Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman
By: Neal Shusterman
Published: November 6, 2007
Published By: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Description: 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 doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.
My Thoughts: Unwind was a dystopian that I absolutely loved. It was creative and thought provoking and just all around great!!!
Unwind is told from multiple POV's, but the main characters are Connor, Risa, and Lev. All of their circumstances differ severely but through an interesting sequence of events, they join together (or so it seems) The idea in this book is that the Pro Choice and Pro Life groups began to fight with each other in a war. As a result, abortions are no longer legal. Instead, once the child reaches the age of 13 the parent has 5 years to decide whether or not they want to have them "unwound" a process by which your body is basically separated and used as parts and transplants for other people. In theory, you are never actually killed, you just exist in other forms.
Connor is a kid who messes up a lot. He doesn't do well in school and generally gives his parents a tough time. After he finds out of his parents plans to have him unwound, he sets of a crazy chain of events that cause him to meet our other main characters. Keep in mind that NOTHING in this book is arbitrary. It all happens for a reason and builds and builds and builds until there's nothing left for it to do but explode all over the place.
Risa is a ward of the state. She has been living in a state home, and is a pretty decent individual. She gets fairly good grades, plays classical piano, does well taking care of kids, but isn't spectacular in any real way. It's for this reason that she is sent to be unwound. After all, the state homes can't keep EVERY ward of the state can they? They'd be over run eventually, and for that reason, they only keep the remarkable ones.
Lev is a tithe. Apparently, since the bible says you need to tithe 10% of everything you own, which in some people's eyes include 10% of your kids. Since Lev is the 10th kid of his family, he is nominated to be tithed before he is even born. He grows up thinking it's an honor and its wonderful and all that. He is planned to be unwound following his 13th birthday.
These three characters collide by Connor's actions and soon the book "unwinds" (pun intended) into a stream of issues and stories and generally brain scratching ideals that will have you believing this could actually happen. Neal Shusterman leaves no topic untouched. What happens to the mothers who don't want their kids or have them through rape, etc? They are "storked" (left on peoples doorsteps for others to legally own or dropped at the state homes. Even the idea of people who get the unwound parts and whether or not the spirit of the original owner still resides in those parts is touched.
Untouched is a wild ride of a book that you know is going to be horrible and scary and dangerous and frightening, but you just have to stay on to see how it will all end. It's freaking AMAZING!!!! I would recommend it to any and everyone who loves dystopians.
I don't have very many issues with the book. It seemed super long with a lot of different parts, and sometimes I found myself hoping I could just get to the conclusion and find out what happens, but as I stated earlier, all parts are necessary, so read them all. I give this book 5 LARGE stars.