Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

"I'd rather be partly great than entirely useless."

The Second Civil War was fought over abortion. To end the war, a compromise is reached that ends the practice of abortion but creates an alternative called "unwinding." Between the ages of 13 and 18, parents can choose to have their children unwound, which involves having every part of their bodies transplanted to different donors so, technically, they don't really die. 

Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not useful enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, raised by religious parents for the sole purpose of being unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My rating:

I picked it up because:
I have a confession: I am one of those horrible people that judges books by their covers. No, not in the metaphorical way of judging people by how they dress or how they look, but in the actual way of judging actual books by their actual covers. And I do it shamelessly.
Unwind was one of those books I judged; it just gives off the general creeper vibe, right? But after absolutely rave reviews from my closest reading cohort, I doubtfully gave it a read.
What I liked:
Everything. Unwind went instantly from being a creepy-looking book to the book at the very top of my list. Everything that I look for in a good book, it's there. Unique characters, an original plot line, humor, a romance that's not in your face, a story line that makes you think, places that you bookmark so you can read it again, lines that have you crying or laughing and a story that makes you forget that the world written into those pages isn't real. In dystopian-esque novels, or any books where the future is changed, you have to wonder if it's plausible that the world could get that way; you find loopholes in bits of the past or in how the world can work. Unwind isn't like that. Every part of this future world has been thought-out and accounted for, and through Connor, Risa, Lev, and other characters you get to see it all. It's gut-wrenching, it's heart-twisting, and it's so, so, real.
What I didn't like:
The only thing I could possibly think of to put here is that it ended. I can't critique perfection.
I love, love, love this book. It's the best book on my shelves and it's the first book I recommend when people ask for a reading suggestion-I took time off from all the new books I have to read so I could re-read it and review it here. I can't promise everyone who reads it will be as enraptured with is as I am, but so far, everyone I've recommended it to has ended up loving it as much as I do. I think that record speaks for itself. Overall, read it. You won't regret it.
Read more reviews for Unwind at:


  1. i read this book. it was great!

  2. Awesome! Must mean we both have great taste in books. (:

  3. I loved this book too. I didn't think the premise was doable, but Shusterman did a great job making this not too ridiculous.

    1. I'm a huge Neal Shusterman fan after reading Unwind. I don't know if you've read it, but I also adore his Everlost series. I just love his style. (:

  4. I LOVED this book as well! Hands down, one of the most unforgettable books I've ever read. And some of the scenes in the book (you know the ones), absolutely chilled me to the bone. Neal Shusterman is a powerful writer. And your review is great, I don't know that I will ever be able to write a review for Unwind, and I don't know if I could ever re-read it, to be honest with you. It effected me THAT much. Have you read Bruiser, also by Shusterman? Almost as memorable as Unwind. I reviewed it on my site. And there is supposedly a sequel to Unwind, titled Unwholly, and a film in the works. So glad you popped by my blog, it's nice to meet new people:) Following you back, by the way:)

    1. You're right, it's completely unforgettable. It's still my go-to book whenever someone asks me for a recommendation. I also loved Neal Shusterman's Everlost series: he's so talented at creating a realistic world with a totally believable fantasy plot. I'll have to check out your review of Bruiser. I'll be in line as one of the first people to read Unwholly!