After the Second Civil War in the United States, the government passes the “Bill of Life,” outlawing abortion, but giving parents the option of “unwinding” their teens between the ages of 13 and 18. Unwinds are sent to harvest Camp where their organs are donated to others who need them, ending their life, but technically keeping parts of their bodies alive, if divided among countless other people. It is an intriguing premise and raises a number of interesting questions about the value of life and the government’s right to get involved.
Our story follows three teens with very different backgrounds who are scheduled to be unwound: Connor is a teen whose parents are tired of his attitude and behavior, Risa is an orphan who is being unwound to make room for more children in her state home, and Lev is a boy being tithed by his religious parents. When Connor escapes the youth police on the way to his unwinding, he sets off a chain of events that brings our characters together. Fugitives from a society, they must rely on each other to survive.
While all the characters were interesting and well-written, I was most facinated by Lev, a young boy who has been raised knowing he would be unwound when he reached the age of thirteen. He considers it an honor to be tithed and his internal struggle between his desire to live and his life’s duty makes for very interesting reading. In addition to the three main characters, Unwind features chapters from the point of view of a number of side characters that really help flesh out the world.
Neal Shusterman has created a chillingly plausible world and populated it with believable characters that I really cared about. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Contributed by Allen
Have YOU read it? Let us know if you have or if you are excited about this one.