Unwind

Unwind

Book - 2007 | First edition.
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In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them

Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In Unwind , Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.
Audience: "Ages 13 up"--P. [2] of cover.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster Children's Pub. Division, [2007]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9781416912040
1416912045
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Shust
Characteristics: 335 pages.

Opinion

From Library Staff

In the world of our three protagonists, unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts. Three teens try to escape their Unwinding in this harrowing tale.


From the critics


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Rating: ⅘ stars
Age recommendation: 12 and up.
Author: Neal Shusterman
Title: Unwind
Summary: In a world where abortion is illegal parents are given the option to have their child unwound between the ages of 13 to 18. 2hen a child is unwound their organs are removed and placed into different donors so the child technically never dies. Many babies are "storked" which is when the baby is dumped at a person's home for them to take care of. In this book Conner, Risa and Lev are all set to be unwound but together can they escape the system and avoid being unwound? Conner is too unruly and not smart enough to be kept alive. Risa is a ward of the state, not talented enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe child raised to be unwound. When an unlikely accident results in Conner being free and running into lev and Risa their worlds are flipped upside down. Together will they escape?
I really enjoyed this book, because it was very original. I loved how detailed it was, it was like I was in another world. I really enjoyed a lot of the plot twists and curveballs. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes dystopian books.
Dagny

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maroon_llama_108
Jan 12, 2020

I strongly recommend this book! I wasn't too much into reading, but I finished this series so quickly! it is such an amazing book with happy moments, sad moments, and crazy twists and turns. I dislike books that start slow, but this one picks up pace pretty fast. This book is amazing!!!

r
RozyCozy
Sep 16, 2019

Loved this book! If you’re hesitant about reading it: don’t worry! It’s my new favorite book, let’s hope it’s yours too!

r
ryner
Jun 17, 2019

At the age of sixteen, Connor learns that his parents have signed an "unwind order" for him, and he immediately makes plans to escape. He lives in a dystopian future United States in which the pro-life and pro-choice factions have come to a shocking compromise: abortion is now illegal, but when a child reaches the age of thirteen his parents may then opt to have him "unwound," a process in which all body parts are transplanted into other individuals. See, they're still technically "living," just not whole.

I found this first book in the series compelling, and it holds much food for thought. I don't think I will personally go further in the series, though, as my to-read list is already pretty lengthy. Definitely recommended for older teens.

d
DarhkCanary
May 06, 2019

This book is amazing and I would totally recommend it. It takes place in a dystopian future. I had a hard time putting it down! Although it is such a great book, the idea is kind of freaky of being unwounded. I love the series, but I hope it doesn't have to be a future in real life. I have to admit, this book is much better than the sequels. It has most of the action in it.

t
TheWriteStuff
Feb 22, 2019

Unwind is a teen novel with deep themes involving life, death, consciousness and more. One scene has four boys talking while sealed in a cargo crate. They talk about when life begins: whether it's when a baby is conceived, when it sucks its thumb, or when it's loved. One of the boys simply states that he doesn't know. This book inspires questions.

Set in a dystopian future, this book includes fantasy, realism, science fiction, a smattering of religion, and some dribbles of horror.

One of my grandsons read this book for grade 10 English and he recommended it to me. I'm glad I read it and now I plan to discuss the book's themes with him.

Vilka Nov 05, 2018

A fast-paced thriller/adventure set in an America that has resolved the organ donor shortage and the abortion issue with a compromise: children's lives are sacred from conception until age 13, but from 13 until they turn 18 parents or guardians can choose to sign them over to be 'unwound': used for parts. This is not considered killing because the children 'live' in various pieces in recipients' bodies. The story follows three teens on the run: a boy signed over by his overwhelmed parents for being a troublemaker, a girl in foster care signed over to save orphanage costs, and a boy who was groomed to be an Unwind from birth as part of his parents' sense of religious charity.
The action starts almost immediately and the teens' struggle for survival is vivid and realistic (though not gory). Moral questions about unwinding are pondered from each teen's perspective without slowing things down or feeling 'preachy', and the world of 'Unwinding' feels very believable. Overall a quick, entertaining read, and a good conversation-starter!

c
CASSIE ERIN KELLEY
Oct 11, 2018

This book is a perfect example of 'What if?' and the scary part is this is written in such a way that the terrible process of Unwinding could easily be a reality. The horrifying implication of this novel is that society could one day proceed to this level of selfishness, where it is more important to have the perfect family, and that this one thing is so important that you would willingly send your son or daughter to be 'Unwound.' Whether or not this is killing a child doesn't seem to matter, though the law is carefully written in a way to get around this 'problem.'

'Unwind' offers a disturbing look into the heart of society and human nature, but not all is lost. Though some people have a natural inclination toward bad behavior or just plain evil, there is still compassion and love in the world. A good parallel would be those who sheltered Jews during WWII.

This book is horrifying and disturbing, and I would suggest this novel to young adults and older. 'Unwind' is thought-provoking and serious, forcing a person to examine what he believes about life and, ultimately, who is in control of that life. It is written wonderfully well and is easy to read, though digesting the heavy content matter will take a while. Certainly worth reading!

p
pratima6
Apr 06, 2018

I read this book for school, and most of the kids in my class loved it. The ways that the children get out of the different scenarios are extremely clever. I would definitely reccomend this book.

s
SashaE
Dec 02, 2017

I had just finished rereading Scythe (For like the 20th time) and I wanted to see what else Neal Shusterman had written. The moment I started reading it I was hooked. It was such a good book with a haunting topic. I liked the three different perspectives of the kids. It is a really good book.

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Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
b
brownbear_365
Dec 29, 2019

brownbear_365 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
RozyCozy
Sep 16, 2019

RozyCozy thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 22

e
Ezrap9
Jun 18, 2019

Ezrap9 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 90

d
DarhkCanary
May 06, 2019

DarhkCanary thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

LoganLib_Dove Apr 30, 2019

LoganLib_Dove thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

s
Sophia123_456
Oct 05, 2016

Sophia123_456 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

b
blue_turtle_1338
Jun 16, 2016

blue_turtle_1338 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

r
Re_Bel
Dec 11, 2015

Re_Bel thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

g
green_chicken_261
Feb 16, 2015

green_chicken_261 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

w
westonford
Sep 30, 2014

westonford thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Quotes

Add a Quote
b
brownbear_365
Dec 29, 2019

"I was never going to amount to much anyway, but now, statistically speaking, there's a better chance that some part of me will go on to greatness somewhere in the world. I'd rather be partly great than entirely useless."

- Samson Ward

w
writingismylife
Jul 21, 2015

Would you rather die or be unwound?

w
westonford
Sep 30, 2014

"if you're asking if we have a cause, we don't, so get that out of your head."
- Cleaver
"'cause 'all the king's horses and all the kings men . . . couldn't put Humphrey together again.'"
-Hayden

h
hedgehog13
Jun 22, 2014

“[...] every time he forces himself to think before acting, it's her voice in his head telling him to slow down. He wants to tell her, but she's always so busy in the medical jet—and you don't just go to somebody and say, "I'm a better person because you're in my head.”

t
TheresNo_Rush
Jun 20, 2014

"Looks are deceiving," Risa says. "After all, when I first saw you I thought you looked reasonably intelligent."

t
TheresNo_Rush
Jun 20, 2014

"Fight, flight, and screw up royally."

t
TheresNo_Rush
Jun 20, 2014

"I'm scared," he says.
"I know," says the nurse.
"I want you all to go to Hell."
"That's natural."

t
TheresNo_Rush
Jun 20, 2014

"You can't change laws without first changing human nature.'
-Nurse Greta

You can't change human nature without first changing the law.'
-Nurse Yvonne"

t
TheresNo_Rush
Jun 20, 2014

"In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn't a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is."

Summary

Add a Summary
w
westonford
Sep 30, 2014

A dystopian Future based after a civil war, not to far away, in which beginning at the age 13 kids can be literally unwound, meaning they are taken apart, and sold for individual parts to those who need them, making it unnecessary to cure diseases, but rather to replace the infected portion of the body. a new form of terrorists known as "clappers" detonate explosives inside their blood mainly by clapping. parents are now able to leave unwanted infants at other people's doors as long as they're not caught. the simply wrong ideas in this book will not allow you to put it down.

vpl_childrens Aug 15, 2014

In a horrifying not too distant future, unruly teenagers can be unwound. This means that their entire bodies are taken apart and donated to other people, and they are told they get to live on in "a divided state." It won't take long for you to get on side with Connor, the young protagonist who runs from his unwinding. He meets a few other young people along the way..This very dystopic tale continues in the sequel Unwholly. Highly creepy, super exciting and just not put-downable!

l
LuluY
Aug 15, 2011

Imagine a world where there are no doctors looking for cures-only body parts for replacements. A story told in a world where unwanted teens being given up to be chopped up to pieces to salvage their body parts is actually a good thing- and of 3 kids who managed to escape...

Notices

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r
RozyCozy
Sep 16, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is a scene when someone is being “unwound” and they are awake during the entire process. I don’t recommend this for young children.

d
DarhkCanary
May 06, 2019

Other: Some disturbing parts in the book. Not recommended for young children

w
westonford
Sep 30, 2014

Other: Disturbing scenes and ideas. not recommended for young children.

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