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Unwind (Unwind, #1)
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Unwind Book Review - Sophia Sloan

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Sophia | 16 comments Unwind – Neal Shusterman
Reviewed by Sophia Sloan
The world that Unwind by Neal Shusterman tells is one after the devastating Heartland War, where pro-life and pro-choice armies battle in the second American civil war to finally settle the controversy of abortion, but was able to end when both armies settled upon an agreement. The result: unwinding. In the series that consists of four books, they never explain what exactly unwinding is, but the author gives you a brief idea.
A kid, between the ages of 13 and 18, can be sent by their parents to a harvest camp, where their body is taken apart and donated to people who get hurt. For example, breaking a spine, popping an eyeball out, etc. Anything that is broken or ruined, can be replaced. Even parts of the brain. This works so effectively that people just stop trying to treat illness.
The story follows mainly three kids who are sent by their parents to be unwound, but manage to escape, and they’re now on the run from the authorities. Connor is a kid with anger issues and bad grades, Risa is a ward of the state who is sent to be unwound because she has no special talents, and Levi is a tithe. Tithes are the parents of religious fanatics who raise children to send them to be unwound to ‘give back to God’.
Through the story they narrowly escape the authorities multiple times and hop from safe house to safe house until they reach their mysterious destination that no one in charge seems willing to reveal, while trying to un-brainwash Levi.

I see people claiming that the plot of the story seems highly likely in the near future, and I have to disagree strongly. Although organ transplants are commonplace today, I think it’s highly unlikely for people to be trading limbs and spines anytime soon, let alone taking them from children.
What really irks me the most about this series is that the concept of unwinding just doesn’t seem possible to me in the slightest. Thirteen year old kids aren’t even fully developed yet and are obviously smaller than full grown adults, so it’d be terribly awkward for a 30 year old man to try to maneuver a thirteen year old’s arm grafted to his body.
Now I’ll address the elephant in the room. The fact that there’s an entire civil war about abortion, and nothing else. The idea of a civil war over abortion in America seems incredibly unlikely, especially with how it ended with the Unwind Accord. The idea of unwinding could be made to seem somewhat possible in a totalitarian regime where almost everyone is brainwashed, but this takes place in America, and Shusterman doesn’t even remotely suggest that idea in the series.
But besides that, if you can manage to get over the ridiculous plot points then you’ll find a story different than anything you might have read before. There’ll be points in the story where you’ll end up squirming in your seat. So, if you’re into that kind of thing, I’d recommend Unwind by Neal Shusterman.


message 2: by Des'Ree (new)

Des'Ree Henry | 16 comments This book seems intresting. What did you like most about the book?And would you read it again?


message 3: by Sophia (new) - added it

Sophia | 16 comments Des'Ree wrote: "This book seems intresting. What did you like most about the book?And would you read it again?"

I'm not sure if this is something I'd read again, because the entire series consists of four books which is a lot of pages. For the most part I enjoyed the book, but the ending in the fourth book left me disappointed honestly.


message 4: by Erika (new)

Erika Thorsen | 47 comments Mod
I have to agree with you on the premise -- it just doesn't work for me. I didn't read the series based on the description on the book cover; I had the same thought as you -- what are the chances a society (and parents) would allow such a thing? Sure there are the occasional monsters, but to have a whole society endorse this idea? I don't buy it. If so, their civil war would more likely be over this! Maybe by putting the two issues together (abortion and unwinding) Schusterman is trying to say something? Do the same characters who oppose abortion support unwinding? If so, I could see he's maybe trying to highlight some hypocrisy. . . ?


message 5: by Sophia (new) - added it

Sophia | 16 comments Erika wrote: "I have to agree with you on the premise -- it just doesn't work for me. I didn't read the series based on the description on the book cover; I had the same thought as you -- what are the chances a ..."
From when I read it I assumed that it would be a piece about abortion, and from how I read it, the book seemed to show an anti abortion stand point by comparing abortion to killing teenagers, which is kind of ridiculous. It's a shame that this book is kind of silly, because his Arc of a Scythe series is actually really good, and reading the first two books in that series is what encouraged me to give this book a chance.


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