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The Young City: The Unwritten Books

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Samantha Clanton, aka "Harlequin Twilight" for TeensReadToo.com

    I don't know about most people, but I for one find reading a series out of order to be completely frustrating and I usually can't do it. But this time, I could and I am really glad I did. THE YOUNG CITY is one of those stories that once you start, it's hard to stop. It's the third book in a series, THE UNWRITTEN BOOKS, but it completely holds its own as a standalone novel.

    Rosemary Watson and Peter McAllister are eighteen, in love, and finally beginning their lives outside of their parents and are starting college, but something else has a different plan for them. While helping Rosemary's brother, Theo, move into an apartment, the floor falls in and the couple is swept away into the storm sewer of underground Toronto. When they finally get out of the water of the river, they find that they aren't in 2008 Toronto anymore; they seem to have gone back in time 124 years, and are now in 1884 Toronto. WOW! Twilight Zone, here I come!

    But this isn't quite like that at all; this is a much simpler, much harder way to live. Could you imagine going from cell phones, computers, and television to a time where there is no hot running water, no such thing as a battery, and women are just being allowed to become doctors? I sure couldn't, but that's what Peter and Rosemary fall into. It's hard for them to even survive in such a different time, even from the first minute, but they soon meet Faith and Edmund, a brother and sister who have a pawn shop and who eagerly take the couple in, and help them adjust, no matter how odd they appear to be.

    Working together, Peter and Rosemary have to come to terms with where they are and how it seems they can never get back to their tie, their home. Days become weeks, and weeks become months, and the couple begins to doubt whether they are ready for a life together, especially if that life is being stuck in 1884. Faith and Edmund help, but it's still not enough for the young couple; that is until there is not only something fishy going on with Edmund, but also something going on at the construction site Peter is working on, and then someone brings a watch into the pawn shop, a watch with a battery, which isn't even possible yet, and a stamp that reads "Made in Taiwan!"

    Rosemary and Peter work even harder to not only find out what could possibly be going on, but also where the watch came from, and who else knows about the portals and their home. All they do know is, someone else knows, and that someone is taking advantage of these portals and not using them for good things; someone is smuggling trinkets between 1884 and 2008. It's the who, why, and how that are still the problem, but it's a problem Rosemary and Peter have to solve themselves.

    If I could describe this book in three words, it would be: Captivating, adventurous, and must-readable! I found it so easy to get attached to these characters and their story that I was really sad to see it end. I want so badly to go back and read the first two books in this series, and I will. There's tons of action, and twists and turns that I really never saw coming, and I was blown away.

    The writing is exciting, and beautiful, and imaginative, and I can't believe I had never heard of these books before now! If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend you do so. It's definitely a story that is worth the time and is worth hunting down (it's published in Canada).

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