Saturday, January 7, 2012
The book takes place in Quill, the most boring, drab, and brainless place you can imagine. Creativity is tabooed (I love that word. I always imagine it being said in the voice of a huge dopey-looking cartoon dog. I have no idea why), so dancing and singing are infractions. Infractions can be given on other things, too, like drawing a square in the dirt (or-God forbid- a rhombus). Every year, all the thirteen-year-olds are gathered together and separated into groups. Wanteds are the model citizen ones, who have never had an infraction in their life, and they go on to the University. Necessaries squeak by with maybe one infraction, and end up doing random labor jobs. Unwanteds are those who have had a couple infractions, and they are sent to be eliminated (which is a nice way of saying killed).
Alex has just been declared Unwanted. It isn't a surprise, but he has to be separated from his twin Aaron (a Wanted). However, when he and his fellow Unwanteds reach the execution place on the outside of town, they find an amazing sight. Unknown to Quill, the "eliminator" Mr. Today has been taking Unwanteds into a hidden world called Artime. Artime is the polar opposite of Quill, in which everything is colorful and fantastical. Creatures such as rabbitkeys, beavops, squirrelicorns, and owlbats live in the jungle. Magic is freely taught, through mediums like art, drama, dancing, and singing. Alex, excelling at art, makes friends with Meghan (who likes music) and Lani (who's good at writing). They are truly happy for the first time in a long time. However, their troubles aren't all over: the worry that Quill will discover their presence still lurks on the horizon.
Ahhh-maaa-zing book. Really. I probably should have made the review shorter, but I just couldn't explain it in a short paragraph. I also want to mention that the book is good for audiences in middle school, too. If you're a high schooler, I would say the age range might be freshman to sophomore. So, even though the age range seemed a smidge low for my usual tastes, I really loved the book. Lisa McMann has an excellent imagination, and managed to create a world that's similar to Harry Potter. Before I slip into a shpiel (however you spell that) about how good the book is, I'm just going to say it's at Kettleson and you should get it. I'm not above threatening your first born child, you know. Well, I probably couldn't, but don't let my lack of meanness stop you from getting the book!