This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Series: Unwind #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 2, 2009
Buy on Amazon, Buy on The Book Depository, Buy on BOOKSAMILLION, Buy on Barnes & Noble
(Last Updated On: November 28, 2021)
An alternate cover edition can be found here.
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.
Cover Review: I really like this cover-it’s creepy, just like the book itself.
Tagline: “What if your parents could unwind you?”
Main Character(s): Lev, Connor Lassiter, and Risa Ward
Connor lives in a world where parents can choose to “unwind” their children. What does that mean, exactly? It means that parents can send their children to a harvest camp where they are slowly taken apart. The child’s body parts are kept and stored for others who may need them later on.
Do you have bad heart issues? Well, there’s a heart for you. Do you have a bad leg? It’s your lucky day because we have a leg in your skin tone. That’s how bad it is.
After Connor finds out that he is supposed to be unwound, he decides it’s time that he runs away. He’s not sure if he’ll survive, but it’s definitely worth the risk. He ends up making it pretty far. He hitches a ride with a trucker until they’re stopped on the highway.
Connor forgot about his cell phone, which his father can use to track him down. He is found by the cops and Connor is in big trouble. He ends up making a run for it and he causes a bus to go off the highway. He also opens the door of a car with a young boy in it.
Risa, a piano player, was on the bus that was run off the road. The bus driver died instantly, so Risa took this as her chance to make a run for it. She runs off the bus and heads for the woods.
The young boy inside the car that Connor opened was Lev. Lev is a tithe, otherwise known as a child raised by religion to become an unwind. He was basically raised for slaughter.
He was raised to believe that this is his life purpose. Lev is not very happy when he is told to make a run for it by Pastor Dan. He definitely doesn’t want Connor’s help. Lev doesn’t want to escape his fate.
The stories of all three children intertwine as they go on their journeys. We learn a lot about the characters and they really change throughout the novel because of what they go through. I don’t know what I’d do if I lived in a world as they do.
I’d probably cross my fingers and hope that I wouldn’t have to ever be unwound. Shusterman has created an outstanding world where your parents decide your fate. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who loves thrillers or dystopians. I can’t wait to finally get my hands on a copy of Unwholly and I’ll definitely be reading more novels by Neal Shusterman.