Monday, August 8, 2011

Review - Unwind (Unwind #1) by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwind (Unwind #1) (Amazon)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: 2007
Pages: 335
Genre: YA
Source: Library

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive. (Goodreads

Kim’s Take: This was a really good, disturbing, and thought provoking story. It is a story about a world where unwanted, or undesirable kids can be basically exterminated. They are “unwound”, which is a nicer way of saying that all of their organs and tissues are removed and transplanted in others. Even brain matter! This way, there are no abortions and because all parts are used from the individual unwound, the government feels that no one has lost a life.

Connor is 17 when his parents sign papers to have him unwound. There is nothing either Connor or his parents can do once this is done. It is set in stone. Risa grew up in a state home and has been chosen to be unwound because she has no skills they they feel will be useful. Lev has spent his whole life knowing that once he reached the age of 13, he would be unwound. He has embraced his religion and the thought that sacrificing himself is the right thing to do. He is not the only one to feel this way and is considered a “tithe”, along with others who are raised to voluntarily sacrifice their bodies to give back to the world.

On the day each of them is on their way to the camps they will be in until they are unwound, a sequence of events brings the 3 together. Connor and Risa will do whatever it takes to escape until they are 18 and safe. But they need to worry about Lev who is determined he must go through with his pledge of sacrifice. Will he purposely get them caught or decide that his beliefs have been wrong all along? 

There are so many events that happen which will make you hold your breath thinking “this is it”.

The only reason I couldn’t give it a 5 was a couple of events involving Lev which seemed a little unrealistic.

This is the first book in a series and I will definitely be reading the next!

It was a really great, original story and one I would really recommend to anyone.

Kim’s Rating: 4/5


  1. I got the shivers just reading this review. What could happen to a society that makes them think that they can raise children, get to know them for however many years and then just donate their organs. How could they possibly think that life isn't being lost. I'd love to read this just to see how the author makes the entire story come to life. Great review.

  2. Like Kris, your review made me shiver.
    It sounds like a very bleak world but I find it very intriguing, even though I don't normally read stuff like this,

    I think I'm going to put it in the To Buy List.

    Thanks for the awesome review.

  3. My friend keeps begging me to read this book!After your review I so need to pick it up!

  4. I agree with "disturbing and thought-provoking." This one kept me coming back to it for a long time. Great review.

  5. I don't think I ever read the description of this book, or even a review before now. But I'm sold! It sounds amazing and since you liked it so much... well, now I want to read it!

  6. Oh wow, this book sounds intense! I've not heard of this one before, but it's definitely something I'm going to have to check out. Great review!