The Unwanteds

// September 29th, 2013 // Book Reviews

Title: The Unwanteds

Author: Lisa McMann


A riveting middle-grade dystopian novel from New York Times bestselling Wake author Lisa McMann that Kirkus Reviews calls “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

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 more 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 Artimé. 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 Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.

My Book Review:

The Unwanteds looked like an awesome book from the second I laid eyes on it in Barnes & Noble. It was advertised as “Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”  Well, I liked Hunger Games, and I liked Harry Potter, so I was sure I would like this book.

I should never believe everything I read. The concept was like a mash up of Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. It included magic, like Harry Potter, and the ruler sent people out to die, like the Hunger Games. Also, the people who were sent out to die, didn’t die, and found themselves in a safe haven, and rebelled. That too is like the Hunger Games. The world was described very thoroughly. The world was also unique. There were blackboards that could do anything. They could talk, tell you what classes you have, and get messages from other students that are using blackboards. But where Hunger Games and Harry Potter were action packed, amazing novels, this one fell short. At first I thought I was being drawn to the book, but then it lost its pull.

This book was a slow in the beginning and the middle. There was a lull in the plot. If there is no action in the beginning, then it doesn’t make me say, “Hmm, I wonder what is going to happen next?” or, “Wow! Is he going to destroy those people?”

The characters weren’t well developed either. One of the reasons I liked Harry Potter is because the characters were well developed. In this book, I couldn’t grasp the character’s emotions and personality. They felt flat. Like a blackboard that was blank except for a few details.

I rate this book 6 out of 10 stars. It wasn’t the best book I have ever read. I’m considering reading the next book in the series because I want to give it another chance.



2 Responses to “The Unwanteds”

  1. Jeff Chen says:


    Great review. It takes a lot of courage to say that there were aspects you didn’t enjoy (and a lot of thought to identify specific reasons why). I had high expectations for this one and had a similar reaction to you. It’s great that you’re keeping an open mind about giving the sequels a try. I hadn’t considered doing that but maybe I will now.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Zneefrock says:

    Dude, it’d be awesome if you reviewed one of my stories. Tell me which one you like, I’ll finish it, and I really would love it if you reviewed it. Thanks!

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