Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwind (Unwind, #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 11/6/2007
Pages: 335, Hardcover
Rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads
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..

So even though I find the premise of this book - that is unwanted children cannot be aborted until the age of 13, at which time they are "unwound" and harvested for body parts - appalling and completely unfathomable, it didn't stop me from becoming engrossed in this book.

Unwind is written primarily from the perspective of Conner, Risa and Lev. Connor is considered too troublesome and violent and his parents have decided they no longer want him. Risa is a ward of the state  who is being cut to provide space for those more talented than she. Lev is a tithe who was raised to be unwound as part of his faith.

These characters are well developed throughout the story and their different paths are weaved together remarkably well, creating a full, well-rounded story. I really enjoyed the supporting characters as well, such as Emby and Admiral Bridges. Really, I think Neal Shusterman deserves an applause.

Unwind can be a bit shocking with such a disturbing and morally questionable premise. Shusterman raises a lot of questions, but in an uncomplicated way, and makes you feel a lot of emotions. Without giving too much away, there is a moment late in the book where they provide detail on the harvesting procedure and I didn't know if my stomach would make it. But I like stories that make you think and feel and this one is really well written which makes is fully deserving of 5 stars.

I'm glad I read this book only now so that I didn't have to wait so long for the sequel (almost 5 years difference). Also, for those interested, they are making a movie! 


  1. Talking about disturbing subjects.. I can't imagine how this is going to look on the screen! But I do like gory details sometimes, so I guess I need to pick this one up any time soon :D


    1. Good point, I didn't think about that. I hope they don't cut out too much because it was a strong scene for the book but I can't imagine them giving us all the juicy details. You'll see what I mean when you read it. I hope you like it!


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