Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Set in the future, the second civil war is 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 17, parents or guardians can choose to have their children unwound, which involves having every part of their bodies harvested to be "donated" to another person so, technically, they don't really die. The complex and compelling plot follows three teens whose stories intertwine when they escape while on their way to the harvest camps. Fifteen-year-old Connor's parents can no longer control him. Lev, a tithe, was raised by religious parents for the sole purpose of being unwound. Risa, a ward of the state, is a victim of shrinking budgets since she is not a talented enough musician to be kept alive -

Where do I begin? I just finished this book minutes ago, and my stomach is tied in knots. I started this book yesterday, and that should give you some indication of how enthralled I was.

Like many other reviewers, I found this book horrifying and yet I could not stop myself from turning the page. I fell in love with Connor and Risa and wanted to put my arm around Lev. I wanted to punch Roland in the gut, but I ended up pitying him in the end.

I hope the idea of retroactive abortion isn't catching.

I gave this book 5 stars because the writing is impeccable, the characters believable, and lots of other technical stuff that doesn't matter. I also gave it 5 stars because it dares to dip into the downright uncomfortable and remind us all that life is important, and who are we decide who doesn't deserve to live it.

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