was hooked. Quill is very HungerGames-y in the best way possible. It is cold, it is heartless, it is sad but no one realizes that because they don't now any different. The Purge also reminded me of THG, though the whole Wanted/Unwanted/Necessary thing kind of creeped me out.
The way I imagine Artimé is: part Hogwarts, part Willy Wonka's factory, part Cave of Two Lovers, part mystery. And completely dreamy.
Now, the characters. I loved them all- though Aaron was kind of thick-headed and narrow-minded. In my opinion, they weren't flat and lifeless, they had flaws and the kids sometimes acted immaturely and the adults screwed up when they were trying to help. That's natural and believable and completely endearing to me.
The plot was good, though it seemed like for the most part, it was just life at Artimé and in the end... BOOM, we get the lightning-fast battle and the resolution. but other than that, it was perfect. The end was definitely my favorite part. It was believable