Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann. Mucho Wanted!

New York Times bestseller Lisa McMann has done it again! Her newest release, THE UNWANTEDS, should definitely be on your most wanted list.

UnwantedsEvery year in Quill, thirteen year olds are sorted into three groups: the Wanteds, the Necessaries, and the Unwanteds. Wanteds go on to university, while Necessaries go to work. And the Unwanteds? They are purged. Permanently. Yes, that means exactly what you and everyone else in Quill thinks. Until identical twins Alex and Aaron are sorted. Aaron is declared Wanted, while Alex is deemed Unwanted. But being permanently purged isn't what it used to be: Alex and the other Unwanteds find themselves rescued by the so-called Death Farmer in his hidden magical land where all who have the creative talents that had doomed them back in Quill, now can work real magic. Real dangerous magic if needed, and boy, does it become needed when Quill discovers the magical land and hits it with everything they have, including Alex's twin, Aaron, leading the charge.

THE UNWANTEDS is an imaginative, fast-paced, fun read that will make you forget it's meant for a middle grade audience. Lisa McMann weaves a classical fantasy feel with today's demand for high octane action. The fantastical elements reminded me of Nickelodeon's excellent series, Avatar, The Last Airbender. You'll meet a cute but deadly squirrelicorn, an Art-teaching octogator named Ms. Octavia, and, my personal favortie, Jim, the winged turtle. Funny, poignant, and, at times, heart-wrenching, THE UNWANTEDS is a showcase for how modern MG fantsay should be done.

Go read, now. And together we can wait for the sequel. While you're wating, be sure to check out Lisa McMann's other titles: The WAKE trilogy (WAKE, FADE, and GONE) and CRYER'S CROSS. You can visit her at or follow her on facebook, twitter, and Vyou.

¡Buen provecho!


  1. I'm always looking for great middle reads for my niece and nephew. Thanks for the review. I think this book would be a good Christmas gift for both a girl and a boy!

  2. It really would, E.R. - there's some strong girl characters, too, and just a hint of a crush :) Again, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. Hugs!

  3. I loved her books Wake, Fade and Gone and this sounds like another great read. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Your welcomed, Deana - and you won't be disappointed!

  5. UNWANTEDS sounds like a winner. Kind of like a middle grade version of UNWIND

  6. It really is, Angelhorn. I'll have to check out UNWIND. And congrats on winning NaNo!