Review of Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.


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I was first introduced to Unwind a couple of weeks ago, when a blogger shared a Youtube video on Twitter. It was one of the most difficult videos I have ever watched - although only 5 minutes long, it showed a scene made for a MainStay Productions, detailing what happens at the Unwinding. Do not watch this if you're easily scared, I love horror movies but at the end of this I was shaking and crying, going through a mini panic attack. It really stuck in my head.

Unwind, the book that it, didn't stick quite as much. Of course, I saw the video first and I have read a little of Neal's other book, Everlost, so I knew that the story wouldn't quite live up the video and be a bit silly in places. But I was still a little disappointed. The story is great, lots of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting, hard hitting storylines but it just felt a little too Middle Grade at times. Plot lines that were a little TOO silly to be believable, to start with. I believe a true Dystopia is something you can picture happening and this was clearly a very odd other dimension. Full of crazy people. And airplane scrap yards. Didn't affect me at all.

It was fun finding the Christian references in this. The biggest one was Lev and it was interesting to see his family's reasoning for him being a Tithe and how the interpreted the Bible to fit around this really bizarre idea the world has. King Solomon was touched upon briefly, slightly hidden and so was Moses. But less hidden.

As for the sequels, are they needed? I quite enjoyed the ending and it would be interesting to see what happens next but I didn't feel that there was much in the way of a cliffhanger and I feel that I would be perfectly content to leave it at that.

3/5

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