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message 1: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
Unwind by Neal Shusterman is Wendy's pick for November. Please post your discussions here.


message 2: by Jenn (last edited Nov 09, 2017 02:26PM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
What do you think of Unwind so far?

I read this book 8 years ago, and the idea of "storking" is one I didn't forget.


message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie Place | 87 comments Wow what an interesting book... scary and sad but interesting. The author is very creative to come up with these ideas. Storking I just can’t wrap my head around people being so cold hearted that they just keep passing this innocent new born around until it dies because no one took care of it 😔 but the idea of unwinding children is so horrible and cruel it’s like this society had no emotional connections to their children at all. I had a hard time putting this book down it was very well written and kept me wanting to know what’s going to happen next. The character development was great I thought even with non main characters. I felt like I was feeling what Roland was going through when he was being unwound... that was probably the hardest part of the book to read. At least the book left us with some hope for the future of this society.


message 4: by Jenn (last edited Nov 26, 2017 10:27AM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
Maybe it's because I'm a parent now, but reading Unwind this time around--the whole book seems unlikely. It's as fast-paced as ever, and the characters are well written, but I can't suspend my disbelief in the parents' apathy this read through.

When I read Unwind 8 years ago, I remember thinking, "I don't think parents would be cool with the government harvesting their misbehaved kids' organs, but, sure, let's pretend they would be." This time around, I can't get into the kids' minds as easily. I keep being pulled into the parents' heads, or what I think should be the parents' heads.

I like that Unwind tackles abortion, and not just as a periphery subject but as the novel's main focus. Not many YA books do. Hell, not many adult books do.


message 5: by Jenn (last edited Nov 27, 2017 09:35AM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
Okay, finished. I'm standing by my original 5-star rating, if only because, damn, that one scene.

I've been thinking on it, and I've decided that I like author Shusterman's decision to make the adults in his world bizarrely okay with their kids being "unwound," or killed. He's pro-life, I think. It's hard to tell from the book, even though it's all about abortion, but I'm going to say Shusterman is pro-life, and that Unwind is his way of asking the world, "What if the person you were aborting were 13 years old and someone you could see instead of -6 months old and someone hidden?"

That all of the adults in this book complacently accept the "unwinding" of these unwanted youths could represent adults who complacently accept abortion. That sort of complacency seems bizarre to people who believe abortion is murder--as bizarre as these characters' complacency toward unwinding seems to readers.

Shusterman gives this subject the thoughtfulness it deserves. In the world of Unwind, abortion is illegal. Unwanted babies are allowed to be "storked," to be left on the doorsteps of others, who are then legally obligated to raise them. Most often, storking occurs in rich (probably conservative) neighborhoods. Shusterman provides us with scenes showing how these people react to having been made to take responsibility for these infants. This is a great reflection of the prevailing attitude among conservatives: they want to force girls and women to carry their babies to term, even to keep their babies after birth, but they don't want to help out at all. When it comes to providing public assistance for the impoverished--a large chunk of whom are single women with children--the conservative vote will almost always be a resounding No. It gives weight to the argument that a lot of pro-lifers don't actually care at all about saving babies' lives but are instead attempting to punish women for having sex.

It's a good book. Thanks for picking Unwind this month, Wendy.


message 6: by Wendopolis (new)

Wendopolis | 77 comments When I first began this book, I was a little disappointed that I picked this book, because it felt a little light. As I continued to read, however, it soon became clear that this book is anything but light. It is, in a word, horrific. I agree with Jenn that is hard to believe parents would be ok with retroactive abortion, and I also agree that the parents are representative of abortion supporters today.

I think the takeaway from this book, at least for me, is that all life, at all stages, is precious. Born, unborn, old, all life. I think sometimes “prolife” people unfortunately think that just keeping a baby from being aborted is the victory, when it is only the beginning.


message 7: by Wendopolis (new)

Wendopolis | 77 comments And Storking is representative of just getting the baby born and after that, too bad, you made your bed, lie in it.


message 8: by Wendopolis (new)

Wendopolis | 77 comments Forgot to say that the harvest camp reminded me so much of a Nazi death camp--all that it was missing was the motto 'Work will set you free'.


message 9: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
I can see that.

Are you going to read the rest of the series?


message 10: by Wendopolis (new)

Wendopolis | 77 comments Maybe eventually. I’m not in any hurry to visit that world anytime soon


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