REVIEW: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

unwind neal shustermanThe Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The resolution is a chilling one: Life is inviolable from conception till the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen children can be “unwound” where all the child’s organs are harvested and distributed into different donors so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is a problem for his parents. Risa is a ward of the state, budget cuts and lack of talent means she’s not worth keeping alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child raised to be unwound. Together, they might have a chance to escape, and to survive.

Unwound is a dystopian YA novel where the pro-life vs pro-choice debate has led to a world where teenagers are just seen as viable body parts and parents can easily get rid of problem children. It’s a grim world and the way it’s so excepted and how they operate on the children is very unsettling.

Connor, Risa and Lev are all different kinds of people who are thrown together in a difficult situation. You get the story from their perspectives so while you may understand their actions, the other characters don’t. It can be frustrating and they aren’t always likeable, especially Lev because of his naivety and Connor because he often acts without thinking. Risa is the only one who manages to keep a level-head and while she does sometimes get mad at both Lev and Connor, she is very practical and excepts other people’s mistakes with good grace.

Unwound is a fast-paced read that appears to be a thrilling start to a series. The chapters are short and pretty much every one ends on a cliff-hanger. There’s lies, double-crossing and secrets throughout as Connor, Lev and Risa meet new characters who may or may not cause them harm.

I think I will be carrying on with this series, it’s a compelling and action-packed book and I’m interested to see what becomes of the characters. There’s a secondary character called Hayden who I liked a lot but considering my luck with secondary characters in dystopian novels I’m half expecting him to die/something terrible happens to him in later books. 4/5.

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