Jul 7, 2012

Review: Unwind

As part of my ongoing mission to read more "boy books," I just finished Neal Shusterman's Unwind.  Alright, this definitely isn't a boys only type of book (though, nothing is), but here are my weak reasons for boy appeal:

Unwind "Boy Book" qualifications:

-Male author.  I know.  I said above that the reasoning is weak.  But there's some truth to boys wanting to read books written by male authors and wanting to avoid  female authors like the plague.  Maybe it's because at a certain age boys get those super secret, here's how to fight with a sword and other cool stuff that only men can do lessons while girls get maxi pads and wonder what genius invented them (Wikipedia tells me that the disposable ones may have come from a Benjamin Franklin invention...fascinating). 

-Male protagonist...sorta.  The novel switches perspectives every chapter, but the character I see as the protagonist, Connor, has a huge storyline and he opens the novel.  The majority of the characters are also male.

-Violence.  There are explosions and guns and death. Oh my!

Basic Plot: In the near future, a law has been passed that pregnancies cannot be terminated.  However, a parent can have their child "unwound" between ages 13-18. This means that they undergo a procedure that allows every part of their body to be donated to others.  It also means that they don't actually "die" as they live on elsewhere.  Some teens are unwound because they're too much of a burden, some because of restricted finance, others for religious reasons.  Every "unwind" has a sad story that leads to the unwinding decision.  Now some are fighting back for their right to decide.

Obviously, this novel is a dystopia, which is the latest craze with teens today.  All dystopias tend to focus on a specific issue, and the issue in this novel is abortion/reproductive rights.  But the book doesn't advocate for pro-life or pro-choice.  It voices arguments for both sides and really makes you think. 
"In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference.  But this isn't a perfect world.  The problem is people who think it is."
I say if you have a teen who likes dystopias (Feed, The Hunger Games, Uglies, Divergent, etc), this one is a must-read. 

The sequel comes out in late August and I can't wait.    

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