Monday, January 7, 2013

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive. (from GoodReads)

I heard about Unwind from a friend and she was very vague about what "unwinding" actually is (to prevent me from being spoiled) but this summary spells everything out pretty neatly. Even knowing what unwinding is didn't stop me from loving this novel. It was exciting, thought-provoking, and even a little horrifying.

I think Unwind would be perfect for a book club or a literature class. It raises interesting questions about reproductive rights, the rights of minors, and human existence. If you're living in a "divided state" are you still alive? All your body parts are technically alive, so you must be, right? The unwinding process was so creepy, even more so because people are unwound against their will.

The book changes points-of-view between Connor, Risa and Lev, all who are slated for unwinding. All their perspectives were interesting, but I liked how the author added in Lev's situation. He's a tithe, which basically mean he's sacrificing himself to be unwound to please God. It's not really his choice - he's been brainwashed to believe that it's his duty to be unwound. That all changes when Connor's, Risa's, and Lev's paths converge.

Unwind is very plot-driven with a lot of action. Connor, Risa and Lev go to many different places and there's never a dull moment. In each situation, you'll be wondering how the characters will manage to survive, and I'm sure the readers were pleased with the novel's resolution.

When I found out that Unwind is being made into a trilogy, I was very excited. There's so much to be explored in this world. I'm reading the sequel, UnWholly, right now and I'm liking it so far! A review to come soon!

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.

2007/Simon & Schuster/335 pages.


Katie said...

Great review. I've had this one sitting on my shelf for so long but now I'm intrigued. I will have to check it out very soon.

Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan said...

We've heard a lot about this one, but haven't bit the bullet yet. (Honestly we're just a bit burnt out on dystopian...) Your review is convincing us that we should. Thanks!