Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Monday, May 18, 2015
Why I chose this book:
This book has been in my TBR mountain for a long while now... I'm talking years!!! Well, as most of you know I'm taking a YAL grad class, and fortunately, this was one of the books on the required reading list. So I gad a reason to really get down to business and read this very disturbing and moving book.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Format: Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Connor, Rise, 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. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:
I found this book to be very disturbing, yet I understood it so very very well. I understood the reasoning and notions behind decisions that make this crazy world decide to begin the process of unwinding.

I found the  most intriguing part of the book to be the religious aspect of it all. One of the characters, Lev, is a very devout in his quasi-Christian faith, so much so that he willingly tithes himself (as the tenth percent of ten children) to unwind himself and pretty much donate his life to organ harvesting. This book goes against every single ideology known to man and yet, I still understood how people could actually go about making decisions like this though, it was shocking nonetheless.

However, I now have the privilege of giving this book the most disturbing scene I've ever read in YAL award. I don't want to give away who gets unwound, but there is a charcater who you are in their consciousness when they are getting unwound. I found it to be one of the most unsettling and disturbing moments I've ever read, and it was done exceptionally well.

Final Thoughts
I found this book intriguing on so many levels, so much so that I actually bough the next two books just to see what happens with these so very interesting characters.

I think that this is a book that every single person should read. It deals with so many controversial topics, and I'm very surprised that it hasn't become a movie yet with all these YA movie adaptations.

If this book came with a warning label, it would look a lot like this:
WARNING: This book will make you question humanity at its basest level and make you take a closer look at your own ideology.

I gave this book 4 stars.


  1. Oooo, I own this book and the two sequels after it as I got them for £5 at the time, and I've heard good things, I've just always been wary, but now, WOW, I shall take a read. Thanks Amanda!<3

    1. Oh definitely read it! It's completely fascinating!

  2. It probably hasn't become a movie yet precisely because of that one scene!

    1. Probably. It's just so strong... It makes me sick every time I think about it.

  3. This is one of my favorite books of all time! The disturbing scene you mentioned is also what I would identify as the must disturbing scene in any YA novel, too. Even all after the teens who have died of cancer and the protagonists killed off in series finales, I still think the unwinding scene is done so well that nothing could ever compare. Apparently the rest of the series is pretty good, but I'm scared to continue on because I love the first book so much! Do you plan to continue reading the other soon, or will you give yourself some time?

    1. I'm not sure. I actually got the rest of the series at a library sale for a dollar a piece, so maybe eventually. I think this is a series I'm going to have to take one at a time if I finish. I have heard nothing but great things as well, but I'm not sure if I could take another unwinding.

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed Unwind! I really liked it b/c it was very unique and different from other YA books. I don't think this book made me question about humanity.. or maybe it did...I read it so long ago...but I do remember liking the violent and disturbing scenes just b/c that's uncommon for YA books. Great review!

    1. Yeah it's most definitely uncommon in a lot of YA, I think that's why I appreciated this book more than I expected to.


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