(Unwind Dystology #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy
First published: November 6th 2007
Finished reading: May 12th 2015
“You see, a conflict always begins with an issue – a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn’t matter anymore, because now it’s about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.”
I added Unwind to my wishlist on a whim last year and I’m glad I did, because I ended up really enjoying this read. Sure, it took me some time to get used to this dystopian world and the idea of teenagers being forced to ‘unwind’ is in a way macaber. But I like the idea behind the world Connor, Risa and Lev are forced to live in and what it stands for. Neal Shusterman forces you to think about life and what it’s worth; would it really be possible and above all legal to give away your own children with the knowledge they soon won’t be existing anymore? Can it be true that when all parts of a teenager’s body are reused their soul will continue to exist? Unwind is not just another dystopian novel. The prose, characters and worldbuilding are very convincing, and I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy a good dystopian story without the sometimes annoying sappy romance scenes.
After the Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights, the governments have decided to solve the problem in a very special way. Abortions are no longer legal and the life of all children is garantueed from the moment of conception until the age of thirteen. Unwanted babies can be given away by their mothers and have to be cared for by those who find it… But between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, children are no longer safe. When they are not following rules or a burden in general, it can be decided to have them ‘unwound’. Each and every part of the child will be transplanted into different donors, so that their life technically doesn’t end… But not everybody sees it that way.
Connor is a troublemaker and his parents don’t know what to do with him. He used to be their only child until his stepbrother was found on their doorstep… His parents decide to have Connor unwound, choosing his brother over their own blood. But Connor doesn’t plan on ending up being cut into pieces, and he decides to escape. Soon he finds himself running with two other teenagers. Risa is a ward of state that wasn’t talented enough to be worth keeping alive, but Lev is a whole different story. He is a tithe, conceived and raise to be unwound. But all that matters now is escaping the autorities and try to survive…
I wasn’t too sure if I would like Unwind, but I ended up really enjoying this read. The fact that there aren’t a lot of romance scenes is refreshing, since most YA dystopian books I’ve read lately have been packed with it. The prose and fast pace made me finish this read quickly, and I will definitely continue this series soon. A copy of Unwholly is already waiting on my shelf!