Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

764347This dystopian novel takes past several years after the second American Civil War.  This war wasn’t a war of slavery, state’s rights, or geographic pride—it was a war of reproductive rights.  The leaders of the time ruled that “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.” There are many different reasons that a child becomes an unwind.  First, there are the delinquents, like Connor.   His parents decided that it was just too much trouble to keep him.  Then, there are the wards of the state—the orphans, the motherless, the unwanted—like Risa.  And finally, the tithe like Lev. Tithes are unlike the other two types of unwinds.  Being a tithe is an honor, you are a give to God.  Some religious families feel that it is there duty to God to give up there tenth child as a love sacrifice to God, and a thank you for blessing them with such a fantastic life.  Usual circumstances have brought Connor, Risa, and Lev together and now there is only one thing they can do—RUN.

Unwind is a power book, that makes the readers’ heartache for not only the main characters, but even the bullies and bad guys.  This book makes the reader looks at today’s controversial issue of Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice is a unique light that only a fiction book would allow.   This book never blatantly says how reader should feel about the issue, but allows the reader to search their own mind.  Not only does the book make the reader think deeply about social issues, but also about how to define sentience, consciences, and identity. 

I very much enjoyed this book, and think it is one of the most powerful piece of fiction I have ever read.  There is one chapter in this book, which is so haunting that I thought about it for weeks after I read it.

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