Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Unwind

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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's review
Jan 30, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites, young-adult, dystopia, reviewed-in-2011
Read from February 24 to 27, 2011

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 some point, when history looks back at us, will they consider us barbaric? Will they think we were cold and cruel and detached? It worries me sometimes, this lack of understanding, not just for the past or the future, but for any cultural difference whatsoever. And I’m not saying we should try to understand the society Shusterman created – I’m claiming the exact opposite. It is impossible for us to objectively look at any moment in time, including the present. We are too heavily influenced by our rules and beliefs. We are limited by our mentality.

The constant changing of POV bothered me at first, but after a while it really started to create the effect I believe Shusterman was going for. I actually think so many POV’s were necessary – they allowed us to fully understand the numbness of the society.

The next installment can’t come soon enough. I’ll be waiting. But for now, I’m going to hold my child tightly and be grateful for the choices I never have to make.
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message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Very well said, Maja. A lot of resonance with my own reactions.

message 1: by Meagan (new)

Meagan Lauber I was the same way when first reading the book. The idea of parents being able to sign away their children to be taken apart like old cars for scrap metal was absurd. Then as I continued to read about the characters and the society they lived in I started to see parallels between ours and theirs. There are some things our culture does that seem brutal and immoral to others yet we turn a blind eye to it, much like the people in Unwind.

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