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Want Hardcover – June 13, 2017
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A Junior Library Guild Selection
“Vividly conjured…positively chilling.” —The New York Times Book Review
"A spectacular, fast-paced, action-packed novel full of brilliant suspense and vivid characters." —Buzzfeed
“Fresh, compelling—and timely.” —Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and the Divergent series
"An exciting, socially conscious futuristic thriller." —Kirkus Reviews
"Pon excels as this society’s architect, constructing sights, sounds, and smells that make this Taipei come alive." —Booklist
"A strong sci-fi novel that will entice an array of readers." —School Library Journal
"A gripping, fast read that blends cultural elements, edgy tech, and a future coming out of a recognizable pollution-heavy current path." —BCCB
“Cindy Pon's sci-fi debut envisions a world that could very easily become our own.” —Beth Revis, author of the New York Times bestselling Across the Universe series
“A story brimming with high-octane action. What a rollercoaster!” —Marie Lu, author of the New York Times bestselling The Young Elites trilogy
“You will not find a more plausible or terrifying dystopian future, and if you've always wanted to visit Taipei, this book is a first-class ticket.” —Ann Aguirre, author of the New York Times bestselling Razorland trilogy
“Fast-paced, utterly engrossing, and highly recommended.” —Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood
About the Author
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association's Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. Her most recent duology Serpentine and Sacrifice (Month9Books) were both Junior Library Guild selections and received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. WANT (Simon Pulse), also a Junior Library Guild selection, is a near-future thriller set in Taipei releasing June 13th. RUSE, the sequel, is slated for spring 2019. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Learn more about her books and art at cindypon.com.
Top customer reviews
Jason Zhou, a young revolutionary living in Taipei, witnesses injustice on a daily basis. Pollution and sickness are killing the poor people (the meis) because they can't afford to buy protective suits, which are manufactured and worn by the rich people (the yous). As a result, the yous thrive: they party daily and enjoy all of the luxuries that life has to offer. Meanwhile, the meis lay dying on the streets. Enraged by this gap between classes and the man behind it all, Zhou and his friends set out to make a difference.
Overall, I found the plot to be a bit boring. While I was excited by the idea upon first reading the novel's description, I just wasn't that captivated while reading it. Not only did it drag on a bit, but everything was simply too easy. Every "problem" was resolved immediately and there was always a convenient, yet somewhat unrealistic, solution. Furthermore, while carrying out what should have been a complicated plan, there were very few hitches. Everything just seemed to work itself out. Even the ending didn't have me on the edge of my seat.
The characters in this novel were likable but not lovable, and overall not very memorable. I even found some of them, such as Victor, to be a bit annoying. In most cases, they were rather underdeveloped. They each had a certain quirk, but Pon failed to elaborate on any of their back stories. However, they were very diverse. This book is representative of people of multiple races and sexual orientations.
The setting of this story was certainly unique. I have yet to read another novel that takes place in Taiwan. There are several good details, and Pon paints a consistent, detailed picture of the streets of Taipei. That being said, you don't learn much about the world beyond the pollution, sickness, and financial inequality.
Neither the plot nor the characters in this story captivated me. The events that take place throughout the novel failed to excite me and I simply didn't fall in love with any of the characters. I do, however, admire Pon for creating a very diverse world. I don't regret reading it but I wouldn't read it again. I give it 2.5/5 stars overall.
Hope the next work by Ms. Pon is a little stronger.....
And unfortunately, the villains were so cardboard I could pack up my storage unit in them. The rich people--with the exception of Daiyu, who was Mary Sue perfect--were all decadent, selfish, greedy, etc. Jin Sr was eeeeeeevvvillllll. Corporations were corrupt. The conflict was completely un-nuanced (is that a word?).
Sometimes, it felt like the overtly political message in this--about pollution being bad and the need to get environmental legislation passed--was being hammered into the reader to the detriment of the story.
This book easily reads as if you were watching a movie and I loved that. Cindy Pon’s description of this world immediately captivated me because it felt so alike to our present one. We don’t know much about our main character, Zhou, when we first meet him so he’s a little mysterious at first. Quickly, we learn that he’s mei, the poor who live “beneath” the rich, known as the yous. I easily sensed what a decent person Zhou was, but how he’s been forced to become a survivor by any means necessary after his mother’s death.
More characters are quickly introduced and the lives they live is truly heartbreaking. This alternate Taipei is overrun by pollution, and the meis are forced to wear masks that hardly even help because they still end up living such short lives compared to the yous. The yous who can afford to buy special suits, made by Jin Corp, that keeps them from breathing the air outside. As the world continued to build around me, I couldn’t help but easily root for every single character.
They were everything in this story. And there is so much representation in this book that my little heart was full of so much love for Cindy Pon! Along with Zhou, there was Lingyi, Iris, Victor, Arun, and Daiyu. I enjoyed all of them and what they brought to the story! They were all so different, but their circumstances eventually brought them together in life. I loved how loyal they were to each other. It brought that quote to life, you make your own family, and this set of characters did just that.
Once the world is set, the story begins to move more quickly and I loved all of the action. Want definitely felt like a thrilling heist book for me. There’s so many twists and turns to keep readers on their toes! All of the greed, betrayals, felt so relevant while reading. And every time Zhou would mention how their lives would’ve been different if only people in the past cared enough, broke my heart.
Everyone needs to add this eye-opening story to their bookshelf. Cindy Pon’s brilliant writing will draw you into this intriguing world of a future Taipei. Their people (and food) alone will keep you wanting more from this story. Every aspect of these characters’ lives will bring up thoughts in your own. It’ll truly give so much meaning behind Zhou’s bravery for a better world.
The story wraps up nicely, there is no real cliffhanger. But I’m so excited to learn that a sequel is in the works because I need more of these characters! I loved this book so much! The only downfall for me was the fact that I didn’t completely love Zhou’s romance arc. Probably because I don’t think anyone is good enough for my new book boyfriend, but you know. Anyways, I highly recommend everyone check this book out! It’s thrilling, thought-provoking, and fun with such diverse characters! You won’t be disappointed!