Book Show & Tell: Unwind

Unwind is caps lock AWESOME, you know maybe a bit morbid and dark, but AWESOME! This is my second time reading a Neal Shusterman piece, and I am loving his work, and as far as I can tell they’ve all been incredible concept pieces that really take into consideration the “what-ifs,” and ramifications of how a society was built whether it be around AI, immortality, or, in this case, an ideological war.

The military was fracturing, and the people had to choose between the best of two evils, you were either Pro-Life or you were Pro-Choice, the in between was nothing but a bombing ground for the ever encroaching armies. They fought with a voracity and malice the likes of which the world had never seen, a disastrous war where everyone though they were right. And it would’ve torn the world apart were it not for the Bill of Life, a compromise between the two factions that made the abortion of a child under illegal, but in return they allowed a sort of retroactive abortion.

Parents of children between the ages of 13 and 18 could choose to unwind their child. Unwinding is the process of taking a living human being and separating them, removing limbs, eyes, blood, even brain tissue, and then doling them out to the needy public like organ transplants. The concept was that the child would still be alive, but spread in a “divided state” where perhaps they could one day achieve greatness. Or at least that’s how they justify it.

Shusterman’s story is the story of 3 kids set to be unwound, 16 year-old Connor running away from his home, 15 year-old Risa, a victim of circumstance who comes to joing Connor, and the unfortunate 13 year-old tithe, Lev, brainwashed his whole life to believe in the purity of being unwound only discovering the truth after being kidnapped by the two aforementioned teens. We follow their journey piece-by-piece, experiencing fast-paced action, suspense, tension, and thrills taking in every piece of world building, characterization, incredible dialogue, and just basic plot structure breathing it in as if it was the last we’d ever read. I cannot recommend this book more, 5 stars

Now disregard that last sentence because I’m gonna tell who I would actually recommend it to.

If you like:

  • Neal Shusterman’s writing style
  • Big worldbuilding projects
  • A splash of morbidity and dark humor
  • Philosophical and ideological debates
  • Dystopians or Sci-fi
  • And awesome books in general

then you’ll like this book, and if you dislike any of the points listed above then maybe don’t read it, it’s up to you. I personally really enjoyed the book, even through some of the tougher moments, and if you truly are interested on any level I would 100% recommend you to pick it up.

Adios, or something ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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