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Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (2007)

by Neal Shusterman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Unwind (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2593221,694 (4.24)215
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    Citizenjoyce: The certainty of one's usefulness to others being accomplished only by the loss of one's life is present in both books.
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  6. 30
    Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman (librarylife59)
    librarylife59: Both of these books by Neal Shusterman depict a different world that should be hard to see as real, but somehow come across incredibly realistically. Fantastic reads!
  7. 10
    Gray Matter by Gary Braver (allthesepieces)
    allthesepieces: Authority figures are, at best, disinterested as children are collected and medically altered to serve a hidden agenda.
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» See also 215 mentions

English (320)  Italian (1)  All languages (321)
Showing 1-5 of 320 (next | show all)
You see, a conflict always begins with an issue - a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn't matter anymore, because now it's about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.

The Second Civil War was fought between the Pro-Life and the Pro-Choice. In the end, both sides were satisfied, but neither won. The Bill of Life was created, stating that "human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen."

Wait, what?

...between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively "abort" a child on the condition that the child's life doesn't "technically" end.

"Unwinding" is what that process is called. When a child is unwound, every part -- organs, hair, teeth, everything -- is taken for transplants.

Unwind is the story of three such children -- Connor, Risa, and Lev -- and their fight to survive against the system that tries so hard to get rid of them.

Lev is a tithe. He comes from a devoutly religious family that has planned to unwind him his entire life. As a tithe, he's grown up believing that he's somehow special, somehow different from everybody else. Risa is a ward of the state, send to be unwound because of budget cuts. Risa is a talented pianist, but not talented enough to be permitted to live. Connor is a troubled teen. He's gotten in a few fights and his parents just don't know what to do with him anymore. Instead of trying to figure out how to help him, they sign the order to unwind him.

When Connor realizes that he's going to be unwound, he runs away from home. In running away, he inadvertently causes a bus crash that helps Risa escape, and then grabs Lev out of the car that's leading him to his own unwinding. The three of them have several misadventures while trying to avoid being arrested by the Juvey-cops who seek out AWOL unwinds.

I had a lot of trouble getting into this book. Something about the writing style threw me off, and I didn't like that the perspective changed so frequently.

I also struggled with the premise. I can't understand how the Bill of Life was accepted by either side. Abortion is prohibited, but it's okay to kill teenagers? Even if they're not "technically" dead (which, yes, they are), how is it socially acceptable to sentence your kid to unwinding just because you don't like their choices? What kind of parents think, "Hey, Connor punched a kid again. Instead of talking to him about it, I think I'll get rid of him." I mean, seriously. How did this become socially acceptable? How is this legally acceptable? How did the Pro-Life side accept this? How did the Pro-Choice side accept this?

I did like Connor and Risa. I was more or less indifferent to Lev throughout. Connor grew to be a great leader, and I liked how Risa was able to help him channel his anger into survival skills. Risa was pretty great since she was able to adapt to every situation they got themselves into. It was nice to see a heroine who isn't dependent on a boyfriend to get through tough times.

All in all, there was a lot going on in Unwind. I could go for some of it. Other parts just didn't work for me. I'd give two stars for the beginning and four stars for the end, so it'll even out to three. I wouldn't consider Unwind to be a waste of my time, but I likely won't be reading any of the books that follow it. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
Tears in my eyes at the end. Full of hope. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Tears in my eyes at the end. Full of hope. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
Tears in my eyes at the end. Full of hope. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
Wow, this was a seriously disturbing book. After the Heartland War, "Unwinding" is made legal: instead of having legal safe abortions, parents may choose to retroactively "unwind" unwanted children, starting at age 13 and ending at age 18, when they become legal adults. The unwinds' organs and body parts are harvested for transplants, as transplanting has become the normal way of medical treatment.

We follow the stories of Connor, Risa and Lev, all slated for unwinding for various reasons, as they go AWOL and try to find a place in the world that has rejected them.

It's intense, I tell you. Ultimately good, but man, I had a really hard time getting to sleep after this one. ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 320 (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

» Add other authors

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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