Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Paperback, 264 pages, Bold Strokes Books
Genres: LGBT, Fantasy, Young Adult
Jamie Thomas has enough trouble on his hands trying to get through junior year of high school without being pulverized by Billy Stratton, his bully and tormentor. But the mother he was always told was dead is actually alive—and she’s an Amazon! Sixteen years after she left him on his father’s doorstep, she’s back and needs Jamie’s help. A curse has caused the ancient tribe of warrior women to give birth to nothing but boys, dooming them to extinction—until prophecy reveals that salvation lies with one of the offspring they abandoned. Putting his life on the line, Jamie must find the courage to confront the wrath of an angry god to save a society that rejected him.
I went into this story expecting something short and adventurous, and for the most part, that's what I got. But, at times there was so much more than that.
The Unwanted deals with Greek mythology. And we all know how much I love me some Greek mythology, right? Well, now we do. I've also been loving LGBT literature lately, so getting my hands on a review copy of this was totally wicked. LGBT is something that needs to be in YA a lot more than it currently is. Sure there are contemporary stories about LGBT teens "finding themselves," but there's hardly any stories where the focus of the book isn't on the character realizing their sexuality. This one is, though. Instead of leading a seriously angsty plotline, Jamie's story manages to create a fun thrill ride.
Jamie was a great character to read about. He was a nice kid who had a good relationship with his father and his best friend, Sarah. Jamie didn't have to be all kick a$$ like some other stories portray their characters. And sure, Katniss types are cool to read as well, but I like it when a character has more in common with myself. Don't get me wrong, Jamie does acquire some skills in the book, I just like how he's a humble boy in the beginning who has to go out of his comfort zone in order to become a semi-good fighter.
The parental aspect of this story was phenomenal! So many times in YA you see characters who barely ever talk to their parents, or they have no parents. It's nice to have a few teenagers who actually have a loving and caring relationship with their mom and/or dad. The parents were even major characters in the story! That's definitely something that doesn't happen very often.
The action in the story was quick and fun. There weren't a whole lot of epic fights, but I was fine with that. Ricker managed to get the fighting scenes down without having pages of text on how, "his sword stabbed left, then he parried, blah blah."
Billy was Jamie's love interest and at first I was kind of skeptical. I don't really like it when the bully suddenly changes their ways and then love magically manifests itself. Love didn't ever magically manifest itself, but you get my drift. Jamie falls in like with his tormentor. Thankfully, the reason behind the tormenting is explained later on in the story. About halfway through the book was when Billy started to grow on me. And by the end, I was in love. Of course it never would have worked out, but a girl can try.
I have to say, that ending. I almost cried! It was so sad and terrible, but beautiful all at the same time. Way to end a book, Ricker!
While the mythology was fun to read about, there were some minor issues. There was nothing that could distract from the entertainment of the story, but they were still there. Also, there were a couple of pieces of information that I feel could have been expanded on, like the principal and the high school girls, but again, not a big deal.
All in all, this was a good book. I seriously enjoyed it and I think there are other people out there who would too. It's cute, fun and witty, why not give it a try?
*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher. This in no way altered my opinion/review.