The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

5 Stars

In Quill, 13-year-olds were divided into two groups - the Wanted and Unwanted.  The Wanted were chosen to study at the University and if proven to be loyal and valuable to their government, were later selected to serve Justine, the powerful High Priestess of Quill.  The Unwanteds were the children who had been in trouble before, not followed the rules, or had shown at a young age the desire for creative expression.  These 13 year olds were "different" from the Wanted were deemed unworthy to live.  The Unwanteds were taken away from Quill and their families - eliminated and executed.  

Alex was chosen as one of the Unwanteds.  Taken from his family and his Wanted twin brother, Aaron, Alex knew his life was now over.  Once he arrives at the Death Farm, however, Alex learns he has a much better fate awaiting.  The Death Farm is actually a different society which is overseen by a kind man named Marcus Today.  Marcus has created a new world for the Unwanteds - one where magic and creativity abound.  The Unwanteds are allowed to be themselves here and to continue living in a world far from Quill - one which encouraged them to become the person they each wanted to be.  

Alex is relieved to have a second chance at life.  Instead of being truly happy, though, he finds himself constantly thinking of his twin, Aaron.  He knew Aaron would love living there with his brother if only given the chance. Determined to learn magic and find a way to reach out to his brother and "rescue" Aaron from the tyranny and oppression which existed in Quill, Alex finds a way to transport himself back to Quill. Instead of a happy reunion where Alex shares with his twin Aaron the secret wonderful, magical world which exists beyond Quill's walls, Alex learns his brother is not who he seemed to be.  Aaron only cares for himself and has his own ruthless quest for power.  He will betray his friends and sacrifice his own twin to prove his loyalty to Justine.

Alex has now exposed the Death Farm to Quill.  The secret world and escape for the Unwanteds will be destroyed unless the government of Quill is defeated.  The Unwanteds must prepare for battle in order to protect and defend their world. The young teens know the odds may be against them as they prepare to fight against trained soldiers - and even worse, many will be forced to fight their own former friends and family, the Wanteds who watched them be sent away to die - in order for the Unwanted to continue living.

A great page turner!