Unwanteds #1. Author: Lisa McMann.
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 graves. On the day of the Purge, identical twins Alex and Aaron Stowe await their fate. While Aaron is hopeful of becoming a Wanted, Alex knows his chances are slim. He’s been caught drawing with a stick in the dirt – and in the stark gray land of Quill, being creative is a death sentence. But when Alex and the other Unwanteds face the Eliminators, they discover an eccentric magician named Mr. Today and his hidden world that exists to save the condemned children. Artime is a colorful place of talking statues, uncommon creatures, and artistic magic, where creativity is considered a gift… and a weapon.
The writing is clearly directed to a middle-grade level, but I still enjoyed the story for myself. By the end many characters were well-filled out and interesting conflict set in place for later. The world was interesting, although without much background – no doubt more of that will come in later books. There was no romance among the teenagers except for one quick kiss to the cheek, and no language, both of which I found very refreshing and a definite plus. Even the violence in the last battle was not very detailed, only stated. I love the idea of creativity being a weapon when needed, such as slam poetry and origami battle dragons!
Sexual content: A boy kisses a girl on the cheek.
Language: 2 crud
Violence: Without any details, the fact is mentioned that those youngsters Purged are to be/were in the past killed. /unrelated/ The dead body of a boy is seen. One protracted battle takes place, during which various are incurred: one man is killed by a metal star in his neck, one woman killed by a curse that turns her to rubber, girl receives a long cut down her leg, boy is wounded by flying metal but survives. Soldiers are trampled. Various people are permanently frozen as statues by magic. Man is killed by a magic sword wound to the chest.