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[Book Review] - Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwind
   Author: Neal Shusterman
   Series: #1 - Unwind Dystology
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: November 6th, 2007
   My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

     Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

     The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My Review:

     This book surprised me with every page and while I didn't understand what the book was entirely about when I started it, I loved it entirely. There are some issues with the book that I had, but overall I thought they added personality to the book. Overall the book was extraordinary, and while the characters were diverse and well rounded there was a sense of belonging to every character. I love Shusterman and the amount of effort it must have taken to write this book.

     The characters were what made this book unique and how the characters were portrayed. The book starts off with Connor and segues into Risa and Lev. I loved how the characters chapter after chapter moved from oen to another, but there was something else about the book. Sometimes there were other no name characters; a mother, a teacher, or a mob to help to tell the story. It was different, unique and original compared to all other books I've read. I loved how the story continued not just through one point of view, but through multiples. I normally don't enjoy books like that, but this book did it well, the story never hiccuped it moved through multiple eyes and helped the overall message of the book get across.

     Connor was by far one of my favorite characters in the book. Compelled by rage in the beginning, he grows to becoming a man of honor and someone worth remembering. He was the one character that seemed to listen as the book went on, he learned and adapted to the times and the people he was involved with. The affection he felt for Risa was genuine and even if he didn't have the best message from time to time, there was emotion and heartfelt gratitude toward her. Even when his life was about to end, he faced it with courage, and honor. It's how I would want to do it.

     Risa out of the remaining characters was one I enjoyed as well. She thought things through, and used her brains in the beginning unlike Connor. She was torn at the beginning with feelings for Connor but as the book went on she resolved those feelings and became a woman with a job and a passion. She was mature, and motivational. I loved how she grew, but it was only slightly, I wanted to see more of who she would become and more of who she was. The depth of Risa was lacking a bit, and while I understood parts of her and what motivated her, there was just something missing to make her great.

     Then there is Lev, and while he's not one of my favorite characters in this novel, he was the one that I admired the most. In the beginning he is a tithe, the 10th child in a family and to be tithed to God. He's a religious sacrifice and he takes honor in it, until Connor shows up. The two conflict in the beginning, with two different ideals and morals, he sets Connor and Risa up to be arrested, setting himself up as well. Running off he finds the only friend he's had CyFy and they trek across the country together. I loved that, how the two grew close and throughout the time there was a voice inside CyFy. The truth to Unwinding, those who have parts or pieces of Unwounds have part of them inside them.

     There was a group that I couldn't understand, Clappers. They never really made an appearance to the end of the book, and meanwhile everyone was just afraid of them. I couldn't understand why they feared them, why they were so dangerous, because frankly they never showed up and there was nothing to understand who they were or what they were after. When they did show up it was with Lev, and they're devotion and power was remarkable. They added some compound to their blood and doing so made their entire body a living explosive. It was this kind of terrorism that stilled fear into everyone. Simply because in doing so made it impossible to know who was a Clapper or just normal.

     This book had a great storyline, and the underlying message of what it means to Unwind someone. I looked to this book and wondered what the point of the book was. It wasn't until the end that a unlikely character made that statement. The Admiral, a general, who owned an abandoned airport looked after escaped Unwinds. He had the message, and showed everyone what Unwinding people or what it would mean to split a person into multiples. I marveled at how Shusterman took that job and wove it into something amazing and turned the plot into an adventure unlike anything I have read before. It's a great read and a great inspiration.
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