"Unwind" by Neal Shusterman

March 5, 2012
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Unwind is a science-fiction novel by Neal Shusterman.The book take place in a dystopian America with the focus being “Unwinding” which is where the parents of a child can choose to have all of their children’s body parts removed and placed in someone who needs it, but only from the age of 13 to 18. The plot involves the characters, Connor, Risa, and Lev, who are all on their way to being Unwound. Connor and Risa, naturally, have no intention of having this happen to them. Lev, however, has been born and raised to believe that his Unwinding will be a holy act, and that he is superior to the other Unwinds. Connor decides to run away, along the way meeting Risa and Lev. Together they are on a mission to survive to 18. Filled with moments of extreme stress and uncertainty.

This book is my favorite to date, it’s a goldmine of literature. The book is jam-packed with emotion, and very rarely a calm moment. This is not to it’s disadvantage, however. The emotion makes it all the more engaging, and it is nearly impossible to put it down. The way it’s written is quite unique, each chapter of it is written from another point of view. It gives you a full understanding of all that happens, so you can fully comprehend all of the conflict and all purpose of the characters’ actions. The characters themselves are very vividly described, and you can’t help but imagine them in your head. The whole book enraptures you into a almost trance - like state as you’re reading. Especially near the ending, I won’t spoil it, but it is the greatest piece of writing I’ve come across. You feel frozen in terror and yet can not take your eyes away. It is just pure gold, or something greater.

The whole book centers around one main idea “life”. The concept of life, alone is a very sensitive subject. To add to this, you have to determine exactly when someone actually becomes a living being. It does make you think, and there is not really a correct answer, you just have to come to one on your own. While this may technically be a self-taught process, it is the novel that opens up these ideas and decisions for you to make. Perhaps the greatest example I can offer is where Connor is trapped in a crate with several other unwinds, where they are all discussing life, what happens when you are unwound, and so on. Each idea you really have to consider, even if they can be biased or silly. Because, there is very little we know for sure about life. The rest we need to come to our own conclusion.

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