Jessica Leatham's Reviews > Unwind

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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's review
Jun 14, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: english-420

This story has everything from a movie-like portrayal of intense excitement to soul-searching questions about the sanctity of life. This is a science-fiction story set in some future society. Sometime previous to the events of the novel, there was a Civil War fought over production rights. As one character in the story mentions, there were actually three sides that fought in the war—those who were pro-choice, those who were pro-life, and those who were trying to find a compromise in order to bring about peace. The compromise that is settled upon, however, has chilling consequences. Parents of unwanted babies can easily rid themselves of their responsibilities. Teenagers can be sent to be unwound, meaning their body is taken apart piece by piece and given to others who many have a need (or want) of a better or stronger organ or appendage. I loved this book and would recommend this to any age group, but I think that parents of younger teenagers should read it before allowing their children to do so. This book would even appeal to older audiences. The events (and the way they were portrayed) were so exciting that I felt like I was watching a movie as I read it.
“The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights.” The back of the book suggests that the events of the story are a result of this war; however, as I read Unwind, it became more and more clear to me that the real war was played out in the story.
In every war, those fighting are fighting for something that will influence them. Those who first fought for America fought for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for themselves, their friends, and their posterity. In the nineteenth century, the Civil War was, in part, fought to defend the idea that “all men are created equal.” Most would probably argue that other wars have been fought for similar reasons. However, in the story Unwind, those who were affected by the events of that “Second Civil War” had so say in the matter—they had no chance to fight for themselves or their posterity. Both choice and life were threatened for them. Those who waged the war were not directly in danger of the consequences of their war.
In this story, the real war is waged by those who are directly influenced by the events of this Civil War that they had no say in. Each character is fighting his own war.


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