Unwind – Neal Shusterman

In the US a second civil war centering around abortion breaks out. As a way of creating peace the concept of unwinding is thought up. This is a way to retroactively abort a child when it’s older than 13 but younger than 18. Unwinding is actually a form of organ harvesting in which the whole child is “taken apart”. It’s said that this means that the child lives on this way, therefore settling the abortion debate. The book follows three main characters: Connor, Lev and Risa. All three of these children are up for the unwinding procedure but they decide to flee from their impending operation.

I really loved this book, it was well written, well structured and had a really good pace. Neal constantly switches between the characters in his story, not always sticking to the main cast. I find that it’s really well done, and it certainly does its job of keeping the book interesting. I also like how he always has the name of the person who’s view it is, it keeps things clear and keeps you from getting confused. The writing as a whole is very easy to read without being overly so.

The world in which this story takes places is a well thought-out place. I love how it all fits together, how everything mentioned in the book will be explained in some way or another. But Neal is clever about it and doesn’t always explain everything right away, there are never any long passages of explanations about the world, or how certain things came to be. the pieces just slowly fall together and by the end of the book you realize that the picture you are looking at is complete.

What I also found really good about this book is that it’s not setting up for a sequel. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good sequel, but sometimes it’s just not needed. Plus it has something when a book is just a finished product on its own. It probably could have been separated in different books if Neal had wanted to, but I like his decision to keep it as a whole and to just have different “parts” inside the book.

Every new part starts with some quotes. I really enjoyed them, I find that they make the world more real. Another thing that makes everything so real is the characters; I find them to be very realistically written. I believe how they feel, which I find very important in books.

As a last thing I want to mention: I find it a really interesting concept, the unwinding. Not in a “let’s go do it” kind of way, more in a “this(or something like it) could really happen if people stay so narrow minded about their own views on issues”. When you get the small history of the second civil war it actually seems like something that could happen, like a situation humanity could find itself in. Let me just say that I hope books like these open people’s eyes and show them that being narrow minded can lead to bad outcomes, solutions that are actually more of a problem than the initial problem was.

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5 thoughts on “Unwind – Neal Shusterman

  1. Pingback: Never let me go – Mark Romanek « Rantings, ravings and ramblings

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