Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Unwind - Neal Shusterman

TITLE: Unwind

AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman

SUMMARY: In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them

Connor''s parents want to be rid of him because he''s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev''s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family''s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can''t be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers'' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive. - From Publisher

REVIEW: Shusterman creates a world that I would never want to see come to fruition. The whole story is a cautionary tale and one I definitely think should be read.

I picked this book up due to a fellow reader writing that if you liked Suzanne Collins Hungry series that you'd enjoy this book. While I suppose they are the same I think Collins series is more fast paced and action, which isn't surprising considering what goes on in those books. Shusterman's Unwind in comparison was... far more depressing? *ponders* Yeah, I think I'd go with depressing & heavy.

Parents choose to have their children unwound, which basically means they are taken apart piece by piece, organ by organ while alive (I view this like having a c-section you can feel them doing stuff and it's not super comfy fun but not really painful either, with that said knowing you are being dismantled would be painful). Once they are dismantled they are passed to those that are in need and deemed worthy of survival. As a parent I cannot even comprehend opting to chop up my child so some kid that can play the piano beautiful would live longer. This is taking organ donors & that CSI episode where that crazy killed people for their organs to the extreme.

That aspect along with 'storking' newborns (the law now states that after you have a child you can leave it at someone's door and it's their job to raise it, by law) just broke my heart and made this potential future so depressing and haunting. There's a scene where they really dive into storking and it just shattered me, actually there were a few aspect of this book that just shattered me.

The book is heavy, but creates some good conversation and if I were an English teacher I'd be all over this for a novel study. After reading I couldn't help but take a look at my life and wonder if I'd be unwound...

I think my biggest issue with this book was that there were a bit too many character storylines going on and while they did all connect and made for a beautiful tale I felt like I could never invest fully in them. Too much switching to fully sink into their stories.

All in all a good book, probably not a book you bring on vacation for a light read but one I highly recommend reading.

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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