Friday, April 10, 2009

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

book 1 of 4 for the It's the End of the World II Challenge
genre: young adult/post-apocalyptic
rating: 5/5

If you're anything like me, Unwind will knock your socks off. Imagine a future world: it's illegal to terminate a pregnancy, but parents and the state have the right to "unwind" (or retroactively terminate) any teen between the ages of 13 and 18. To unwind: to surgically divide up a body into ALL its parts and distribute them to people who need those parts. So, in a way, you're not really dead, right? You're just "divided" or "alive in a different way." Right.

For three very different teenagers from three very different backgrounds, this future is real and is out to get them. These "unwinds" find themselves trying to survive - find a safe place where they can hide out until they turn 18 and can no longer be unwound. I love that I had no idea where this book was going, time after time. The ethical issues are staggering and beat at the heart of what it is to be alive. The complexity of the characters made me never sure of what choices they would make, and I love that. While the idea of retroactive abortion sounds incredibly gory, the book never is - it's written with care and depth. It's an empowering and intriguing look at finding your strength and being willing to stand up when the time is right.

4 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, what a creepy premise. Sounds thought provoking.

Beth F said...

I'm not sure if this one is right for me, but great review.

Joy said...

Woooo! This sounds great! I'm going to keep my eyes open for this one.

Deb said...

but wasn't the unwinding scene still really intense and creepy? i tried reading that chapter during lunch. NOT a good idea.

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