Unwind by Neal Shusterman | Teen Ink

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

October 1, 2010
By Jennypig GOLD, Winslow, Maine
Jennypig GOLD, Winslow, Maine
13 articles 0 photos 63 comments

Favorite Quote:
Get living or get dying -Stepen King
We are a little weird and life is a little weird, so when we find someone who's weirdness is compatible with our own, we fall in a mutual weirdness and call it love. -Dr. Seuss

by Neal Shusterman

I recently read Unwind by Neal Shusterman. It was a good book for any teenager and it really makes you contemplate life, death, and everything in between. Unwind is about, 20 years into the future a war, the Second Civil war, is fought by pro-life and pro-choice sides over reproductive rights. The final agreement is called the Bill of Life. This bill states that from conception to 13 life cannot be touched, but from 13-18 parents can chose to retroactively “abort” their teen, this process of aborting a teenager is called unwinding. To be unwound is to be “taken apart” and given to other people who need your body parts more than you do. Unwinding is acceptable and practiced in society. Connor, one of the three main characters, is a troubled kid, always in fights. Risa, the second main character, is being unwound to save money in her orphanage. Lev, the last main character, is a tithe*. These three meet by accident but their lives rest in each other’s hands. This is their battle to run away from the rules, the law, and society itself.

This book to me, made me think about the possibility that this could happen in real life 20 years from now because:
1) It gives another branch in police jobs; to catch runaway unwinds.
2) It takes care of overpopulation problems in the US. Not the whole problem but a lot of it.
3) It solves people dying of diseases, if you have liver lung you just get a whole new set of lungs.
4) It supplies more jobs in the medical field, because someone has to surgically take apart their whole
5) There will be a fight between Pro-life and Pro-choice abortion rights, whether it will be verbal or a
second civil war nobody knows, but this problem will have to be solved eventually.

This also made me think a lot about what it means to be dead. What is dead? Most people say, when your heart stops beating. But in the book people question the real meaning. Unwinding was an agreement because the majority of people who fought in the war thought you’d still be alive, but in a divided state. What do you think? Would you be dead if you were in a divided state? Some boys in the story questioned if unwinds have souls, because they said god knows and planned that they’re going to die so were they even given a soul, and if so what happens to it? .

Difficulty level of Unwind: 2 or 3/ 5
Rating: 5/5
Sexual content: kissing only and a potential rape that fails in the end
Violent content: Deep description about being unwound, but not gory. Someone beat to death. A few
people shot, some people suffocated.
Reading age: 13-18 give or take a few years if wanted.
You may also like this if you’ve read: The Hunger games trilogy, I am Number Four or the Life as we knew it
Unwinds: Slang for people being unwound, they a referred to as unwinds.
Harvest camp: A place where the teenagers are sent to be unwound. There are many Harvest Camps `
around the United States.
Tithe: conceived to be unwound
This is like no other book you’ve read.

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