Jodysegal's Reviews > Unwind

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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Feb 20, 10

bookshelves: distopia, young-adult, adventure, techno-lit
Recommended for: high school and up
Read from February 15 to 20, 2010

Neal Shusterman is a master at creating rich characters and unsettling, thought-provoking plots. In this near-future novel, America has settled into a new post-civil war era, in which embattled pro-choice and pro-life forces have reached a frightening compromise: life begins and will be protected at conception, but between the ages of 13 and 18, parents or guardians may choose to retroactively "abort," or "unwind", their children - into bodily parts for those in need or able to pay the price for a new lung or good eyes. Three teens escape en route to the harvesting farm- Connor, a good-hearted but rebellious sixteen-year-old, whose parents have signed him away; Risa, a ward of the state, considered unworthy of support any longer; and Lev, a "tithe," or a child raised from birth with the spiritual mission that he will be sacrificed, or unwound, for the greater good. Not natural allies by any means, the three of them strike out, searching for a way to hide until they turn 18. Shusterman has created a chilling, suspenseful, very disturbing and entirely credible alternate reality that will make you think about what it means to truly be alive.
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