Jinny (SkyInk.net)'s Reviews > Unwind

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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's review
Aug 11, 11

bookshelves: dystopian, science-fiction, ya-teens
Read from August 09 to 11, 2011

Oh my gaaaawd. This book was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Shocking! Breathtaking! Moving! Touching. It’s a lot of different things. It made me want to cry. It made me ridiculously warm and fuzzy inside. It’s a MUST READ.

Unwind takes place in a dystopic future. After the Heartland War was fought in the US, the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice proponents came to a compromise: from the moment a life is conceived till the child becomes 13 years old, their life is protected by law. However, a child between the ages of 13 and 18 can be aborted, or “unwound”. 100% of their body will be systematically taken apart and used for transplants. This is also to address the issue of not enough people being organ donors. The idea is that unwinding does not technically kill the person, because all their body parts are still alive — just in a scattered state.

Connor just found out his parents, who think their son is behaving out of control, have signed the papers to have him unwound. He runs away from home, causing an accident on a highway that unites him with Risa, also bound for unwinding as she is a ward of the state that the state can no longer afford to keep, especially since, in their opinion, she has no special talents worth keeping alive for, and also Lev, a tithe who, for his entire life, has been prepared for his eventual unwinding. The three of them struggle to survive, until they are 18 at least, in a world that has already labeled them as useless members of society before they’ve been given a proper chance to prove themselves.

I always have trouble reviewing books I really, really like because I’m afraid it turns into more of a fangirl-y rambling mess. Honestly, I was blown away by this book’s story. At first I kind of raised my eyebrow at the synopsis because it didn’t sound believable that anyone would ever dare put forth an idea like ‘unwinding’ to become law, but a good writer can make his reader believe anything. And no, this book is not preach-y at all about pro-life or pro-choice. It doesn’t really side with either. It is strictly about unwinding.

One of the things I liked about this book was the little excerpts of quotes and real news stories and articles that occasionally popped up throughout the book. I think that was one of the things that helped give the unwinding concept credibility. For example, there was a quote from Albert Einstein about how humans are in delusion about how they are their own entity separate from the universe, when really, humans should know they are a part of the universe in every way possible. Einstein is probably talking about the cycle of life, but you see how one can skew a quote like this to support unwinding? The story is so crazy, but so good, and so clever.

I was completely engrossed into the story world. I was living in it, breathing in it. The characters started off as strangers to me, but by the end of the novel, I cared about them — so much that I felt their crushed spirits, I felt their sense of hopelessness, I felt their shock, and I felt their happiness. The ending was so moving and touching, I felt like I could weep tears of joy. It’s not a perfect happy ending, but it still makes you sit back and say, “Wow … that was just amazing.” It makes you wonder about what it means to be alive, the right to our own bodies and the right to live.

I’m really curious about the supposed sequel that is being written. I am not against a sequel, but with how nicely the book concluded, I’m curious as to what a sequel would entail. Perhaps different characters altogether? Regardless, I will most definitely pick up the second book.

I hope my enthusiasm is enough to convince you to pick up this book and read it. At least stick it in your TBR lists so you don’t forget about it. This book sticks with you after you read it, it is very capable of emotionally affecting its reader. I’m just in awe over this book. I love it!

(This review was also posted at http://skyink.net).
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Reading Progress

08/09/2011 page 34
08/09/2011 page 117
35.0% "Absolutely amazing so far!" 2 comments
08/10/2011 page 161
48.0% 1 comment
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