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Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  110,938 ratings  ·  11,933 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, 335 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Dwisthebest **Small spoiler. Does not mention name or gender of character though. As spoiler free as possible**

Yes!! It is a very good, fast paced science…more
**Small spoiler. Does not mention name or gender of character though. As spoiler free as possible**

Yes!! It is a very good, fast paced science fiction/dystopian series. (I read many YA dystopians this is by far in my top 5) 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 like well developed characters, fast paced books, dystopian, something a little creepy,realistic, decent/not annoying writing, a book that plays as a movie in your head,a book that plays with your own thoughts and opinions.. Read THIS BOOK! (less)
Risa They don't. Some children can make better choices than adults and vice-versa.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
18th out of 2,088 books — 18,160 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsInsurgent by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopia Novels
12th out of 768 books — 8,510 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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

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.

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
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
Kat Stark

Buddyread with my bestie, the fantabulous Chelsea (Click to read her review)

This book is heavily based on pro-life/pro-choice issues that I happen to be really passionate about. Which is why the first half of the book completely lost me and honestly I thought I was going to give it a 2 or 3. But, then I took a dive. I felt my skin break against the crushing water. And I let myself sink into glory.

This is complete serious Kat review. I haven’t wrote one since The Shining so again, if you aren’t i
Jul 14, 2014 Kira rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, everywhere
Recommended to Kira by: Someone awesome
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dan 1.0
Dec 04, 2013 Dan 1.0 rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dan by: The Amazing Emily Scherrer
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
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?

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
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
Final rating: /

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. Because it's Neal
Apr 07, 2015 Laz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dystopia lovers
“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.”

In a dystopian world where children after they reach the age of thirteen, they find themselves in the peril of getting unwound, Connor, Risa & Lev are coming face to face with that very same danger. The parents of every child decide whether one will get unwound or live. What unwinding is?

Pro-lifers and
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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 s
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
Jun 13, 2012 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who can deal with the grisly themes
Recommended to Jim by: Erika
There are nearly 5,000 reviews of this book on GR, and the official synopsis explains clearly what is meant by the term ‘Unwind’. So, I am going to assume that those who read this are familiar with the basic premise. If not, that’s okay - some of the context will be evident here. But it is much easier to review this without major spoilers if I don’t try to tap-dance around the basics.

This book certainly deserves its legion of fans, and could become a phenomenal movie. I strongly recommend it for
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“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.”

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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 knocked m
May 13, 2012 Erika rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone

Have you ever wondered if one day, the doctors prefer replacing instead of healing? If one day, the parents can choose to keep or to terminate their child?
“You can't change laws without first changing human nature.”

“You can't change human nature without first changing the law.”

Today, authors of dystopian books are feeding us with various creative ideas. Many of us haven't noticed that Neal Shusterman has written a thrilling, bizarre, and incredible science fiction. This is a story when morals
Unwind is one of the best books I have ever read. Very rarely do I ever say that. It's one of those books that really leave an impact.

Where do I start? I must say, it was amazing in the most heart-pounding way. An incredible, well-crafted, gorgeously written book that is extremely fast paced, gripping, and suspenseful.

1. The characters: Complex & deep. My favorites are CyFi (Cyrus Finch) and Hayden. I adore them. They literally made me pause, close the book and ponder. True words of wisdom
Robin (Bridge Four)
Because I can’t resist a buddy read, here we go again a reread for me starting April 17 with Danae, Liz, Alexa, Vicky, Katie, Brandi, Lea, Casey, Cathryn, Shelly, Tandie, Jaime, D.G., Kate, Athena (Shardbearer) and Ashley

We are meeting on Buddies Books and Baubles

Reread April 2015

Unwind 5 stars
Unwholly 4.5 Stars
Unsouled 4 Stars
Undivided 5 OMG this My Favorite YA Series Stars

The thing I like about this book and this entire series really is how m
Sh3lly ♛ Queen of Dragons and Wandering Crustaceans ♛
Apr 19, 2015 Sh3lly ♛ Queen of Dragons and Wandering Crustaceans ♛ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sh3lly ♛ Queen of Dragons and Wandering Crustaceans ♛ by: Robin (Bridge Four)
Well, I'm giving this one all the stars.

I had no idea what to expect with this book. I knew it was YA dystopian and that's it. I tend to like dystopians, so I figured I had a decent chance of enjoying this. I was very pleased there were no annoying love triangles and none of the typical YA tropes and stereotypes. Yes, it's about teenagers. But it's not really about their behavior and what makes them teenagers. It's really a story of survival.

I'm not going to spend too much time summarizing this,
Should I read it? No. This is, without a doubt, the worst book I've ever read, and I would not dream of encouraging young people to read it.

What's the short and skinny of it? This is the official summary: "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
This book is set in a futuristic America where people may retroactively abort a child between the ages of 13-18 by a process called unwinding. When a child is unwound, nearly every part of them will be used as donations for people who need specific body parts. The plot centers on three different characters who are set to be unwound--a boy whose parents made the choice, a girl who is a ward of the state, and a younger boy whose parents had him solely to donate him as a "gift" to God. I was hooked ...more
Over dinner last week, I tried to explain the plot of Unwind to my friend Amy, a nurse.
So there was a civil war over reproductive rights.
And to end the war, both sides agreed that there would be no more abortion.
Got it.
But then parents can decide to have their kids unwound at the age of 13.
Wait, what?
The technology exists so that every part of the child would go to another person.
How the...?
Including their skin, major and minor organs, etc.
A lot of kids whose parents have signed their un
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
Buddy Read with one of my bests, Katerina (Kat)!

In a perfect world everything would either be 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.

Wow. I don't know what I expected....but it certainly wasn't that. I wasn't expecting a broken, tortured soul of a boy who would win my heart on page one. I didn't expect a fast-paced plot. I didn't expect disturbing and grotesque images that would haunt me fore
I couldn't UNWIND from this book! This is the first novel I've read of Neal Shusterman and definitely not the last! I was hooked immediately and could not put the book down. When I was done with this horrific fictional, dystopic journey, I literally couldn't pick another book up for over a week.

This book is about the battle between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice where the two groups reach a compromise called "The Bill of Life" that states - a life starts at conception and is protected until the age of
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 04, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ace and Aaron
Shelves: ya
Thanks to Ace for lending me this spectacular YA book!

This is the best YA dystopian fiction that I've read so far. Compared to say George Orwell's 1984, the writing seems to be ordinary but Shusterman's imagination is boundless. How could have thought of an idea where below 18 y/o teens are unwound, i.e., all their organs are harvested for transplant use?

While I was in the first 50 pages, I found the novel boring as it reminded me of the teenagers killing each other in Suzanne Collins' The Hung
One of my favourite genres of all time is horror. More specifically, horror that really gets underneath your skin, makes you uncomfortable, gives you nightmarish scenarios your brain likes to remind you of just as you're trying to get to sleep... But I find my high expectations for horror are very rarely met when it comes to YA novels.

Sure, there's horrible dystopias, such as the ones featured in The Hunger Games and Delirium, but neither of them have particularly scared me. I wouldn't want to l
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Unwind 9 35 May 05, 2015 08:22AM  
Rated YA-MA: Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Group Read December 2013) 276 306 Apr 22, 2015 09:28AM  
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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
More about Neal Shusterman...

Other Books in the Series

Unwind Dystology (4 books)
  • UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
  • UnSouled (Unwind, #3)
  • UnDivided (Unwind, #4)
UnWholly (Unwind, #2) Everlost (Skinjacker, #1) UnSouled (Unwind, #3) Bruiser Everwild (Skinjacker, #2)

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“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.” 807 likes
“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.” 680 likes
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