Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Buy the Book: Amazon
Author's Website: Storyman.com
In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.
With breath-taking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents' tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVED THIS BOOK. I can't even express to you how much I enjoyed Unwind. It was definitely not a "light" read, but it was extremely thought provoking. It made me consider insane possibilities that once seemed so far out of the question. I easily finished it in one day. That was a week ago. It's still taking over my mind.
At first Connor seemed rash, and a little immature, but he quickly grew into an icon even I couldn't help but admire. Risa was loving and careful, completely the opposite of Connor. Together they made the perfect balance. Lev was possibly the most interesting character, and he was definitely the one who matured and changed the most. Roland. Leader? Or bully? A little of both, perhaps more of the latter, but even so, did that mean he deserves to be unwound? Emby, a little lost, a lot bullied, and nameless, has a much different role than even he could have foreseen. Mai, mistreated, and very unpredictable. Hayden, by far my favorite, wasn't afraid of asking the questions no one else could and had an unwavering sense of humor that I loved. Their stories are woven together beautifully in Unwind to create a story like no other.
Yes, this book seems completely impossible, but while I was reading it, it was so real. Periodically I had to quite literally pull myself out of the book, take a breath, and remind myself that it wasn't actually happening. Although I was at the beach in beautiful, warm, sunny Florida I still couldn't stop reading this book. I had to be reminded to eat because I was so completely engrossed. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone with good taste;)
This is history, it just hasn't happened yet.
- Sexual Content: Minor
- Profanity: Mild
- Violence: Moderate
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