Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Monday, April 15, 2013
Unwind (Unwind, #1)
Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BYR
Series: Unwind #1
Source: Library
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.
Summary from Goodreads. 
It's challenging to write an original dystopian, but Shusterman has done it by making Unwind feel much more like a thriller/action novel. The suspense doesn't stop. There's action, a bit of mystery, and a hell of a lot at stake. The Unwinds are trying to survive against the odds, and they have to hide, lie, run, and essentially do whatever it takes. They're pushed to their limits, and then pushed some more. Basically, if you're looking for something to keep your pulse racing, then Unwind is the book for you.

If you want something that focuses more on character conflict, though, you'll still love this book. As the Unwinds group together, the novel gains a kind of Lord of the Flies feel. But it's more than that. The three main characters, Connor, Risa, and Lev, all show amazing character development. All of these Unwinds grow and change, discovering the amazing feats that they're capable of. Lev in particular changes in so many ways throughout the book; in some aspects, I was shocked by his advancements, even though it still feels completely natural. My favorite character is not actually one of the main three, however. He's more of a supporting character, one who raises questions about life, death, and morality, in a way that starts out as funny but soon becomes heartbreaking.

And that brings me to the third great part of Unwind: If you want a book that makes you think, you'll find plenty of controversy in Unwind. Whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, both arguments are presented within the novel. Shusterman tackles everything from abortion to the foster system, adoption, organ donations, and more. And the most brilliant thing is, none of these topics are thrown in the reader's face. And yet, there is so much to talk about when it comes to this book. Shusterman includes actual news articles and advertisements throughout the novel which really add to the story, as well. They show how eerily true to life fiction can be, and give the reader even more to think about.

Anyone who says that YA is kid's stuff obviously hasn't read Unwind. This book works for teen readers and adults, for someone who wants an action read or a thought-provoking novel. It was even my book club's pick last month. So what are you waiting for? Unwind is definitely worth a read.

A Quote from the Book: "You see, a conflict always begins with an issue - a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn't matter anymore, because now it's about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other."
Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Why?


  1. I recently got a copy from this book and I'm looking forward to read it! Character conflict, a book that makes me think, pulse racing, I like the sound of it! :)


  2. What page and who said this quote in the book?!

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