Unwind Review

12 Aug

Book review time! I’ve been reading like crazy lately, trying to get back to my roots ‘n all 😀 This week’s read was Unwind by Neal Shusterman. As always, no major spoilers will be mentioned.

The premise of this book completely grabbed me. The book is set in a post-Second Civil War United States, where a compromise was made to end the war over reproductive rights. In order to preserve life, children could not be aborted until they reached 13, when the parents could choose to retroactively “abort” them until the age of 18 by giving them up for organ donation in a process called “unwinding.”

The story itself was a bit disappointing, clearly meant for younger readers. The vocabulary/writing style is nothing special, and both the story and the characters relied heavily on cliches.

The book focuses on three main characters- Connor, a troubled teen marked to be unwound; Risa, a ward of the state deemed unworthy of the investment; and Lev, a boy conceived to be unwound for religious reasons. They meet through coincidence and team up to outrun the government and fight to stay alive. Along the way, they meet unlikely allies and make enemies and just generally run into bad luck. I wasn’t a fan of the main characters because their motives and actions were so predictable it was painful, and they were stoic to the point of seeming emotionless and unrelatable. There IS a not-very-surprising-but-still-heartwarming twist at the end of the book that I enjoyed, but for the most part the book ended abruptly with very little closure or resolution.

Don’t get me wrong, this book is worth reading, at least to understand the government’s reasoning behind unwinding. At first you’ll balk at the idea of dismembering and donating a healthy child’s organs, but it’s a difficult issue and this outcome isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. I wish this book had been aimed at adults instead of teens. I’d give it a 2/5 because the idea was original and interesting, but the execution was very sub-par.

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3 Responses to “Unwind Review”

  1. hookershorde August 12, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    As ever, love your insightful posts. My eighth graders actually read unwind. I’d love to share this post with them when they finish it.

    • Olivia August 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Thank you! It’s a good book for a younger audience but it really bothered me for some reason :\

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  1. Unwind, Unwholly….Neal Shusterman is my hero | Sharing Stories - August 17, 2013

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