Monday, February 4, 2013


by Neil Shusterman

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

SynopsisIn America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.
With breath-taking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents' tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.

Review:  Huh, what can I say about this book?  To say that I am appalled and disturbed that our society could believe that unwinding (the process of taking apart a teenager because they are unwanted by their parents or society instead of having the procedure of abortion) is the right way to go is an understatement.  I woke up one morning after reading part of the book the night before and couldn't sleep anymore because I was so disturbed by the concept-to think that a parent could have their child unwound after living with them for 13-17 years is so preposterous. I know this book is fiction but it's still so hard to believe that the author came up with this idea!  I've read other dystopian society books-the Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent and Insurgent.  While they are all fiction, the other two series that I mentioned seem more believable.  While the hunger games is a horrible event, parents had their hands tied regarding the event.  An unwinding is completely preventable and I just can't wrap my mind around why anyone would sign their child up for that voluntarily.  With that being said, the book is well written (although to me read very juvenile-it is clearly a young adult fiction book) and keeps the reader engaged.  It was an interesting read but you must be prepared to be disturbed!

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that found unbelievable certain book premises. I know a lot of parents would be only too eager to unwind their kids. But I think others and I don't want to argue if they would be a majority or a minority would be as creeped out by the whole unwind matter as we readers are. Think about the parents of troubled kids (if you know any) Some of them would send their kids away, toss them out of their houses, enroled them in a boarding/military school, consider reform institutions or foster parenting. But the book makes it look like the whole majority will prefer unwinding to any other option.

    That's the beauty of the book anyway. I found the whole premise unbelievable and yet I find that the writing talent of the author made me completly unable to stop reading it till the end.