Jessie Bear's Reviews > Unwind

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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Three teenagers navigate a dangerous world which is quite literally trying to dismantle them; Conner, Risa, and Lev fight to survive in a society that routinely harvests troubled teenagers for the organ market. Unwind quickly pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go until the very last page. This book is action-packed, absorbing, yet also thoughtful. Shusterman’s immense creativity creates a three-dimensional world with characters the reading audience quickly becomes invested in. All three main characters are strong, with well-paced development and distinct personalities. The book is relayed in alternating points of view, including a few secondary characters. A master storyteller, Shusterman beautifully executes the principle of Chekhov’s Gun as everything he mentions serves a direct purpose to the story. One need not agree with Shusterman’s standpoints to ponder the philosophy behind this didactic text, or to start thinking about some of the issues raised. Shusterman creates a dystopian nightmare which fuses contemporary debates about reproductive rights alongside the ethics of organ harvesting, and asks questions about what life really means. A horror story with a disturbing premise, there are also passages which may deeply upset a reader, including a drawn-out description of an “unwinding.” As such, this book is strongly recommended to not faint-of-heart teenagers ages thirteen to seventeen. (Four and a half stars)
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