Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reviewing: Unwind by Neal Shusterman


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.

I first found out about this book through a book trailer, when I'd been going through a ton of them on Youtube. And it stood out. Now, after reading the book, it stands out even more. 

I wasn't expecting to cry. I don't think I was really expecting a ton of emotion-- I'm not a very emotional reader, all that comes after. And this book is definitely not for everyone. It's horrifying and thought-provoking and it makes you come face to face with the real problems that we face today, even though its set in the future. 

How do we determine someone's worth? By how much we love them? By how much they benefit us? This is the re-occurring theme in Unwind, and each time it grows more powerful. It forces you to take a look at yourself, how you would feel. Would you try to make a difference, or fade into the background?

"Unwinds didn't go out with a bang-they didn't even go out with a whimper. they went out with the silence of a candle flame pinched between two fingers." 
I wouldn't say this book is creepy. It's too... honest and blunt, to be creepy, at least in my opinion. You can see the reality in the way the parents turn their backs, in the way no one wanted this but no one tried to stop it either. It's sobering.

While I do think that so many parents would not even consider having their children unwound, there are, as always, the exceptions. I just... I don't think there would be quite so many parents picking which of their children they loved more. What good, legitimate reason could they possibly have to have their children unwound? Also, why would the Pro-Life group ever agree to the Bill of Life? Would you say the person who donated their heart is still alive in that other person? That piece of them is the same, yes, but it doesn't hold the memories, the feelings, or the way they laugh when they hear a joke.

The characters, Lev, Connor, and Risa were all real. While a lot of people have said that Lev was annoying and they disliked him until the end of the book, I'm here to tell you that it was a case of brainwashing. Raising someone to believe that it is a blessing to be sacrificed, to be taken apart piece by piece is wrong. Lev was raised from birth to see it as a gift. Age 1~13 is the exact time to manipulate a child to think a certain way, to control how they see the world. I've seen incredibly sweet people be racist and homophobic, simply because of how they were raised. That's why I found Lev one of the realest of them. I felt more sorry for him than I did angry towards him.

Connor and Risa were also real. I think that's what made Unwind such an incredible read-- the blunt, cold truth being shoved in your face. Here. Make what you will of it.

Connor is seen as a "wild child." He makes plans to run away, to escape the life his parents chose for him. Risa is simply not talented enough, even though she's tried so hard. There's someone to relate to for everyone. You can see pieces of your own personality in theirs, and sometimes that makes it so much harder.


No comments:

Post a Comment