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(Unwind Dystology #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  213,716 ratings  ·  20,568 reviews
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Alicia Yumasaki I found that the beginning was kind of typical and hard to get into, but the characters and the plot line got so much better later on in the book. It …moreI found that the beginning was kind of typical and hard to get into, but the characters and the plot line got so much better later on in the book. It isn't one of those YA dystopian books that contain more raging teenage hormones than actual character development or action. In my opinion, the "unwind" concept makes the book intriguing and opens the door to many ethical and psychological questions throughout the book. I think you should definitely read it if you don't think that you'd be uncomfortable with the book's main concept of "unwinding" (which is when kids are taken apart for their organs and whatnot to be donated).

-No weird/unnecessarily irrelevant phrases (like in Shatter Me)
-Possibly a few plot holes? (I don't actively look for them though, so don't take my word on this.)
-Connor and Risa are your average cookie-cutter main characters. (I do like that Risa was actually an intelligent female heroine who thought on her feet and wasn't constantly drooling all over Connor.) My favorite character was Lev, though. I feel like he underwent the most character development, and I loved the explanations of the psychological struggles he went through (made me cry a couple of times, but that's just me). You rarely find in-depth psychological changes in characters nowadays, in my opinion. (less)
WhovianatHearts **As spoiler free as possible**

Yes!! "Unwind" is a very good, fast paced science fiction/dystopian series. (I read many YA dystopians this is by far i…more
**As spoiler free as possible**

Yes!! "Unwind" is a very good, fast paced science fiction/dystopian series. (I read many YA dystopians this is by far in my top 3) I do warn you it is disturbing at one point or another throughout the series. It really depends on how much you can handle. If Hunger Games gave you the chills, I would think twice before reading this. It is still is such a good book!!(Personally, the creepiness didn't bother me enough to even think about closing the book) I burned through the first 3 books, trying not to read the final book in the series.It is so good I don't want it to end!! (Yes, I own all four of them) I loved the many plot twists throughout the series. You feel attached to the characters throughout this series. There is this one character who I started to sympathize with and than labeled psychopath by the end of his/hers next chapter!! If you enjoy plot twists, a thought provoking yet entertaining novel, amazing (not instant love) romance, amazing characters, and an all around amazing YA book... Read THIS BOOK!

Update: 10/1/15
OMG! The ending of this series is epic! I'd hate to compare this book to THG, but I enjoyed the ending of Undivided more than Mockingjay...(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  213,716 ratings  ·  20,568 reviews

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Kat Kennedy
I was walking back from my playgroup with my son on Monday, I came out of an elevator to find a teenage boy waiting for me. Fear and an urge to protect my son came over me as he looked a little "rough" around the edges.

Instead of pulling a knife or picking a fight though, the teenager turned on me with big, embarrassed, doe-eyes to ask in a quivering voice, "Excuse me, can I please have fifty cents to call my mum?" I fished out fifty cents worth of coins and left as soon as I saw him head toward
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing

Holy frak-waffles Batman!! This is awesome.

At first I was like:

... but then I was like:

... and THEN I was all like:

...during that scene where they (view spoiler) I still have the major heebeejeebs.
I will never eat cauliflower again.

Unwind will shock you. I mean, roll-you-up-in-a-carpet-and-bitch-slap-you kind of shock you.

And you will love it.

As seen on The Readventurer

I approached rereading Unwind with trepidation. I generally enjoy revisiting books in series before each new release, but two reasons held me back in this case:

1) My original reading of Unwind left me completely horrified and I wasn't sure I would want to relive this story again (my husband is still too scared to revisit it); and

2) Unwind was one of the very first books I read when I had just discovered YA back in 2009, and it was also one of my very first dystopias. I
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I've been asked why I keep reading young adult books when I hate some of them. I hate some ways of preparing chicken too, but I'll eat it.
This book is a reason why I keep reading young adult. It's the fried chicken of the book world.

There has been a war recently. A war based on reproduction rights.
On one side, people were murdering abortion doctors to protect the right to life, while on the other side people were getting pregnant just to sell their fetal tissue. And everyone was selecting th
An astonishing and at the same time disturbing read. Took me some time to get into, but from then on I was hooked. The world Shusterman created feels so vivid and real, it almost scared me. Thought-provoking and highly original. I haven't read anything like this ever before.

Also, it contained one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever read - not on a graphic level, but more due to the fact that what exactly is happening is left almost completely to the reader's imagination (if you've read the
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Update: The more I think about it, the more I have to lower my rating.


The book is an interesting and easy read, but the concept has a lot of potential that I don’t believe was seized fully. My main complaint is that Shusterman seems to try to straddle the line between pro-choice and pro-life without taking a side. This comes across as playing it too safe to me; in politics you don’t have the luxury of not taking a stance when lives are at stake. My other complaint is that the world is not ver
You are not going to believe me, but I came to this book with open arms. It survived weeks of cuts and call-backs to become one of the final six books that were carefully wrapped in pajamas before being placed in the suitcase and flown to Switzerland. I only take books I am confident I’ll love on vacation. Well, given the length of this trip, space constraints, and my mercurial ways, they also had to be relatively thin, paperback, and fast-paced, but you get my point.

Alas, from the very first c
Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
I've been letting this book process in my mind for many days now and I still don't know where to start. This is an older book, one that has been held in highest regards by many for almost a decade now, so whenever I read a book like this I feel awkward and useless writing a review. What could I possibly say to do this book justice that hasn't been said yet? I'm not even sure there are words to describe just how undone this book made me feel. It's rare that I find myself emotionally involved in a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it

My thoughts in a nutshell
It could've been better. This was a hate-love relationship with the book. Sadly, I hated it more than I enjoyed it. Overall, I'm disappointed.

The story is about…
Skip over this point if you don't like the sneak peek.
A new society where the parents can unwind our hated children that means if the child reaches the age of thirteen and eighteen the cops take them away to the harvest camp. In the harvest camp, the children will unwind piece after piece. Their body parts are
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Still disturbingly cool


This book is disturbing and just holy crow! These people think it's okay to unwind their children if they don't want them or if they are bad kids. And what is unwinding you ask? It's where they take all of your body parts, EVERY SINGLE ONE, and use them for other people. AND your body parts are still a part of you, but only your brain can still think inside of another body but the parts can still do things the other kid did, like playing an instrument etc.


I am definitely going to try and take a step back from the ledge here, because I fully realize that I may be the only person on the planet who didn’t enjoy this book. I just finished, so the absolute fury is still fresh, but I think that once it cools, I will be able to say that yeah, this book isn’t so bad. In fact I think that it’s incredibly average in every way. I would give this to a young-un in a heartbeat. It’s fast paced with just a dash of romance, and it will probably initiate a few in ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Unwind (Unwind #1), Neal Shusterman

Unwind is a 2007 science fiction novel by young adult literature author Neal Shusterman. The story centers around three teenagers who have been scheduled to be unwound: Connor Lassiter, Risa Ward, and Levi "Lev" Jedediah Calder. Connor is a sixteen-year-old delinquent who discovers his parents signed an order to get him unwound. When his attempt at running away gets him cornered by a Juvie-cop, a law-enforcement officer who serves to round up teenagers signed t
Dan Schwent
In a dystopian near future, teenagers Connor and Risa are sentenced to be unwound. When their paths cross with a tithe named Lev, they flee the world they know and become fugitives. But how long can they run before the past catches up with them...?

Imagine a world where abortion is illegal but it's perfectly acceptable to have disagreeable children unwound, that is, disassembled and their organs given to waiting recipients, when they are between the ages of 13 and 18? That's the basic premise beh
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
First of all, lemme thank the Huffington Post and people I respect on Goodreads for leading me to this book. I googled "best dystopian novels of all time in the world ever" or something along those lines (I'm not the best googler in the world) and HuffPo was one of the links I clicked on, and this book was on the list, and I recognized the cover, and I was a little skeptical but read some reviews, and one thing led to another, yada yada yada...

And this was a really thrilling, thought-provoking p
Page one, I'm iffy. Pro-life and Pro-choice fight a civil war and the only way to satisfy both armies is the agreement that no abortions take place but from the ages of thirteen to eighteen any child can be unwound and his or her divided body and soul be used as organ donation? First off, pro-choice isn't going to go for a woman sacrificing her body through pregnancy and raising a child thirteen years before she can dispose of it. And pro-life isn't going to go for the termination of a child who ...more
this is a great book to use as a springboard for discussions about reproductive rights and governmental responsibility and what kind of world we are creating and leaving to the next generation.

but i'm just going to talk about me. cuz i am a very laissez-faire individual, and i live my life like i am reading a book someone else is writing, and i am just tuning in to see where it all goes, and any discussion of this sort always leads to conflicts, and i think goodreads has enough of those, yeah?

Christina - Recipe & a Read
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 eerie AF, Shusterman does it again stars!!!

Full review featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!

This is my fourth Shusterman title to read in the last couple of months and man, this guy is KILLIN' IT - he just doesn't disappoint, time after time. Each of the worlds and scenarios he builds are so unique and vibrant that I'm consistently in awe of his imagination. Unwind takes place in a future where America has lived to see and survived a second civil war known as The Heartland War. Following the w
Feb 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
Thanks to a medical procedure known as "neurografting," colloquially called unwinding, every harvested organ and body part of a teenager can be used on another person's body. Stealing kiddies' fingers and brains is a whole industry. Few believe it's wrong. Some don't even believe it's death. Unwind is the story of three teenagers who have been signed up for unwinding by parents or guardians. They're unwanted, someone can't afford them, or they're a religious "tithing"/sacrifice to God. Through t ...more

How does Neal Schusterman keep coming up with these wacky AF, genius yet terrifying concepts that somehow don’t seem that far-fetched?

I hate dystopian novels, and try to avoid them like the plague.
This is my fourth book by Neal Shusterman and I never knew I could enjoy reading this genre until I discovered this brilliant man.

What more could you really say about an author who’s made you reevaluate your entire decision? I am in awe.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this so much! Why the heck haven't I read it sooner? It reminded me of Legend by Marie Lu (not the plot exactly but the general vibes of the book). It's been a while since I read a good dystopian! It was very nostalgic (back to the time I read lots of this genre) especially since the book had similar “feels” to those.

This book surely didn’t disappoint and was a quick read with an interesting plot and likable characters. I'm very much looking forward to continuing this series and check
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that once I finished it, I started it over and read the whole thing over again. And even after that, there were parts of it that I kept re-reading and thinking about. Before I go into my long review, I wanted to just mention that this book had one of the most nightmarish and horific scenes that I have ever read in my life. It contained almost no details at all, and none of the sparse details were graphic or gory. And that made it even scarier. My imagination provided m ...more
Final rating: 6/5 stars

Unwind by ~grayside

This book deserves more than just 6 stars. It deserves 10! This is my ultimate fav young adult and it was one of the most amazing and emotional reads. It's a roller coaster of emotions and don't read it if you don't wish for your heart to shatter, or if you don't wish for your heart to be cut out. Because that's how i felt while reading this.

But - in every darkness, there is light, and even if this book might seem quite grim, it was balanced. Becaus
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“What does it take to unwind the unwanted? It takes twelve surgeons, in teams of two, rotating in and out as their medical specialty is needed. It takes nine surgical assistants and four nurses. It takes three hours.”

Commercial Photography

If you are at all familiar with my reviews, you’re probably well aware that I’m a “big meany” when it comes to doling out 1 Stars and super stingy when it comes to granting 5s. I’m here to tell you that Unwind knoc
Brigid ✩
Finished my re-read! It's been eight years since I read this book for the first time (damn, that makes me feel old). In my original review, I stated that this story would "haunt me forever," and I was definitely right about that. Even after all these years, there were a lot of scenes that I still remembered vividly. But there were also many details I'd forgotten. And there were also a lot of powerful themes that I think went over my head when I was younger, so I'm glad I decided to re-read it.

Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you have read or follow me on anything then you know I have a terrible fear of having my organs harvested... THIS BOOK IS WHY!!! It has taken me a very long time to build up the nerve to talk about this book. It really freaked me out that much. The concept of Unwinding is truly terrifying. It's not like you went to the dmv and checked the organ donor box thinking "yeah Ill give my organs up, I'll be dead what do I care what happens to them"... No, this is about having them taken while you're ...more

What a horrible, horrible dystopian vision Neal Shusterman presents us with in Unwind!

A horrible vision which I found utterly unrealistic in the beginning. I just couldn’t imagine parents having their children "dismantled" because of bad behavior or better say, I couldn’t imagine a society accepting this gruesome procedure as common. After a while, though, I started thinking and considering our history and what people already did let happen, as well as the gruesome things that are still happenin
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
It’s impossible to understand other people. It’s impossible to understand ourselves most of the time.

At the very beginning, I honestly wasn’t buying the story. I just couldn’t understand parents who would get rid of their child and celebrate by going on a cruise. I should have known better. Our belief systems, morals, cultural conventions, laws… they didn’t just pop out of nothing. They are so deeply ingrained into our society that we never doubt most of them. People, we're sheep!
I wonder, at s
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Not a bad first book!

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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more

Other books in the series

Unwind Dystology (4 books)
  • UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
  • UnSouled (Unwind, #3)
  • UnDivided (Unwind, #4)

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