Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Unwind: A Book Review

There is no way that Unwind would ever be made into a movie. The book is fantastic, and while the plot is very thought provoking, it's content would be way too controversial.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman was recommended by a friend from college. She's pretty good at knowing what type of books I will like, and when I will hate them, so I usually listen to her recommendations. Unwind is a completed fucked up story, and it's hard to express my thoughts about the first novel in this dystology without a few spoilers.

So you have been warned!!!

Usually I don't give plot synopsis' for my book reviews, but I think you need it for Unwind. In a future society after America has fought over reproduction rights, a law has been passed that parents can have their children unwound from the ages of 13 through 18. Essentially unwinding means it is a retroactive abortion, and unwound children's organs are harvested to help the sick or injured. Abortion has also been outlawed, but people are allowed to place children on doorsteps and force others to take care of unwanted children. By the law, they have to. If you think the results of the war between the pro-life and pro-choice supporters doesn't make sense, that's because it doesn't, but you do find out later how the unwind order comes to be.

The novel mostly focuses on three kids that are supposed to get unwound--Connor, Risa, and Lev. Shusterman not only is a fantastic storyteller, but he is very good at multiple perspective. He really gets into the head of all of the different points of view he employs. The voice of each speaker is so distinct, that he might not even need the name of the speaker at the top of each chapter.

He also has a way of making you feel empathy in different ways to these three very different kids who somehow come together. Connor at first is kind of a jerk-off, but that doesn't mean you want him to go to a Harvest Camp. Connor does some pretty stupid stuff in the beginning of the novel, but at the end you are rooting for him full throttle. He's impulsive, but his heart is in the right place. The character development here is amazing.

Risa is a ward of the state, so you immediately feel bad for her because the only reason they want to unwind her is for budget cuts. Yes, BUDGET CUTS! How messed up is that? You are always rooting for Risa to make it, because she never asked for this life.

Now, I think Lev might have even more character development than Connor. Lev is a tithe, which is a child that is bred for unwinding. They are essentially brainwashed into thinking that unwinding is their civic duty and that it is god's will for them to sacrifice themselves. Connor rescues him from his unwinding only to have Lev be very adamant about not shirking his duty. Lev goes his own way for a portion of the novel, but eventually sees the light about how morally wrong unwinding is. Maybe a little too much as we learn later that he gets involved with the "Clappers."You'll see who they are later, that's too big of a plot point to give away.

I hope I didn't spoil too much for you readers.  I want to empathize that this book is very well written. Shusterman spins a web of different outlooks and personalities that somehow seem to fit together so well. His writing is easy to follow, but I think the content of this novel deals with some very mature and heavy themes.

I highly recommend this book, and I'm giving it a 9 out of 10. I liked it that much.

What did you think of Unwind? Leave me a comment below.

Happy Reads Everyone!