Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) by Neal Shusterman – A Review

 It’s amazing how great minds think – alike, that is.  How cliché.  However, I’d like to think I have a great mind, muddled and confused though it may be, and I know there are many great minds out there; some of them are even friends of mine.
Like my bloggy friend Michele, from Follow Me Home. . . – she recommended this book to me and, amazingly enough, it was already in my collection.  So, Shellybean – this one’s for you!
Title:  Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1)
Author:  Neal Shusterman
Genre:  Teen Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Synopsis:  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.
 
About the Author:  To be honest, I didn’t read his whole bio.  It was grandiose.  Started writing at a young age – yeah, me too.  Had great schooling – good for you; allow me to clap.  So successful and special and, well, cocky.  Winner of this, that, and everything else.  Blah blah blah.  Did he write that or his publisher?  You want to read it, you can find it here – just don’t let the inflated ego ruin the writing, which is excellent.
First Impression:  Wow.  Tackling the debate on pro-life versus pro-choice – sure, why not?  It’s not like reality has any solutions for that one.  What have you got?
Despite my biting sarcasm, I did enjoy the book.  I’m one of those people who sees both sides of the argument, so I don’t choose sides, for the most part.  Shusterman didn’t, really, either, in the controversy of life vs choice.  Instead, there is a concession on both sides:  abortion is illegal (score one for pro-life), but when a child comes of age at 13, the parents can choose to “unwind” them, but only until that time which they are legally an adult, age 18 (score one for pro-choice).  Unwinding is a process in which every part of the child in question is dissected and donated.  Every part – so the child never actually “dies” (again, score one for pro-life).
There are three central characters: Connor, the male lead; Risa, the female lead; and Lev, the incidental character with main character potential.  Each voice is distinct.  Oh.  Did I forget to mention that each chapter is told from a different POV?  Don’t worry, it’s easy to follow.  All the characters intersect and their stories intertwine.
I’m finding that I enjoy reading books that are based off the male perspective.  It’s refreshing, after growing up reading books from a female protagonists POV, to see things from the other side.  However, Shusterman’s technique is so flawless, the characters have a tendency to become androgynous.  It’s what allows the story flow seamlessly, since the perspective switches between male and female views.
In my eyes, the only thing keeping me from giving this a five-star review is the politics.  I hate politics.  Like I said, I can see every side of a situation and I wasn’t pleased with the way certain things were handled.  Funny enough, it wasn’t because of the author, per say – it was the characters fault – which, I guess, in turn makes it the author’s fault… never mind.  That was the whole point: to make me feel something, to take a side.  I didn’t appreciate it.  This quote sums it up for me: Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.”  -Aesop
Final Thoughts:  I can’t wait to continue the series. The characters are amazing, well-voiced, and solidly conceived.  Plus the whole premise of the series is intriguing.  I’m afraid, so much so, it may provide someone, somewhere down the line, a blueprint to the future of mankind – an illogical attempt to solve the unsolvable.  Science says, not in my lifetime.
My Suggestion:  Give it a read, even if you’re not into science fiction.  I know that throws some people off, but trust me when I say it’s more fiction than science.
Star Rating:
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review and all opinions contained herein are my own and in no way reflect the ideas or opinions of people or sites I may reference.  This is intended for entertainment purposes only.
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