Keeping with the dystopian young adult theme that is my life, I read Unwind by Neal Shusterman this fall.
This story is set in the post-America world after the Second World War. The war pitted the pro-life side against the pro-choice side and the results were shocking. To end the conflict, a resolution was reached that kept all life sacred until the age of thirteen. But once a child reaches the age of thirteen, the parents can decided to have him or her “unwound.” A process that removes all their body parts, skin, and organs and puts gives them to someone else. The child is not “technically” dead because all the parts go on living so there’s no guilt in it.
Children that are given for unwinding are normally juvenile delinquents, wards of the state, children that are a disappointment to their parents, or behavior problems in school.
It’s like a test-run for kids. If you behave, you’re safe. If you’re a problem, we can get rid of you. Obviously, this has led to a life of uncertainty and stress for most children. Their only hope is to make it to eighteen when it becomes illegal to be unwound.
Unwind focuses on three teens: a runaway whose parents signed the unwind orders, a ward-of-the-state hiding from her certain death, and a tithe (a child whose parents take the belief of giving one-tenth back to God to the extreme) who is slowly learning everything he was taught is wrong.
Shusterman is a popular and well-loved YA author, but this is the first of his books I’ve read. It was suspenseful and just twisted enough to keep the reader guessing. Fans of dystopian literature will not be disappointed. This is a series (the second book is UnWholly and the final book is UnSouled), but I haven’t read them yet.
What do you think? Have you read this one yet? Are you burnt out on dystopian YA yet?
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED.