Monday, July 18, 2011

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Summary Provided by 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 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.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely love Lisa McMann! I am obsessed with Wake and Fade (I haven’t read Gone yet because I don’t want the series to end!) and even though I wasn’t 100% intrigued with the summary of The Unwanteds, I still wanted to read it. I am so glad that I read it because McMann has written another amazing story. The Unwanteds is a creative and magical story that is perfect for middle school children! The story is about friendship, loyalty, trust and believing in yourself.

In the society of Quill, children at the age of thirteen are classified as “Wanted”, “Necessary” or “Unwanted”. Whoever is considered to be an Unwanted are chained up and brought to the Death Farm to be killed in the Great Lake of Burning Oil. I couldn’t believe the first chapter! It was very hard to read because I could not imagine a society that killed children. But not everything is what it seems in this world. The children were not killed, but brought to a special (and secret) place called Artimé where they can learn magic and foster their creative personalities. Mr. Today runs Artimé and is a great teacher and mentor for these “unwanted” children. He teaches them that even if their families and their society thought they were useless due to who they are, they are all unique and special! The main character, Alex Stowe is classified as an Unwanted, while his twin brother, Aaron is a Wanted. The connection between the twins is what will eventually bring this story to a head because while the children are learning to harvest their abilities, they are also learning how to attack and defend themselves using magic. One day they will have to fight for their right to exist among the Wanteds and this day is closer then any of them realizes.

The Unwanteds is told in the multiple POV of Alex, Aaron, Mr. Today and some of the other Unwanted children, including Alex’s new friends, Meghan, and Lani. It was interesting to see how the other children were adopting to their new lives.

The Unwanteds is a quick, fun and unique read. There were surprises at every corner and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. There were some things that I was able to figure out right away, but I don’t think young readers will have that problem.  While reading, all I could think about was how cool Artimé is and how much I wish I was apart of something like that!

The Unwanteds comes out August 30, 2011 and I highly recommend it. It is the perfect story for anyone who has ever felt different and let’s face it-that includes each and every one of us! 


  1. OK so First I fell in love with the cover, and now the summary and now your review.
    Definitely a must have!
    Thanks for this.

  2. I'm so glad to see you loved it. It's sitting on my shelf and I just wasn't too excited for it for some reason...
    Now I am :)


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