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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  27 reviews

A one-word text message: That's all Michal "Mike" Garcia needs to gather a crowd. Mike is a seventeen-year-old bookie, and Sanctuary is where she takes bets for anyone at Carson City High with enough cash. Her only rule: Never participate, never place a bet for herself.

Then Josh Ellison moves to town. He pushes Mike to live her life, to feel a rush of something—p
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithMy Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickEasy by Tammara WebberGraffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
2012 YA Contemporary Challenge!
101st out of 213 books — 1,313 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThis is Not a Test by Courtney SummersThe Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
2012 Young Adult Standalone Challenge
189th out of 241 books — 893 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,349)
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Angela  M
Find more of my reviews at

I read somewhere on the publishers website that Wanted was like a modern day Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde. As soon as I saw that I knew I was going to have to read it as soon as I possibly could. Let me just say, they did not get it wrong. Michal (aka Mike) and Josh definitely form their own two-person Robin Hood team stealing from the rich and giving to the needy, and when that all goes bad it escalates in to one final ride that would make Bonni
Savannah (Books With Bite)
What I loved most about this book is the great plot line. I have yet to read an interesting plot line about a teen who is a bookie and gambles. This alone is intriguing. Let me tell you that I don't know much about gambling. I mean, I don;t know much about running a book. You taking bets, collecting, etc. Ms. Ayarbe, made it is for the reader to fall in the plot really fast as well as understand it. The reader wasn't confused and instead I found myself really enjoying it.

The love interest in the
H.D. Tolson

This book.
That ending.
Oh my gosh.

Simply amazing.

Full review to come.
Joy (joyous reads)
Bonnie and Clyde meets Robinhood – the premise couldn’t have sound any more interesting and unique as that. Come to think of it, there have been books written within the parameters of either work but never both. Such an ambitious undertaking, if I may say so myself.

Seventeen year-old Michal is a bookie who had never known what it’s like to live the life of a person of her occupation. And although the temptation to gamble was severe, she’d never once given in…until Josh Ellison moved to town and
Personally, I think this is Ayarbe’s best novel. I enjoyed Freeze Frame more, but this is superior in character depth and development, writing, and everything else. This was a really, really good book. I didn’t even enjoy it that much, but it was still really good.

Ayarbe tackles some great issues in this book: identity and right vs. wrong are the two main ones that I noticed. She also portrays the addiction to gambling really well. Really, there are just fantastic things going on with this book.
It would have been a 4.5, but THAT ENDING. Not a good first reaction to it. I need to formulate my thoughts on some things, but I loved the writing, the tone, the way it tackled the teen crime thing (as opposed to Pretty Crooked, which was more light fun to read but felt like it was a bit more unreal), and the way it showed the main character and her relationships. The discussion of race and being Mexican-American was well done, although it could have been related back to the MC more.
Gabrielle Carolina
LOVED! I want to write a big, thoughtful review but I still need to process it all.

In a nutshell, WANTED is devastating, unique, realistic, hard-hitting, asks all the right questions and encompasses major literary and modern lifestyle issues with poise and edge.

Let WANTED make an Ayarbe fan out of you.
Apr 09, 2012 Claire rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, rev
Powerful and complicated and provocative and heartbreaking. Wish the end was a bit more end-y, but I can appreciate the power of the sudden semi-ambiguous fade-out.
4.5 stars
Heidi Ayarbe has done it again! A wonderful, dark contemporary read.
Wanted is a book completely different from anything I’ve read before. It’s as if Bonnie and Clyde got fed up with anti-Hispanic racism, developed a Robin Hood complex, and were transformed into high school students. Heidi Ayarbe tackled a lot of tough subjects in this book, some of which I wasn’t expecting. As per usual, the jacket blurb completely forgot to mention the most important part: Michal is Hispanic, and there’s a white supremacist gang called Garbage Disposal that’s attempting to “tak ...more
Mar 16, 2013 Vanessa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vanessa by: won it on goodreads giveaways autographed =)
Looking forward to reading this book. It sounds great!
Update: just got my autographed copy in the mail today, so excited to finish it. Didn't have time to read much but I finished the first chapter.
Ok. So the book starts out with Michal (pronounced mee-kal) and Josh locked down, maybe in a store or something. But cops are surrounding the building and she feels she may be dead soon.
Then the first chapter describes how she takes bets and how she works her system. She meets Josh and takes his bet
Page (One Book At A Time)
One thing I loved about the previous book I read by Heidi Ayarbe is how real the whole thing feels. While you are reading, you think that this could happen to anyone and anywhere. I was curious how a female teenage bookie might fit into this theory.

From beginning to end I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around the bookie part of the story. I guess I just don't see it in the high school setting. Is this something new? Is it common? I guess maybe it's a new kind of rush for teenagers, but i
Crystal (Kris)
What I love about Heidi Ayarbe's writing is that she delves into the human psyche in her books. She poses a question to the readers and explores it. Wanted is a brilliantly crafted novel delving into the psyche of a girl who breaks the rules once and loses. If I were in Mike's position, I would want to stay on the sidelines. She lives in a bad neighborhood and wants to get out of there; she can't afford any major losses. Being a bookie with a close following, she makes a fair amount of safe mone ...more
Aug 15, 2013 P.E. added it
Shelves: dnf

I didn't stat rate this book because it wasn't awful. I stopped reading because I have a horrible headache and I need something to take my mind off it and this book failed at that.

It was already a bit of a stretch, in terms of being the type of book I like, but I decided to give it a chance. The problem I had
was it didn't contain enough initial emotion for me. About 70 pages in based on Kobo's number system and I wasn't into the writing which was a little bit too descriptive for me.

The con
Review originally posted

Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe was nothing like I thought it would be and everything that I wanted it to be. Wanted had interesting characters, a quick paced storyline, and was much deeper than I expected.

The initial summary of Wanted led me to believe it would be a little bit like Robin Hood. I definitely didn’t expect Wanted to be a portrayal of current issues facing all of us today – immigration, racism, poverty, etc. – in a high school
Brad Sells
Hmmm... what went wrong with this book? I really, really wanted to like Wanted, but in the end, this was just not the book for me.

Whenever I marked this book as currently-reading on my Goodreads shelf, I look at the reviews and saw nothing but glowing reviews of 4 and 5 stars. I was super pumped to read Wanted, especially with all the good reviews surrounding it. I will give Wanted the prologue - that was pretty epic. Unfortunately, I found that to be the only thing epic about this book. Way too
Let me start by saying that Wanted turned out to be so different from everything else that I've read this year, that I was simply blown away from the start. As soon as I was introduced to Michal, a young girl turned bookie, there was no turning back. I'm not very familiar with the betting world, but Ayarbe makes it easy to understand the life that Michal has placed herself in. Her honest voice sucked me in, and her inability to see how important she was kept me coming back for more. I was rootin ...more
Ayarbe calls this an "unconventional western" in her acknowledgments and I think that's a great description. This is a little bit like Robin Hood meets Bonnie and Clyde.

Michal's a bookie, and she's a tough girl because of it. It's how she makes her money and earns her reputation. Her own rule is never to play the game herself. Always be the one watching, not betting. But then Josh moves to town and he convinces her to try her hand at the game and when things don't go well, they really don't go
4.5 stars.

I was so excited to read Wanted once I heard about its release. Heidi Ayarbe is one of my favorite writers and she really impressed me with her previous books, Freeze Frame and Compromised. This one didn't fail to impress me, either. Her writing is superb and filled with honest realism. It isn't a happy feel good story because unfortunately, life isn't always upbeat and positive.

There are a lot of things I admire about this novel and one of them is the topic of illegal immigration. So
In typical Heidi Ayarbe style, she takes a subject I know little about and makes me feel like I should be the voice for all the people who can’t or won’t speak up. I feel love for the characters whether you agree with their actions or not. I want to adopt every character in her books and cook them a home cooked meal (does picking up Boston Market or Chick-Fil-A count?). Ayarbe makes me feel for a character even when, as I generalize about that group, and in this case, bookies, I tend to disregar ...more
I LOVED the story. This is one of those stories that give readers a look into the real life dramas that surrounds us but often goes unnoticed. It doesn’t have to be an extreme case of living in a war torn country because there are individual wars that we deal with as well as the wars waged within our “first world nations” such as class, race and etc. It’s a young adult novel that is not only an entertaining read but a story that brings up questions such as the United States’ policy on immigratio ...more
I loved it the ending is so OMG i cant believe it.
Loved the book. Has a bit of a bitter sweet ending. The characters are awesome.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Baccellia
Amazing read.

YA Books Central Review coming soon!
Daniela marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Shelly marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Carla Popa
Carla Popa is currently reading it
Jun 23, 2015
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I spent 23 years growing up and living in Nevada then have spent the last almost-17 living and traveling around the world with my Colombian husband. I've gone down Class IV Rapids (called THE FROG BLENDER) on my butt in Nepal, been thrown down by gusts of wind hiking in Torres del Paine, gone gator looking in the Amazon, and have climbed up a Mayan pyramid at midnight during a full moon. None of t ...more
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