Saturday, June 12, 2010


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.

This book contains scenes that honestly hurt me inside, disgusted me with human nature and made me want to cry. I recommend you start this book with a specific mindset, open-minded and not awaiting cute little fluffy scenes. This is not a cute and fluffy book; it is harsh, it is raw, and unless you know what to expect, it can even be a painful read. That is mainly why I tagged it as horror, as well as science-fiction. Reading it all in one sitting can be too much. I know I had to stop sometimes, unable to read on without giving what I had just learned a little thought. Or a whole lot of thought.

This book sports one of the most nerve-racking scenes I ever read, one that made me cringe in my sleep and lose a little faith in humanity by its cruelty. It’s a hardly even a graphic scene; the little that is said, though, is sufficient to let my own mind create a horrible mental image. This and the final scenes of Feed by M. T. Anderson have the same effect on me: they leave me weeping.

In spite or because of this, Unwind manages to be one of the greatest books I’ve read in a long time. It has detailed, likeable characters who all sport different characteristics even though they are all, somewhere deep inside, the same. Shusterman even manages to make me feel sorry for some of the bad guys sometimes.

The world created in Unwind is terrifying. The very thought of being allowed to “unwind” your child, sell all his parts to people who want new ones, is chilling. Certainly one thinks one’s own parents would never do that to them, but what if they did? What if they sold your heart, lungs, legs, eyes, brain, your everything, because you’re getting on their nerves, making them mad? Personally, I could never do anything of the sort to my kin, but the very thought that some could makes me mad, and sad.

The ending made me very happy. It’s a good ending, and I like good endings. Bad ones are too painful; bad ones suggest there is no hope. Though I would love another book, I think this one finished very well and doesn’t necessarily need a sequel. In fact, I’m afraid a sequel would screw up the whole thing.

Sadly, the present-tense writing style sometimes got on my nerves and made me rather frustrated. It felt quite strange at times, and though I think it was used to create a feeling of urgency, it didn’t quite succeed with me.

Unwind is an amazing book, a definite must-read for everyone out there who has the guts to do so. If you do, brace yourself for this one. It has well-constructed characters that I was attached too. It has an original plot and story, and the whole Bill of Life concept is unforeseen. A terrifying book that manages to open our eyes a little more to the world around us and to what we might become.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Rating: 9,6/10

P.-S.: My brother tells me there is going to be a movie about Unwind. I don’t know if this is the truth, or simply a rumour, but I will try to find out for you lot. If there is a movie, I will definitely go see it as soon as it comes out, if only to make sure it gives justice to this amazing book.

Beryl's review:

I won't repeat all Aithen said, because I loved Unwind equally. It perhaps didn't have the same effect on me as it did on Aithen; I didn't react as emotionally as she did. Nonetheless, it was a great book, great plot, a must read.

I think the only lack in this book are the descriptions. I know that this book was meant to open our eyes on feelings, actions, and consequences, but I disliked the fact none of the characters were described. I ended up imagining their looks by myself. This is only something that annoyed me. It's not a detail that should turn down people to read this book. There's way more attention on the feelings and personalities than on the physics, and that's good.

Read this book. That's all I can say.
Rating: 9,6/10


  1. I love SF! I've never read FEED by Anderson, but it does sound like something I'd like to check out. Thanks for the review!


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