Sarah's Reviews > Unwind

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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's review
Aug 17, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, disturbing, mind-boggling, 2009-release, books-that-linger, dystopian, ya, series-i-must-finish, own-a-copy, in-the-library
Read from November 04 to 05, 2010

Excerpt: "Of course, if more people had been organ donors, unwinding never would have happened . . . but people like to keep what's theirs, even after they're dead. It didn't take long for ethics to be crushed by greed. Unwinding became big business, and people let it happen."

Thinking about this made my head hurt in a way it has never hurt before. Like book-induced headache except that it’s a good thing. I wanted to close the book and just get on reading City of Ashes. But I thought if I do that I might as well give myself another whack on the head and surely that’ll be as good as any permission for my brain cells to start a full-fledge riot and that won’t do me any good.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad in fact it’s very good in its own way. If you want something new, adventurous, creepy and a little unsettling kind of story, this is the book for you. But if you want to get that warm, fuzzy feeling then this is not the book you may want to read. But I know every once in a while, and by that I mean people anywhere everywhere wants to hear something original, fresh and see the world in a different angle and I believe this book will give you just that.

So here’s the thing, there had been a war, The Heartland War were people---Pro-life and Pro-choice fought over a single issue. To put an end to it, the Bill of Life was conceded. Unwinding has been established and is now a consented practice in the society.

Connor is being Unwound. And he was left with only one choice: to kick-AWOL. AWOL as in absence without leave. The catch is if he could actually pull it off. He talked about this with his only ally, his girlfriend and she promised she’d go with him but she turned her back at the last moment and now Connor has to do it alone. Without anything to lose, he went on with his plan. He met Risa, a former StaHo kid (short for State Home) who similar to him had escaped. He kidnapped Lev, a tithe, along the way too. And now they’re three happy campers embarking on a very dangerous and grim journey and if they fail, they might as well never run away in the first place because one thing’s for sure, they’ll end up on the very place they’re running away from: The Harvest Camp.

It was my first time to read a dystopian fiction novel. I never got to finish The Forest of Hands and Teeth and now I’m planning to after I read this book. It’s very different. It’s also actually my first time to need to go out of my room and breathe fresh air before I continue flipping the pages but at the same time I can’t put it down. It’s like I was holding my breath every time I read. No matter how horrible and bleak the world Shusterman created, I still want to hear about it and know if there’d be a happy ending even if it’s next to nil. And I think that’s what kept me engrossed in this book. I admit I find it hard to like the book at first but as I read on I was captivated by it. Shusterman produced a world so real, I might believe if he says he had actually lived on it and that he actually experienced those things. Or that he was an Unwind himself after all.

He made Unwinding sounds so frightening even without describing it yet. And when he did, it sounds and looks so disturbing and creepy that I had goose bumps. It was like running a freak show depicting live murder only it is legal and acceptable. And I hate that stupid nurse, and I would never ever apply as a nurse at the Harvest Camp even if it’s the last place hiring.

And the story is just so gripping, the characters were, I can’t even describe them in words. All I can say is one won’t exist without the other. That proves how well-written this novel was. There were so many twists and turns that at one time you’d be wincing and saying Oh no! And then smiling and shouting Oh yes! And then Oh no! again. It’s maddening.

Shusterman also made you feel what it’s like for both sides. The side of those who were being Unwound and the side of those who signed the Unwinding orders which is most likely their parents. Even though that didn’t made me feel any sorry for those who tolerate this despicable act, it made me understand even in the smallest way why somehow this act is considered OK. It’s amazing how it made me feel somewhat delighted in the world I live in because at least there’d be no chance for me to be Unwound.

I love the ride I was in and I greatly recommend this book to those who want to experience that ride too and to those want to read something unique. Or to those who want to take a break from feel-good novel, I will vouch for this book. It’s creepy and all but it won’t disappoint. I think my long review quite hinted that, right? :)
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Quotes Sarah Liked

Neal Shusterman
“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn't a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“Roland glares at Connor and Connor glares back. Then he says what he always says at moments like this.
"Nice socks."
Although Roland doesn't look down right away, it derails him just enough for him to back off. He doesn't check to see if his socks match until he thinks Connor isn't looking. And the moment he does, Connor snickers. Small victories are bet­ter than none.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“Unwinds didn't go out with a bang-they didn't even go out with a whimper. they went out with the silence of a candle flame pinched between two fingers.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“[...] every time he forces himself to think before acting, it's her voice in his head telling him to slow down. He wants to tell her, but she's always so busy in the medical jet—and you don't just go to somebody and say, "I'm a better person because you're in my head.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“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.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“...if more people had been organ donors, unwinding never would have happened...but people like to keep what's theirs, even after they're dead.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Neal Shusterman
“The moment you're loved, that's when you got your soul.”
Neal Shusterman, Unwind

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Joyzi OMG I have to read this! Hey try The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins it was also a dystopia and that was MY BEST BOOK EVER so you really have to read it *kidding*

Sarah Joyzi is *Team Adrian* wrote: "OMG I have to read this! Hey try The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins it was also a dystopia and that was MY BEST BOOK EVER so you really have to read it *kidding*"

thanks sa like Joyzi. :) Noon ko pa gustong basahin ung Hunger Games kasi recommended talaga siya nang mga friends ko. But since you said it too I'll really read it this vacation. :D

message 3: by Joyzi (last edited Dec 20, 2010 01:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joyzi yep dapat basahin pero sa 'kin na si Peeta ah, bawal umagaw hahaha *kapalmuks*

Sarah I started reading already. kinikilig ako kay Peeta at Katniss. XD

Joyzi Oo grabe kakilig ang dalawang yan haha ang sweet kasi ni Peeta bread

Sarah Peeta bread talaga? haha.

Joyzi Oo hahaha baker kasi siya dun, basta basahin mo ganda

Joyzi ay binabasa mo na pala tongoooiks talaga ko

Sarah haha. oo tapos ko na.

Joyzi Catching Fire ka na? OMG

Sarah yep. puyatan na naman ata to. O-o

Joyzi Naks. Yan ang favorite ko out of the three e^^ Nung binasa ko nga yan pagtapos inulit ko ulit yung basa ko mula sa simula e, sobrang mind blowing kasi, tsaka di pa out yung Mockingjay nung binasa ko yan.

I'm one of the tortured people ni Collins.

Sarah Maswerte pa pala ako na ngayon lang ako nagbasa nito. :) Anyway, nabasa mu na ba tong Unwind? try mo din, maganda.

Joyzi Di pa e, pero babasahin ko din yan me e-book ako niyan e

Gabby this looks like a nice book! i guess i'll read this one! great review! ^^

Kwesi 章英狮 I liked your review but I can't understand the part where the protagonist go hiding and meeting someone, whats with the donor thing? I think I must read this book.

Maria kwesi, nagtatago kasi for unwinding na ung protagonist. meaning, chop-chop lady (or man) na sya! nice review, sarah. ;) super creepy ang Unwind!

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