Unwind by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Category: Young Adult
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
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.
Unwind is one of those rather disturbing stories that stick with you for a while. The part where one of the characters is unwound is pretty disturbing. Shusterman is an excellent writer and his stories really make you think.
My main reason for only giving this three stars is simply because I find the whole premise of the book highly unbelievable. One of those reasons being that I can't see either side of the reproduction rights argument ok with it as a solution to anything. Pro-lifers would never be ok with killing their teens. The whole idea of being pro-life is being against killing children even before they are born. Why would they be ok with it afterwards? Pro-choicers wouldn't be ok with it either. I don't think the pro-choicers would want to go through the pregnancy, give birth and half raise the child. The whole pro-choice stance is that it's not a person yet and a woman shouldn't have to give birth to a baby she doesn't want. So why would they be ok with this as a solution? Maybe I could see the government deciding this was the way things should be and imposing it on people's lives, but I don't see most parents volunteering to do this to their kids.
Despite the implausibility of the story I still really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the fact that the author didn't take a stance on either side in this book, but rather just wrote a "what if things ended up this way" story and let the reader think for themselves. I like Shusterman as a writer and I loved his Everlost trilogy. I highly recommend reading that one and I don't not recommend this one. If you like dystopias you should try it. It does successfully do what a dystopian novel is supposed to do; make you think and make you appreciate your freedoms.
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