Unwind by Neal Shusterman

For some time, my page had been down to being quiet of book reviews. I’ve been pretty much inevitably sucked up with what I’d like to call, Life’s Supplementary Stuff that I’m slacking off of my duties here. But it gave me an escape for a fleeting moment and thus, I’m splurging it by being virtually active in the blogosphere. Yay! 😀

Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Published in November 2007.

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): 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.

In one description, this book is crazy and I mean it in a good way. I got smitten fast and hard because I’m a sucker for anything dystopian and sci-fi. Imagine having your body parts detached and given to other people without your consent. And I don’t mean just the kidneys, or the usual organs donated, but your entire body harvested for other people’s use. And the state decides it for you if they deem you’re just as useless as wet salt, or worse your parents could hand you in to the authorities because you’re a pain in their asses. Abortion is illegal but “storking” – leaving your baby on the doorsteps of someone – is okay which is (hello?!) as good as abortion. I was all about screaming HOLY HELL THIS BOOK. Pardon the blasphemy but this is just the absolute picture of a horrific system in the future… or could be a nostalgia (Remember Nazi?)

If you’re up to reading stuff about moral issues, Unwind is for you. Who would have thought of creating fiction based on matters of politics and principles? Neal Shusterman is unquestionably a genius.This is a young adult book but I’m not sure if it’s cut out for the young adult population. Half the time, the scenes are gory and disturbing although within the tolerable range.. for me, at least. But to think of it, perhaps there’s no better way to explain these stuff to kids than a good story.

The idea of tithing – donating a kid to have his body parts harvested- is a ridiculous thing but it happens. This is a good metaphor for parents selling kids for prostitution or slavery for the sole cause of not having enough dollars to sustain the family. I’m not blind to these cases as it is mostly rampant among third-world countries including ours and I feel sorry for those being subjected to child-trafficking.

And of course, abortion is a hot topic here. As a reader, you will find yourself debating as to whether you are siding with or against it. Pro-life versus pro-choice. Abandon the baby or bring it up starving. The value of life was lowered into a piece of crap tossed from doorsteps to doorsteps. In this book exists a battle between state and religion though not blatantly exposed. This is something that’s inherently present in our society and will might forever be that it’s not an exaggeration to consider this book as a powerful tool of awakening. Neal Shusterman didn’t conspicuously reveal his opinion on these issues because he wants you to show both sides of the coin and let you decide for youself. There are authors who wanted to embed their philosophies into the readers’ brains which is hateful and I’m glad this book didn’t do that to me.

And thus, my stars for this book would have to be these:

Like it

I’m linking a short film from YouTube here to show you guys how unwinding is done and witness the atrocity of the act. This is not to scare you but to somehow encourage you to give this book a try not only for the purpose of entertainment but also to rise out of apathy and see the value of life. Cheers!


    • Thank you Analee! I’ve been meaning to get a copy of the other 2 books in the trilogy but I can’t find one 😦 I hope you’ll like the book 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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