Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Year Published: 2007

Genre: YA dystopian
Pages: 335
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Challenges:
Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): USA (Arizona and Ohio)


FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from Amazon): In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he is a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed--but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far awy.

Review: You know what's the worst? I loved this book and when I got to the end I discovered some student had torn out the final page. The final page! Now I have to see if I can track down another copy of the book to read the final page!

Okay, I'm movin' on. I had never read a Neal Shusterman book until recently when I read Bruiser, which I really liked. Then someone suggested Unwind and boy am I glad they did! What a crazy concept: the US has a law that one cannot touch a child from conception to age 13, but from 13 to 18 one can "unwind" them. This means taking every piece of them and donating to others. It's the ultimate organ donation program! No more preventative medicine because the ill can just pay for a new organ or body part. So creepy and so well done.

The characters are really good in this book, too. Connor is angry, but intelligent so realizes he needs to change his ways to survive. Risa is wise beyond her years but afraid to trust after 16 years in an orphanage. And Lev believes he was born to be unwound; he's the 10th child, the family tithe. They must work together to save themselves and perhaps others.

Shusterman has such a way with a story; he pulls me in from the first page and keeps me wanting more. And now I must find another copy of Unwind, photocopy the final page, and paste it into this copy so no one else has this feeling of being left hanging at the end of a really good book.

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