Saturday, April 5, 2008
UNWIND by Neal Shusterman
Run, do not walk, to your nearest library or bookstore to get your hands on a copy of UNWIND! You will not be disappointed! Sci-fi is not my favorite genre, but this book grabbed my attention and didn't let go.
The world of UNWIND is a scary one, especially if you are a teen. Innovations in medical research and transplants havw taken a terrifying turn. Instead of waiting for organs or other body parts to be available through the tragic or untimely death of a healthy individual, young people are being selected or volunteered as donors. The process is called "unwinding." It is the law that at age 13, a parent can decide to send a child to be unwound. The law also states that all parts must be kept alive, so those sent to be unwound are cheerfully told that they will simply be living a new, yet separated life.
Connor is a problem teen. He has gotten himself in trouble too much, and his family has made the decision to unwind him. Connor knows that if he can somehow survive until his 18th birthday, the law says he can't be unwound. The problem now is to escape.
Risa is an orphan. Raised in an overcrowded orphanage, she has always known her fate. Having some special talent would allow Risa to remain at the orphanage, but her talent as a musician is not enough to save her. She finds herself boarding a bus that will take her to a harvest camp and the beginning of her "new" life. But when the bus crashes, Risa finds herself with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape.
Then there is Lev. His entire 13 years of living has been preparing him for the harvest camp. He is known as a tithe. When he was born, his family's religious beliefs encouraged them to give him willing to be unwound. There was a special party in his honor, and now Lev is being escorted to his assigned harvest camp. He is excited but also a bit nervous about what awaits him when he arrives.
The action and suspense of UNWIND begins on the first page and doesn't let up until the end. Shusterman creates a future world that for some offers hope and extended life, while for others there is fear and a gruesome end. UNWIND is an adventure with great plot twists and turns, but it will also have readers thinking about the future, advances in medicine and science, and the ultimate value of human life.