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Unwind (Unwind Dystology Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Neal Shusterman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (829 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
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Book Description

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them

Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7 Up—Set in the future, the second civil war is fought over abortion. To end the war, a compromise is reached that ends the practice of abortion but creates an alternative called "unwinding." Between the ages of 13 and 17, parents or guardians can choose to have their children unwound, which involves having every part of their bodies harvested to be "donated" to another person so, technically, they don't really die. The complex and compelling plot follows three teens whose stories intertwine when they escape while on their way to the harvest camps. Fifteen-year-old Connor's parents can no longer control him. Lev, a tithe, was raised by religious parents for the sole purpose of being unwound. Risa, a ward of the state, is a victim of shrinking budgets since she is not a talented enough musician to be kept alive. Neal Shusterman's engrossing novel (S & S, 2007) is narrated in an even cadence and matter-of-fact tone that suits the author's straightforward narrative style. His wide array of voices makes the involved story line, which is left wide open for what is sure to be an interesting sequel, easy to follow. This gripping, thought-provoking novel is guaranteed to lead to interesting discussions about abortion, adoption, organ donation, religion, politics, and health care.—Karen T. Bilton, Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Rocky Hill, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"The power of the novel lies in what it doesn't do: come down explicitly on one side or the other."--The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 2594 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,324 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but fascinating tale February 23, 2008
Imagine a society where a war was fought between Pro-live and Pro-choice. And the end result is more horrifying than either side could have thought.

Such is the premise of UNWIND by Neal Shusterman.

In the future being a troubled teen means something worse than being sent to a camp to get straighten out.

From The Bill of Life:

The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen.

However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively 'abort' a child...

...on condition that the child's life doesn't 'technically' end.

The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called 'unwinding.'

Three teens find out that they are to be unwound. Conner's parents want to get rid of him as he's a troublemaker. Risa is a ward of the state and is being unwound to cut state costs. Lev is a tithe as part of his parent's strict religion.

When Conner fights not to be unwound he ends up causing an accident in which he meets both Risa and Lev. Through their journey they meet others who are against the law and help them. Lev also finds out what really happens to those who end up getting the parts of those who were unwound.

They fight to make it till their eighteenth birthday. What they all learn on this terrifying journey will haunt readers long after the finish the last page.

This story both disturbed and fascinated me. The whole idea that a society would use rebellious teens to harvest body parts is beyond belief. I stopped more than once thinking what would happen if such a law existed? Would the desire to replace damaged body parts cause someone to become so numb to how the newer parts came into existence?

Chilling, this story will make you think about your ideas of life and what it means to be truly alive.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding story! August 20, 2008
The idea behind this story is what intrigued me to buy it, and I am really glad that I did.

Shusterman has creates a world were a human being can be viewed simply as valuable parts. Unwinding is the outcome of a war based on the pro-life and pro-choice debate. Unfortunately, unwinding means different things to different people. For some it has become a huge money making business, to the kids it happens to, is a horror and for some parents and some parts of society, it is a nice convenience.

The story follows Conner, Risa, and Lev and how, for different reasons, they all have been selected to be unwound. Conner and Risa hate the idea of being unwound and have been selected against their wills. However, Lev has grown up knowing that this was his path in life, and he looks forward, with trepidation and conviction, for being offered up as a gift to God because of the unwinding. Due to an accident caused be Conner, Risa and Lev end up joining Conner as he tried to escape his unwinding. Together and apart, their fears and hopes are tested as they strive to stay alive in a world that believes they shouldn't be. The answer is, will they make it?

I would recommend this book to people for different reasons. First, I think that Shusterman did an excellent job in keeping the storyline going; there were no parts that I become bored or wanted to skip. Second, he makes the characters very realistic, and not without flaws. These are kids going through a horrific event and I fell that they acted true to real human nature. Third, the idea and premise behind the book is so intriguing and horrifying that you can't help but want to read the whole thing. All the way around it was an excellent book.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too January 7, 2008
In his chilling new novel, Neal Shusterman paints a picture of a world where there aren't any cures and doctors, just surgeons and replacements.

Three unwanted teenagers face a fate worse that death -- unwinding. Their bodies will be cut up, and every part of them used, from their brains to their toes. But if they can stay out of the authorities' clutches until the age of eighteen, they just might survive....

The most frightening science fiction novels are always the ones that are most similar to our world. Shusterman doesn't fail to describe how a wrong solution to a modern issue can affect generations to come. Thought-provoking, terrifying, and almost inconceivable, UNWIND will keep you reading late into the night.

Reviewed by: The Compulsive Reader
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing satire - and did I mention it is disturbing? January 17, 2009
Unwind by by Neal Shusterman is based on the premise that there is a war in the U.S. between the pro-choice advocates and the pro-life advocates. The outcome of the war leads to a crazy compromise: retroactive abortions, which means that a child is protected until he or she is 13, at which point the parents can choose to have the child "unwound." Being unwound means that the child harvested for all of the parts and organs, which will then "live on" in other people. The children who are to be unwound are called "unwinds," and if they try to escapse they are hunted down mercilessly by the "juvie cops" because the unwinds' harvested parts are big business. There are three main types of unwinds. Some are unwinds because their parents can't cope with their behavior any more, some are unwinds because they are orphans and the state can't afford to support them any more, and some are unwinds because they are "tithes" to the church or religion. Of course, there are exceptions, such as the boy whose parents got divorced and couldn't come to a custody decision, so they decided to have him unwound so that neither would have to deal with the other getting custody of him. One of each of thes main types of unwinds is, of course, a main character in this book: Connor the troublemaker, Risa the orphan, and Lev the tithe. They all meet when both Connor and Risa, escape, coincidentally, at the same time, knowing that if they can survive until their 18th birthday they will be safe because they will be adults. When they escape, however, Connnor unintentionally drags brainwashed Lev along with them. Their escape is a harrowing one with many close, and even closer, calls as they try to find somewhere to hide until their 18th birthdays.

I liked the book, but it was very disturbing - especially for a teen book, but fairly original. And disturbing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Interesting and I wanted to know more information I will be reading the next book soon gooo nook to know
Published 1 day ago by marcelle kenney
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most disturbing books but so very good!
Why I chose this book:
This book has been in my TBR mountain for a long while now… I’m talking years!!! Read more
Published 3 days ago by Amanda @ Of Spectacles and Books
5.0 out of 5 stars This series was recommended by a friend
This series was recommended by a friend. As a teacher, I am always looking for good series for my students. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Redhead Grams
5.0 out of 5 stars Value of Life
There are already a number of great reviews for "Unwind". Still, enough cannot be aid about the power of the first book in this series. Read more
Published 4 days ago by JMack
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Good really good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good amazing unique exited and
Published 4 days ago by cesar madriz
5.0 out of 5 stars Unwind is not only an awesome story, it is also a fascinating look...
You can also check out this review here:

Light on gore, but heavy on suspense, Unwind is not only... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Jen (The Book-Nook)
1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't finish it
How far I got: 28%

DNF Explanation:

Keep in mind throughout reading my DNF explanation that I am merely basing my opinions on the first 28% of the book. Read more
Published 10 days ago by SIKBookReviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very thought provoking!!
Published 10 days ago by pframe
4.0 out of 5 stars Book club enjoyed it.
We read this book for a book club I'm in. We all enjoyed it immensely. It takes some unexpected twist and turns and I didn't totally see the ending coming. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Heather Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing!! Great read!
Published 10 days ago by lauren james
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More About the Author

Neal Shusterman is the author of many novels for young adults, including Unwind, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, Everlost, and Downsiders, which was nominated for twelve state reading awards. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows such as Animorphs and Goosebumps. The father of four children, Neal lives in southern California.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#89 in Books > Teens
#89 in Books > Teens

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Good Book for a 16 year old male?
I recommend the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson and Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series.
Jun 10, 2010 by WriterGal |  See all 10 posts
Do you think that unwinding could become possible? Would people do it?
I almost couldn't read this book. I know when reading most dystopian future types of books, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief, but this just went WAY beyond my threshold of disbelief suspension. I mean, really, who would EVER consider having their 13-17 year old "killed" (sorry -... Read More
Jan 26, 2013 by Loves Travel |  See all 5 posts
Audiobook MP3?
I was able to download this book FREE through my library, which uses Overdrive Media to do so. The books are supposedly on a "borrow only" so you must download them to your computer and then transfer to your MP3 player. Once on your portable device, you can take as long as you want to... Read More
Jan 26, 2013 by Loves Travel |  See all 2 posts
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