❰Read❯ ➵ The Unwanteds Author Lisa McMann – Dailytradenews.co.uk

The Unwanteds chapter 1 The Unwanteds, meaning The Unwanteds, genre The Unwanteds, book cover The Unwanteds, flies The Unwanteds, The Unwanteds 7c888cf1bc270 When Alex Finds Out He Is Unwanted, He Expects To Die That Is The Way Of The People Of Quill Each Year, All The Thirteen Year Olds Are Labeled As Wanted, Necessary, Or Unwanted Wanteds Get Schooling And Train To Join The Quillitary Necessaries Keep The Farms Running Unwanteds Are Set For Elimination It S Hard For Alex To Leave Behind His Twin, Aaron, A Wanted, But He Makes Peace With His Fate Until He Discovers That Instead Of A Death Farm, What Awaits Him Is A Magical Place Called Artim There, Alex And His Fellow Unwanteds Are Encouraged To Cultivate Their Creative Abilities And Use Them Magically 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 Divided Between Wanted And Unwanted, And As Alex And Aaron S Bond Stretches Across Their Separation, A Threat Arises For The Survival Of Artim That Will Pit Brother Against Brother In An Ultimate Magical Battle


10 thoughts on “The Unwanteds

  1. says:

    Has anyone else seen that recent episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa wants to be a writer, and Bart and Homer come up with a scheme to group write a YA novel by throwing in every element that all YA novels seem to have these days That s what The Unwanteds felt like to me It had a dystopian future, some magic, a kindly all knowing mentor Dumbledore esque , not just one but two sets of twins each complete with one good twin and one evil twin , a war between good and evil, even a hint of a love story but the whole was definitely less than the sum of the parts This book was a struggle to get through I didn t find myself invested in the story or caring about any of the characters The book had a fascinating premise but it was so poorly executed that I can t recommend it.


  2. says:

    So my 8 year old nephew LOVED this book He loved it so much that he graciously loaned me his copy of both this and the next in series yay He moved to this series after blowing through all of the Harry Potter books and several Rick Riordan series So this book is definitely a good match for any kids who are into the action and magic of those sorts of books My thoughts, though Maybe not so generous.I struggled a LOT to get into this book In fact, it has taken me nearly 10 months to finish this one, and it was only in the last quarter of the book or so that things got interesting enough that I actually looked forward to picking this up I do have to say that the world building here is pretty cool a lot of the magic is really awesome , and when things finally got going, the action near the end is phenomenal I think part of my problem with this book is that I couldn t figure out which reading level this targets Although the main cast of characters are said to be around 13, most of the time they act like kids who are 9 or 10, doing the stupid and naive things that kids of that age tend to do But every now and then, there s a hint of awkward first love stuff I don t really understand why there needed to be any romance even just hints of it in this book The characters and writing style all seem much suited to a slightly younger reader, but the book length, some darker material, and the addition of romance ugh seem to target an upper middle grade or pre YA reader I dunno I think I would have liked this a lot better if it weren t so long, and I think some of the length could have been trimmed just by getting rid of puppy love scenes and some of the repetitive sulking scenes.By the end I liked the book enough that I am not dreading reading the second book Had this not been recommended by my nephew, I likely would have DNF d this, and I don t regret having stuck with it But overall I didn t like this enough to give it than 3 stars.


  3. says:

    The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter Someone tell me how and I ll reconsider my being against thatI love fantasy I love someone telling me in a book that there is a giant tiger wolf bird guarding a castle and there are no questions asked I love it because as illogical and unlikely it would seem, no one gives a crap because, how cool would it be You re too busy dreaming about this massive creature, interpreting what animal is visible in the combination, to think, What the Those don t exist GOLD STAR FOR YOU, they don t exist For children s books in particular, imagination is at its freest You can say anything, and children will take it in and say, Cool And that is why I still call myself a child at heart If I wanted something realistic, I d go outside Books are an escape, they re meant for people with imaginations.I long for originality Originality brings me the ultimate happiness in a series That s why I love The Thief of Always, why I love Eyes Like Stars, why I love this book There are so many components that stand out and say, Excuse me, I have some things to say, and most of them are awesome, magical, and just plain breathtaking So I sit myself down and take a bite.The Unwanteds starts with a dark path of life Anyone who is dull and intelligent lives on in the society of Quill anyone creative and interesting goes to their death in the Great Lake of Boiling Oil Yeah Ohhh, dark like The Hunger Games Every futuristic society is like this Don t just pin it on whatever dystopian is most popular so it can get some pick up I hate that than I hate bad literature Wanna know what drew me to this book It wasn t that damn gimmick.It was that brilliantly done cover The stunning, riveting cover with the complimentary color scheme, realistic depth of perception, and compositional eye candy Owen Richardson, Karin Paprocki, you are truly gifted people Never stop what you re doing I wanna hire you for my covers I dunno how that can happen but I will make it happen Of course the cover is just a little bit of the battle Because I hate the IT S LIKE THE OTHER POPULAR STUFF gimmick, I walked into this story with mild expectations My only diehard expectation was getting to see the lion statue do awesome stuff which is actually a cheetah, which irks me because the cover statue s face anatomy is off I m nitpicking, sorry Don t expect Hunger Games because that never shows up here Nothing close and that is in the best of ways Don t expect Harry Potter either because the only thing that it has in common with The Unwanteds is that there is magic.Shall we begin the breakdown Writing style I have never read McMann s other works, but I enjoyed her style here It s simple for her intended audience, and whenever she does use poetic prose or larger words, she gets them right into the context clues and any younger child would get into this no problem No dictionaries needed Like Heather Brewer, there is nothing truly amazing in this writing She tells you how it is, and that s the way it was I did expect some great writing with of the magical aspects of Artim , but instead, I got on how gloomy and boring Quill was At least it made me love Artim and hate everything about Quill.McMann needs a little work in pacing I never mentioned it much in my status updates, but the plot did start rather slowly I mean, we got to Artim right away, but after that, it took a while to get the ball rolling I do forgive McMann though, because she took the time she had to build up Artim and its magical tendencies I applaud her because I got a hit of her originality in some aspects all purpose blackboards and in others not so much throwing two random animal species together.Her POV was a bit confusing at times She started with a few chapters of alternating between Aaron and Alex, but then within those chapters, she d switch to Lani or Meghan Interesting characters, but I can t worry about who we re following and would rather follow exactly where the plot is going And that was with Alex Aaron.Now that I mention it, these characters were fairly simple cutouts Alex and Aaron were twins, Alex was creative and Aaron was not Alex was scared for his brother and missed him like any person would, Aaron was a toolbox and forgot Alex near immediately But as near cookie cutter as these two are, they are still interesting because they interact with better, well rounded, hilarious, and awesome characters In Harry Potter, I never gave two shits for Harry, but I loved everyone else That s how I feel here.Mr Today is a wonderful old man I d mix him between Willy Wonka and a legit magician, because he is He is so nice and loving, and whenever he does something that makes you say, Hey waitaminute , he s able to back it up with good intentions He is brilliant and just a sweetheart.Simber my LOVE is a giant winged cheetah statue That lives If you find that uninteresting and boring, you are pretty boring yourself I m sorry Simber is a player in this story, and he comes of as very protective and commanding in a necessary way He s brilliant I m gonna get me a Simber someday Someone tell me where to find winged cheetah statues in Harry Potter That s right.Lani Haluki is the hinted love interest, and she was just precious She was a bookworm, but McMann wrote her very well because she wasn t bashing my head in with that stereotype Lani is a delight Here is an example of simple romance Nothing huge, no LOVE here True, it s simply a children s book, but YA can take notes from this Perfect example of a slow burning build High five, McMann.ALL of these characters are a delight The only fart I have with them all is that the minor characters are dropped by the way side, this being Jim the GIANT WINGED TORTOISE you heard me right suckahs , and Meg s brother, Sean.Plot wise, as I stated earlier, jumped, then slowed for good reason, then steadily built up with good pacing I don t want to say too much or I ll spoil, but this was where McMann actually got her POV passages right on and I was able to follow the entire climax a okay Slowly but surely, we watched Aaron get and twisted, we watched Alex get and worried, and we saw everyone training for preparedness because nothing as perfect as Artim lasted forever.Now I will be very clear I thoroughly enjoyed myself with this book, but I am not in love with it I was not crying when something crazy ridiculous happened, but I was cheering for the characters I cared about them, and they cared about me There were so many clever and original aspects of Unwanteds that it would be a sin to give the book less than 4 stars.However, there is enough stuff to set it right at 4 stars This is not a perfect book, but I guarantee that something somewhere in this book will click your interest, whether it be giant cheetah statues, ridiculing blackboards, or painting doorways in order to get to new places.Whoever first thought it was like Harry Potter and Hunger Games is a dunce, because if they do related somehow, it s the littlest smidge I m surprised my prediction was right this book had its own song Not a bright, life changing, heart stopping song, but one worth hearing out and trying for yourself.I most certainly recommend this book because it brings back my imagination It has reawakened my need to write It can collect dust on your shelf for all I care, but that cover is one I can appreciate with the utmost respect.For all you writers out there If you want me to be impressed, you better be original, or I won t even try to enjoy your story.


  4. says:

    Without knowledge that life can be different, there can be no desire to change it In the land of Quill, all thirteen year olds are sent to the annual Purge where they will be divided into Wanted and Unwanted For twin brothers Alex and Aaron, this day is especially daunting as they are both now thirteen and reluctant to separate Or at least Alex is and would like to believe his brother reciprocates this sentiment.On the day of the Purge Alex is unsurprisingly categorized as Unwanted and his brother Aaron is chosen as a Wanted Feeling scared and helpless, Alex goes off to meet his death along with his fellow Unwanteds But when he arrives at the Death Farmer s doorstep, he is surprised to find a land where magic and creativity thrive Animated origami dragons giant talking tortoises and a montrous, winged cheetah named Simber are just a few of the many astonishing creatures that can be found in Artime.Still, when the Unwanteds arrive in Artime they expect to be executed momentarily But instead all of the children are quickly assured by Mr Today that this shall not be their fate.Known to the people of Quill as the Death Farmer, Mr Today has spent many years perfecting Artime and making it a safe haven for the Unwanteds As you can imagine, this revelation is as surprising as it is a saving grace for the kids.But if any members of the Quilitary found out of their rebellion, it would mean a sure death for all involved This, of course, means that neither Alex nor any of the other Unwanteds are allowed to contact anyone friends, relatives, authorities in Quill.Although sad at the prospect of never seeing his brother again, with his friends supporting him, Alex moves into Artime and begins a whole new life Kirkus Reviews hails The Unwanteds as the Hunger Games meets Harry Potter After having read it myself, I must agree This is not to say that I believe McMann is attempting to subtly copy the two bestselling series as a means to gain attention for her fledgling series No, I believe that she has whether knowingly or not, I won t speculate taken some of the very best aspects of each series and used them as the underpinning for a new middle grade dystopian fantasy series that will surely gain many fans The Unwanteds turned out to be a rather pleasant surprise for me Despite my having enjoyed some of McMann s earlier works, I somehow felt that her voyage into the dystopian genre wouldn t turn out to my liking, thus making my expectations low going in Luckily for me, I was wrong.Albeit lacking a little in the personality department, the characters are fresh and full of potential I can see them growing and coming into themselves as the series progresses.For being so young, Lani Alex s new friend potential love interest hasn t had an easy life Having her father, Quill s mayor, pull strings to get her into the Purge at the premature age of twelve in order to be rid of her view spoiler or so she believes hide spoiler


  5. says:

    I bought The Unwanteds last year after having loved Lisa McMann s other books, Cryer s Cross and Dead To You The cover was beautiful, the synopsis was interesting and there were even critics raving on how the book was like Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games I figured that with all those credentials, The Unwanteds ought to be a pretty awesome read, but it seems I was horribly, dreadfully wrong.NarrationThe omniscient and omnipresent third person narration is awful That kind of narration has to be done properly if it s not to fall in one or of the various writing potholes that come with it, and Lisa McMann didn t achieve that Instead, McMann forsakes dialogue and uses the narrator to tell you how all of the characters feel, what they re thinking and what their plans for the future are This generates a complete lack of suspense and also makes the characters uninteresting, since you get to know them through information that is blatantly hurled at you by the narrator.CharactersThe characters in The Unwanteds are a complete mess They re rough carbon copies of characters in other series, except the ones in this book are all lame, stupid, or uninteresting They re all extremely childish and dumb, and before someone argues that it s a children s book, go read a Series of Unfortunate Events, or Harry Potter, or The Golden Compass Those are children s books, and people in them aren t so idiotic they re borderline retarded.A special shout out for the main character, Alex, for being a fourteen year old in love with a twelve year old girl whose primary reaction to everything is being disgusted, and who magically hazed him until he would pay attention to her not that she admits to this, this random tidbit of information is courtesy of the aforementioned wonderful narration Alex gets MORE cupcake points for finding out that his twin, Aaron, is a treacherous weasel, and still wanting to save him even after he called Alex a filthy and stupid unwanted who should be dead Wow What a wonderful character, indeed On Writing For ChildrenThe Unwanteds is, painfully, the kind of middle grade book that treats the reader as if he or she were retarded There are no plot twists that can t be seen kilometres away and that aren t manhandled into the story so they can hit you right in the face If character s intentions aren t clear enough, they either explain themselves verbally, or have the narrator give their reasons or both Predicate nominatives are barely used, which results in the kind of sentence that goes like Alex tried his best to climb the mountain, but the mountain was too steep Normally, that should be phrased Alex tried his best to climb the mountain, but it was too steep , but Lisa McMann wants you to be sure of what she means, lest you get confused and somehow arrive on the conclusion that she s describing Alex as steep, whatever that means.I actually ended up skimming the latter half of the book I don t know how other people skim, but I just read dialogue and enough description to understand what s going on, barely , and I loathe skimming because it s a drastic last resort, but it was either that or DNF this book, and that beautiful cover deserved better.Main point is, The Unwanteds is a terrible book that wastes some actually good ideas and then always acts on the assumption that its reader is dumb as a box of rocks It s neither charming and magical like Harry Potter nor interesting as The Hunger Games, and I wouldn t recommend it for children,teenagers or adults I ll think twice in the future before buying another Lisa McMann book.


  6. says:

    Picked this up for my tween grad school project because I am asked for this series all the time at my job at the library But this turned out like The Lightning Thief for me and meh.This is just one of those books that ain t for me I gave it until 200 pages in and I m DNFing with no rating because I just don t care.Full review below In the land of Quill there is a ceremony when its children turn thirteen they are placed as Wanted, Necessary and Unwanted The Wanteds go on to higher level, important positions The Necessaries become the laborers And the Unwanteds are sent to be terminated Alex and Aaron are twins, and on the day they are sorted, Aaron is chosen as a Wanted and Alex an Unwanted Alex leaves his twin behind and accepts his fate, that is until he and the other Unwanteds discover that they are not to be terminated, but to live and thrive in a magical new land with all of the other Unwanteds Here they are expected to be creative, pursue their art and learn battle training But as time goes by, the Unwanteds discover their safe haven is under threat, and they have to fight to save it.This book started off extremely morbid and did not strike me as tween at first Thirteen year olds being sent off to die because they built a stick house or sang a tune It felt pretty extreme Once the plot developed into Artime, the magical land, it made sense in a way There had to be a force brought in for all of the creative children to improve Quill itself reminded me of a mix of Pleasantville combined with the world in The Giver, with a dictator like President Snow from the Hunger Games series I can see how tweens would love this book because the attributes that make them unique are celebrated in this book in the world of Artime, where they can sing and dance and act all day long with the added element of magic being involved The land of Quill to me somewhat represented the oppression of the strict classroom where one is punished for being created Artime is a dream world that every tween would daydream about if it really existed The twin bond was an interesting addition making the story a bit unique than the typical fantasy jaunt Even though Alex and Aaron are obviously very different from each other, they still love each other and feel that special bond that twins seem to have, and it made for a good conflict in the plot Lisa McMann is a great writer, and she seems to have a knack for sucking tweens into her books.


  7. says:

    May I just say how clever the premise for this book is Everyone with a single ounce of creativity is Unwanted and executed, and everyone who s athletic or intelligent stay and are deemed Wanted That is single handedly the most clever premise I ve read in a long time That s true fantasy, a whole world spawned from just a single question McMann doesn t fall flat of what I expected from this wonderful idea In fact, I didn t even know what this was going to be about until I read the Introduction I was engrossed And, also, may I say how big and how unexpected of a switch up this is from McMann s normal stuff paranormal romance I know , I feel like this is a completely different author here, because her paranormal books are written in such short, edgy, gripping sentences and this book is written in vivid, languid, fluid prose that just jumps off the page and into your head I can t say which I like better, because in her paranormal stuff, you re just constantly flipping pages and you re haunted by the story, but in this middle grade fantasy novel, you re just completely entranced by the beautiful language and you can t stop reading.No matter what, I officially present McMann the Most Versatile Author Award I just made that On a complete whim Seriously, though How can you not agree with me Freakin polar opposites here, and she can do em both That takes some serious writing mojo.This has to be the most creative book I ve ever read McMann doesn t fall short of my expectations, which I appreciate to the fullest extent The ending of this book is totally open ended, so you really have no idea of knowing whether or not this will be a series Honestly, I d just prefer this to be a stand alone, but I m open to another book or three of THE UNWANTEDS.Gripping and languid, THE UNWANTEDS is McMann s most creative book yet, with a premise to die for I was quickly engrossed into Alex s world of misery and new hope, and when I reached the end I was deeply saddened saddened, that is, by the fact that I m left hanging with no sequel within reach I strongly recommend you pick this up


  8. says:

    On the cover of this book, it says the Hunger Games meets Harry Potter OK, the plot is a bit like that In fact, the base plot in this book has potential Unfortunately,the author never ever meets that potential.The writing is bland, the characters are flat There is no emotional engagement with the characters as such there is no suspense because ultimately, who cares what happens to any of them Not to mention that there is a complete and utter lack of world building Sorry, but my verdict somewhere between underwhelming not worth the paper it was printed on.


  9. says:

    Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers REVIEW First Impressions Thea When I first laid eyes on The Unwanteds and read the novel s intriguing summary, I was hooked and knew it was one of my MUST GET OR DIE titles at BEA this year As a long time lover of both dystopias and fantasy, the blend of these two seemingly incongruous components always wins me over I m a little chagrined to say, however, that while The Unwanteds is an undeniably fun book featuring some wonderful characters and an imaginative magical system, I had huge problems with the central premise of the story and plot aspects I liked the book well enough and am certain that both children and older readers will enjoy it, too but I cannot shake my irritation even horror at the central dichotomy for the book Maybe I m taking things too seriously But on that below.Ana I don t think that Thea is taking things too seriously and I totally understand where she is coming from Although I think I liked the book a bit than she did, I do think that there are considerable problems with the very premise of the novel However, I made a conscious decision half way through to just accept it because I liked the characters and the writing and was able to enjoy the ride because of that You can call it self preservation and usually I would drive myself crazy over this On the Plot Quill prevails when the strong survive so the motto of the isolated nation state that is Quill reverberates in each of its citizens From birth, children are indoctrinated to this lifestyle wherein anything artistic and creative is seen as anathema, and only those that follow instructions and excel at the practical, hard sciences and related subjects math, economics, etc are allowed to survive and succeed In the year of their thirteenth birthdays, all the children of Quill participate in The Purge and are sorted into three groups Wanteds who will go on to study at Quill s university and become vital members of government and social planning , Necessaries those who will do the menial labor for the good of the nation , and Unwanteds The Unwanteds are immediately loaded on a transport and sent to the Great Lake of Boiling Oil to be killed, so they will no longer a blight on Quill s perfect society of intelligence and strength Alex has long known that he will be deemed an Unwanted, but he is still shocked and terrified when he hears his name called on the list for execution during the year of his Purge Meanwhile, his twin brother, Aaron, has surpassed their Necessary parents and has become a full fledged Wanted Alex steels himself for his fate and with the rest of the Unwanteds leaves Quill forever and faces imminent deathExcept Alex doesn t die When they reach the Great Lake of Boiling Oil, the devastated and terrifying landscape melts away to reveal a luscious paradise where emotions and artistic abilities are honored, and magic is commonplace Alex and his new friends discover that Unwanteds have not been killed as eveyrone in Quill believes, but have taken refuge in Artim under the protective wing of Mr Marcus Today As it turns out, Today is an immensely powerful mage that has been duping High Priest Justine, the iron willed leader of Quill, for years As Alex grows in his skills as an artist in Artim , becoming a powerful mage in his own right, he cannot shake the feeling of longing he has for his beloved twin brother Aaron, and he vows to find a way to save him and bring him to the magical realm beyond the coldness of Quill But to do so puts all the Unwanteds and Artim itself at terrible risk because if Aaron refuses to come with his twin, Quill and its mighty Quillitary will come to destroy the safe haven that Mr Today has built.Thea Let s start out with the good I loved the brutality of Quill, how instead of simply imprisoning or segregating Unwanteds they chose to have their children murdered it s terribly bleak but also incredibly believable in this type of black and white society On the other side of the spectrum, I loved the idea of magic derived from art there are very unique and wonderful spells that these children learn and create together, from origami paper dragons that attack, paintbrushes with invisibility spells, magic three dimensional doors, and rhyming couplets that can kill I also loved the menagerie that is Artim , rife with marvelous creatures like flying stone panthers, art teachers with alligator heads and octopus appendages, as well as artifacts like talking slates blackboards and tubes that can transport people instantly from one room to another The writing and the story itself are executed well enough and the pages will fly by, even if there is an annoying degree of repetition to certain plot elements let s put it this way every scene in Quill had at least one chant of Quill prevails when the strong survive Now that I think about it, this would be a great drinking gamewell, you know, for adults BUT.I have two huge, un overlookable problems with The Unwanteds that seriously put a damper on my enjoyment of the story The biggest problem is the central premise of the novel, and Ms McMann s portrayal of creativity In this world, creativity ONLY comes from the arts ONLY those who are artistic in terms of painting, acting, musical instruments or dancing are considered creative and only they are singled out as Unwanteds and only they are the ones that can wield magic Let me use a few quotes to illustrate You already know that your parents and the government of Quill believe you to be eliminated by now You know they are not mourning for you They re doing what they do every day, which is to work to build Quill into a place of extreme power and super intelligence You, dear children, are what they call creative Imaginative The government, and especially High Priest Justine, wants to eliminate creative thinkers like you they see creativity as a weakness After all, it could lead to something horriblelike magic and then there s this quote Aaron was being rewarded First for his excellent work in solving the beef problem for the high priest, second for his insight into the matter of the Favored Farm at large, and third for his program, which outlined precisely how to run the farm most efficiently It had been his last assignment in math class, and since all of the university students work was checked by the governors, it did not take long for Governor Strang to notice Aaron s penchant for economics And economics was something that the High Priest Justine was very fond of Especially because it always benefited her.This drives me absolutely insane Some of humanity s most brilliant and creative minds have been mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and yes, even economists as an economics graduate, I resent these implications so very much The central premise of the novel precludes the possibility nay, the reality that it takes creativity to be in the sciences or related subjects You re trying to tell me that Einstein s theorems are the product of a non creative mind That brilliant economists like John Nash or Adam Smith, or that Watson, Crick and Franklin in their discovery of the double helix structure of DNA have not an iota of creativity in their being What of Euler, Da Vinci, Tesla, Curie, Newton, Darwin, or Galileo I m sorry, but I call BULLPUCKY The dichotomous environment that Ms McMann paints in her vision of Artim versus Quill shows Artim as a land of plenty a veritable paradise where technology is unneeded because, yo, they got MAGIC , people are loved, can express emotion, and play around all day doing magical artsy things On the other side of the spectrum, Quill is a dilapidated, rusty wasteland with brainwashed zombie like inhabitants, crumbling infrastructure and a shortage of both food and water Those Unwanteds who are taken to Artim are passionate, intelligent young people capable of experiencing the whole spectrum of human emotionand those people in Quill are the cruel, small minded people that are good at math and keep their heads down and follow rules.Is this really the type of comparison that we want to see, especially in a time when math and the hard and applied social sciences including the dreaded, selfish economics are seeing a decline in enrollment and interest from students at all ages So many children already think of these subjects as icky, terrible burdens, and books like The Unwanteds sure ain t helping much By the way, can you imagine the magic that someone could do with math PHYSICS CHEMISTRY How badass would those magical tools and spells be Alas, in Ms McMann s skewed world of The Unwanteds, we shall never know.The other main problem I had with the story was in the bizarre lack of power structure for magic it becomes clear at the end of the novel that Mr Today could vanquish the entire Quill army with a single phrase Really If that s the case, then why have a war at all Why wouldn t he have stopped Justine years and years ago and liberated the people of Quill, rather than let it fall into ruin and then live in supposed fear It doesn t make any sort of logical sense Beyond that, I didn t really buy that Quill was so dilapidated after some fifty less years, and that people were so shut down and unemotional What exactly happened to this society Was there a devastating war, or something of that nature There s never really any explanation given, so as things stand, Quill seems to be such a terrible place just because it has to be in order for this to be a real dystopia And I m not buying it.Ana It is the strangest thing I completely, 100% agree with what Thea is saying and usually something like that would drive me completely insane If I had to compare this book with another recent Dystopian novel, I would compare it with Delirium by Lauren Oliver I was not able to finish that book, because I found it really hard to accept the premise that the society in that book chose to eradicate LOVE because it was such a negative emotion Not only because the premise itself is ridiculous why love and not hate for example Surely hate is a negative emotion but also because it is hard to understand how love can be defined as one single, straight forward emotion when there are so many things that come attached to it lust, compassion, friendship, jealousy, etc., etc I think it is the same principle with creativity how can you single out what makes one person creative or not As Thea so aptly says, creativity does not solely exists when connected to arts Having said that, I was able to accept the premise here much easily that I was able to accept when reading Delirium and I will put it down to Lisa McMann s writing it is not perfect, far from it, but it is engaging as hell because I think she gets writing characters just right And even though I had this niggling feeling at the back of my mind telling me that things did not make a lot of sense the ending and how easy it was to win the war, was particularly well, senseless , I have to say that I was able to let go and enjoy On the Characters Thea While the central premise of the society and the plausibility of the plot are highly suspect, I did, in fact, enjoy the characters this is what saved the book from meeting the wall for me The protagonist of the story is young Alex, who earnestly loves his twin brother and is willing to risk everything to be reunited with Aaron once again The bond between twins is a unique thing, and the relationship between the Wanted and Unwanted brothers is a complicated bond, steeped in both love and hate I appreciated that Alex is not a flawless character and makes frequent missteps, especially in the treatment of his friends it s all part of the growing process, right Beyond Alex, my favorite characters had to be Lani and Sam Lani, is brilliant as the feisty, smaller girl who tries to get Alex s attention and bring him back to reality when he s being a jerk Sam is curmudgeonly but for good cause, and the friendship that develops between him and Alex is a tentative but wonderful thing Both of these characters also go through the ringer in the book s final climactic act, with both confronting their parents and playing dramatic roles in the future of Artim and Quill It s awesome stuff.Ana This is what completely made the book for me I just LOVED the characters and how very flawed they were Alex was the main hero and he made loads of mistakes and some of them had real terrible repercussions He shared the spotlight with many other kids and out of all of them, I loved Lani the most because she was totally and completely merciless when necessary I also really enjoyed how the author explored the connection between twins and whether it truly exist or not And I appreciated how the author actually never shied away from having her characters making terrible, horrible decisions and acting on them In that sense, even though the ending seemed a bit too easy overall, each character went through the ringer before the final pages Granted, those could have been better developed especially with regards to the aftermath of those decisions and how the character dealt with what they did Final Thoughts, Observations Rating Thea I m torn I loved the characters and the story zipped by quickly enough, but I despise the disingenuous central premise of the novel I m certain that many people will love this book and not have a problem with the dichotomous nature of creativity as defined in The Unwanteds, but I am not one of them Ana As with any Dystopian novel, I believe that a reader s level of enjoyment when reading The Unwanteds will be directly connected to how much they are willing to buy into the premise of the novel I liked the book well enough but did question my way through it Rating Thea 5 Good, but I can t bring myself to truly recommend itAna 6 Good, Recommended with Reservations


  10. says:

    Before I begin my review I will start by saying that this book is not for everyone If you don t like middle grade books then don t read this book, because while it might have some mature elements later on in the book, it s very magical and apparently too cliche for some people so just don t read it and we ll all be great However that being said if you love magic, creativity and art, fighting against oppression and following younger characters as they grow the characters start out as 13 year olds, the book spans over a year then this book is definitely for you, and I m surprised nobody talks about this book because it s just kind of amazing.So basically since I don t think anyone knows what this is about, it takes place in a dull world called Quill where there are three categories of people Wanteds, Necessaries, and Unwanteds Your category gets determined on your 13th year on the day of the Purge The Wanteds go to the academy and train for the Quilliatary, which is basically the army The Necessaries do the jobs the Wanteds don t, that are necessary to survival And the Unwanteds get set out of Quill to the Great Lake of Boiling Oil where they are presently executed Or at least that s what everyone thinks, until they get there and realize it s a hidden magical world full of art and creativity, all things that aren t allowed in Quill and which in fact led to each of them being purged as Unwanteds And the story follows these characters as they navigate this world and learn about creativity and different art forms and in particular magic, all while hiding from the residents of Quill on the otherside of the wall.Each of the characters brings something different to the table Right now they are only 13 14 so they have a long road of growth ahead of them, and I m interested to see how each of their personalities will really come alive.I m also extremely interested in where the rest of the books go I never made it past this book in the series when I was younger, but it s much longer now and I am genuinely excited to see where it goes and how the stakes get raised considering they were already pretty high at the end of this book at least for a middle grade book.Also the magic in the book is literally the kind of magic that I dreamed of and wanted when I was younger Almost exactly So much so that when I first read this I was really shook because it felt like this book had been written exactly me for me.All in all, 4 5 stars It was a solid read.


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