The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann, is a young adult novel set in the fantasy world of Quill. At the age of 13, children are sorted into categories: Wanted, Necessary, and Unwanted. Alex is Unwanted because he likes to draw in the dirt, and art is forbidden, while is Wanted and sent to the University so that he can learn to be important.
Alex thinks he’s going to be put to death, because that’s what he’s told happens to Unwanteds, but instead, he finds himself and the others in Artime, a world where creativity is the norm, and the children learn to fight through singing, dancing, painting, and other mediums. The children are happy there, but Alex can’t forget about Aaron.
This is a beautifully done novel, and I’m eagerly waiting to get the second one from the library. Even though the main characters are 13, they seem older to me. Since this is a fantasy world, we’ll just say they’re a little more mature than most kids I know. 🙂 Overall, great book, and I recommend starting this series.