Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Thisslightly disturbing book may have taken a few chapters to get into, but once Ifinished reading it I could not get the idea out of my head. Neal Shusterman created a perfectly plausibleyet horrifying book about children between the ages of thirteen and eighteenwho are “unwound,” meaning that they are cut apart and their body parts aretransplanted into other human beings, thus preventing their lives from trulyending.
Thisbook capitalizes on the statement that parents always say to their children: “Ilove you all equally”. However, in Unwind, if a child is too rowdy ordifficult to control, parents can simply choose to unwind them; after all, if100% of their body is reused, the parents aren’t truly killing their own fleshand blood, are they? If an extraordinaryhuman being has a heart attack, wouldn’t it be more prudent for that person to be given the heart of a young child whowould have amounted to virtually nothing? These pressing questions are always in the minds of the people ofShusterman’s world.
Unwind follows Connor,Risa, and Liv as they make their treacherous journeys to safety. Neal Shusterman did a great job of creatingrealistic characters, each not without their own flaws. I am always slightly annoyed when authorscreate heroes and heroines in their books that appear to be perfect in everyway. Shusterman, however, really accentuatedhis characters’ flaws, especially Connor’s propensity for fighting, in a waythat made them seem even more authentic and relatable.
Onepart of the story that bothered me was the forced aspect of Connor and Risa’srelationship. In the beginning, Risa hada brilliantly snarky attitude, especially towards Connor, which simplydisappeared when she began falling for him. It seemed to me as though Shusterman merely said to himself, “Connor isa boy. Risa is a girl. Why don’t they fall in love?”
Connorand Risa’s relationship notwithstanding, Unwindwas an excellent book that I would definitely recommend. However, if you are just looking for a quick,fun read, I have to warn you that this book is not for you; the disturbingnature of Shusterman’s world and the questions that arise from it are likely tostay with you for quite some time.