Thursday, December 13, 2012
Lisa McMann is well known for her high school novels - the middle grades are going to really enjoy her fantasy novel, The Unwanteds. Kirkus Review correctly states, "The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter." I would maybe add meets The Giver as well. The beginning of the book starts off in a plain land called the Quill - no creativity, no color, and no imagination exists in this land. It is forbidden. The annual event called The Purge separates thirteen-year-olds into three categories: Wanted, Necessary, and Unwanted. The Unwanteds will surely be put to death. When main characters - twins Aaron and Alex Stowe are divided, the outcome is no surprise to anyone. Aaron is labeled a Wanted while Alex is sent to the Death Farm with the other Unwanteds. Once Alex arrives, he finds out that the Unwanteds were chosen, because they were creative and threatened the Quill's culture of blandness. He and others are allowed to not only survive, but also attend a school of magic and learn warrior skills. Everything changes when Alex is convinced that two of the Unwanteds are going to return to Quill to avenge the wrongdoings of his twin Aaron. Choosing to help his brother creates an unexpected backlash and huge war. I can't wait to read Book 2, The Unwanteds: Island of Silence.