Saturday, August 20, 2011

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Published: November 2007

ISBN:  9781416912040
Available: Amazon 

**This review may contain minor spoilers.

I wasn't too sure about this book when I started. I'm not normally a fan of constant view point switching, especially when two main view points are teenage boys. But in Unwind it really worked.

Unwind is a true dystopian novel. A near perfect future, where everyone accepts that unwinding your unruly teen is a good idea, and being a sacrificial unwound is an honor. Having each part of a body recycled in order to provide a better life to someone unfortunate is touted as normal. But where does life end? What defines a person? And what if your parents changed their minds?

This was an awesome book. I loved the struggle these kids faced in figuring out what value they had. Connor is ordered unwound by his parents, deemed to difficult. His story had me crying immediately. That he knew what his parents were planning, was simply too heartbreaking.

Lev's story line was equally as sad. He was born and bred to be a tithe, his parents tenth child conceived to be unwound, and had accepted that it was his honor to be unwound. I loved that his story was not clear cut. When he's taken hostage by Connor and eventually finds himself on his own, Lev struggles to hold onto his beliefs and comes face to face with the question of what happens to a person's soul when every piece of their body is ripped apart and kept living.  

The one area I found lacking was in Risa's story. I didn't connect with her and frankly found her a bit blah. I suppose the fact that she had been a ward of the state and was being unwound, simply because it was too expensive to keep her alive, should have garnered sympathy, but I just didn't feel it. Her story was sad, but she just seemed so boring, like she'd been added in for as a love interest to attract female readers.

This is definitely on my recommend list. Just be forewarned that it is a total tearjerker! 

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