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Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (2007)

by Neal Shusterman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Unwind (1)

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3,0632961,852 (4.26)208
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Showing 1-5 of 295 (next | show all)
I see an actual possibility of the world going down the shitter one day and landing us in a reality like “Unwind” represents – I blame TWERKING if it does. I can even prove it.

Erm...In one way this was a very good read, but in another it lacked so much. My thoughts were divided between the meaning of the novel – which I liked, and the actual world building and character development- which I didn't like as much.

If I could choose a true main subject of this novel, I would name it “Current Popular Morality”.

If we look at our world around us, the social acceptance is fueled by what society believes to be correct at the time. For example in this day and age, you are considered an enlightened, compassionate human being if you are a surrogate parent for a couple that can't have their own natural children for whatever reasons. A few decades ago you would be considered something akin to Frankenstein's monster if you chose to 'rent your womb out', mainly because it was considered extremely amoral, and people doing it cold and cruel, because what kind of mother is capable of giving birth and just giving her kid away. Our morality and the code of accepted behavior mutates with humanity, influenced mainly by the prolonged exposure of certain ideas and certain fashions. The longer you are exposed to 'shocking behavior' the more immune to it's shock value you become. Another example – a few years back, the dreaded 'duck face' was extremely popular on social media, now you're considered a loser if you do it. A few years back your passport photo would include your face, and now you are considered 'lame' unless that photo is actually an animated gif of you looking across your shoulder and exposing your quivering ass cheeks. What was considered extremely vulgar just a few years back became widely accepted behavior for women of all ages.

And we come to the conclusion- just because everyone does it, doesn't make it any less nasty.

If we apply the Current Popular Morality pattern to “Unwind”, the culture in witch destroying a normal, healthy human being for the sake of it's 'spare parts' is completely plausible. But probable? Not so much.

Here is what made me not connect with the world described in the novel. Current Popular Morality is a human social construct. It is flawed beyond imagining, simply by being a human social construct. It can't hold a candle or even dream to compete with mother nature. And she is a ferocious beast when riled....because she is a mother.

So when Shusterman introduces us to a world of so much disregard, neglect and will to kill your own flesh and blood with so little emotional connection, I don't buy it. At all. You see parents that don't bat an eyelid but simply choose to have their child torn apart because they were being rowdy teenagers. It doesn't make any sense.

Then you have the fact that the entire Bill of Life defies the current direction of humanity which is overpopulation. The people in this novel are allowed to have as many kids as they make, and are allowed to dump them on people's doorstep, and are allowed to have them cut up for the progress and continuation of life of mainly already mature adults. Doesn't make any sense at all. If anything a global wide forceful implementation of contraception is more likely to be the outcome, not a decree that allows the populace to breed like rabbits. With no contraception are we to believe no more disease is spreadable sexually in the future?

So this is why I had a hard time completely liking “Unwind”. As a YA, dystopian novel it focused more on the social aspect between the characters rather than interactions with the outside world. It was an original concept, but I wouldn't call it disturbing or creepy. Morbid maybe... Still it was a good read, but I won't be continuing the series. ( )
1 vote IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
Five stars. Absolutely. ( )
  KillerCorp | Jul 27, 2015 |
I have heard nothing but amazing things about this series, so I had pretty high expectations going into this book. I was expecting something incredible, and somehow I was still blown away.

I read this in one sitting. Which isn’t easy for me to do these days because of my eyes, but I just pushed through. I was so into the story and I cared so much about the characters, that I just ignored my eyes and kept going. I had to know what was going to happen next. How would it end? I had to know.

I unfortunately got Unwind from the library and they didn’t have the next book, UnWholly. I hope to buy the entire series soon. I need the next book in my life right now.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read Unwind and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | Jun 14, 2015 |
This book was really well told, but SO DISTURBING! I was horrified when I finished reading it. Yikes. Seriously. ( )
  Misty-Rose | Jun 1, 2015 |
Connor discovers his parents have signed the unwind order and runs away. He is not the smartest and takes his phone with him which the juvies track and find him. Connor manages to get away and causes a huge car accident, freeing risa an orphan on her way to get unwound, kidnaping lev a tithe, tranqing a juvie cop with his own tranq gun and becoming known as the Akron AWOL in the process. Connor Risa and Lev hide in a high school bathroom until Lev leaves and turns Risa and connor in. As the school is being evacuated by the juvies a teacher recognizes them and takes them to Sonna who hides AWOLs in the basement of her antique shop until they are picked up and taken to the graveyard. The graveyard is a old Air force base filled with retired planes that hides AWOLs until they turn 18. When the man in charge has a heart attack connor risa and roland( another AWOL they meet in Sonna’s basement) take him to a hospital and one of the nurses recognises them and turns them in. The juvies inform them that they knew about the graveyard the whole time and send them to a harvest camp. At the harvest camp there is a clapper attack by 3 clappers except one clapper didn’t clap and that clapper was lev. The attack happens after roland has been unwound, while Risa was on the roof playing piano and just as connor entered the chop shop to be unwound. The attack causes risa’s spine to be severed and connor to lose one of his arms and one of his eyes. They give him an eye and an arm from unwinds and the arm turns out to be rolands.

I really enjoyed this book. I like how Neal Shusterman has every chapter told from a different person's perspective. I would recommend this book to all of my friends. The only reason i didn't give it 5 stars is because i think its sad that parents unwind their kids because they don't want them anymore. ( )
  haileyb.b1 | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 295 (next | show all)
Let me start off by by saying that this is a really good book. I am having a really tough time getting through the first half of this book. Not because it's boring but because of how sickening it is. The idea of taking someone apart (willingly or other) is a really hard thing for me to stomach. That and the fact that the way this story is portrayed, unwinding is an actually feasible possibility in the real world. what's unwinding? Unwinding is when you take someone (they're always a minor), take their bodies apart, and send the parts off so that another person can have them. I bet you just reread that sentence, thinking: "what the hell?" but yeah, that's what it is.See, when they do this, it technically isn't murder, so to them that makes it okay. This is an interesting book that I am actively forcing myself to get through because I enjoy it just about as much as I am nauseated by it.
added by morgan434 | editepub

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Shustermanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daniels, LukeReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to the memory of Barbara Seranella
First words
"There are places you can go," Ariana tells him, "and a guy as smart as you has a decent chance of surviving to eighteen."
What he and Risa have isn't a relationship; it's just two people clinging to the same ledge hoping not to fall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In this futuristic society teenagers can be “unwound” for any number of reasons, including being a state ward or juvenile delinquency. When Connor finds out his parents have signed to order to have him unwound, he becomes a fugitive and accidentally frees a busload of other potential unwinds. He and his friend Risa must stay on the run until their 18th birthdays. With the help of some adults they find themselves in a colony of fugitives. But all is not well here, either, and it’s hard to tell who’s friend or foe.
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In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to survive until they turn eighteen.

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