The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann was the April selection for the Pizza and Pages Teen Book Club that I have recently taken over at my new job.
I have never read a book under such interesting circumstances, at least not that I remember so this review is going to be a little out there. Here’s some background: I started a new job on April 6th, knowing that I had to cover a book club within the first couple of weeks of starting. Only, on my first day, I discovered that the book club was actually April 8th and not the 15th like I’d thought! So I rushed to finish the book before the book club actually met. It was kind of a challenge what with the fact that I was exhausted. I’d just moved and started a new job! But I finished. At lunch. A mere two hours before the book club met.
Fortunately the members of the Pizza and Pages Book Club really love to discuss books so I basically just had to throw out a sentence or question like, “who was your favorite character?” and it sparked a fifteen minute long discussion. It got a little out of hand but what else could I do? It wasn’t like I had time to come up with a bunch of questions. Plus I wasn’t alone. My new supervisor was in there too.
So it was a good thing that The Unwanteds was right up my alley. Magic, secrets. A little bit of a Divergent/Hunger Games/Harry Potter thing going on what with the fact that kids were to be sent to die and then discovered magic instead. It was interesting and there were definitely characters that I really liked and characters that I hated. That’s a mark of a good writer to me, when they can make you actually hate a character with a burning passion. (I’m looking at you Aaron.)
But the whole magic system was a little confusing and the potential romantic type plot line was a little weird. Also, the tagline right on the book actually compared it to Harry Potter and Hunger Games. I don’t like it when books do that. It’s okay when a reviewer does it…just don’t mark it right on the front cover itself. It’s too much to live up to. And The Unwanteds, while good, did not live up to that comparison.
All in all it was an interesting and easy read but I will likely not be reading the rest of the series