Review–Unwind (Unwind Trilogy #1) by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (Unwind Trilogy #1)
by Neal Shusterman
Summary: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
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.

Source: I purchased a paperback copy of this book.



Unwind was an absolutely brilliant novel! I was blown away. The storyline was unique and intriguing. The characters wormed their way into my heart. The plot, though far-fetched, was incredibly thought provoking and could be a great discussion starter, as it brings up a multitude of points and parallels. Unwind is an intelligent novel: one that has an enjoyable and action packed plot, but also lingers with us and makes us think about human nature.

I can’t praise this book enough and I’m sad that I let it sit on my shelf unread for so long. I was in the mood for something smart and mind blowing and that’s exactly what I got from Unwind. At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the book because I couldn’t see how the concept of unwinding could ever be a thing and I’m usually quite picky about how plausible futuristic novels can be. I was also curious as to how the world got to the state it was in at the start of the novel and my curiosity, mixed with the skepticism, drove me nuts for a bit. It didn’t take long for me to sit back and really enjoy the book. Eventually the concept of unwinding grew on me and the intelligence of the plot made up for however far fetched I believe the idea to be and I was able to really appreciate what the novel was trying to say and enjoy the adventure of the characters. To me, that’s all I can ever ask of a novel!

Connor and Risa were my favorite characters. Connor’s drive and Risa’s intelligence worked really well together and got them through a lot of sticky situations. I thought Connor was reckless and ridiculous at first, but his adventures matured him along the way and he was a better person with Risa around. I loved the conflict with Roland and watching all of the characters try to figure out how to deal with it in the right way, while Roland took advantage of every moment to put himself at the top of the totem pole. The structure and dynamics of the group of Unwinds was really fascinating to me.

Unwind has everything I could ever ask for in a novel. It was a smart, interesting, and futuristic. The characters were three dimensional and all of them grew in different ways. The adventure was action packed and fast paced. The story had a bit of romance, along with other relationships that were built along the way. It even went so far as to be philosophical, from questions of ethics to spirituality. And it’s also completely horrifying. Perhaps the book's best aspect is that it doesn't quite follow the patterns I've grown accustomed to in YA fiction. It's a different story, told in a different way, with different focuses than what I would have expected based on the synopsis. I found this aspect to be a good thing and very refreshing. Books like this keep me on my toes and prevent me from growing bored with genres.

Unwind is a GREAT read. I cannot recommend this book more. Seriously. Read it. Everyone should read it. So we can all discuss it! =)

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