Unwind

Unwind

by Neal Shusterman

SYNOPSIS:

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them.
Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive

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Book #1 in Series

Unwind has been my first dystopian story (if I remember well).
To be honest, I could go back and underrate so many books I’ve read over the past years, because after re-reading this one I know for sure: there is no place for them on the same shelf as ‘Unwind’.

It totally blew my mind – then and now.
It has the most complex world building, the strongest characters, the most emotional and believable plot. The thing is… I could see all this happening – the unwinding, the greed, the terror of it all, everything. It feels this real. It makes sense. It is horrible, still I can’t take my eyes off it.

I might write down a few thoughts at some point, ’till then I will leave you with my old short review.

Old short review:

unwind-couple-runningIt’s hard to talk about this book because there is nothing left to say.. it says it all by itself.

From the first page the 3 main characters (Connor, Risa, Lev) have some emotional (almost heartbreaking) stories to tell about before and after meeting each other, and you can not ‘not care’ about their destiny, about what might (or will) happen to them.
Without noticing you start to know them all, to feel their pain, their struggle and you keep reading every page hoping with them that they will make it in the end, that they will be safe on the next stop, that they will get to have their 18th birthday and be free again.

“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.”

Neal Shusterman created a new frightening world where you are worth as much as your body does, a world where a parent doesn’t just punish a child by sending him to his room, or taking his phone.. in this world parents can make you exist only through the parts of your body, inside other people’s bodies. And what can be more frightening that existing by not existing anymore?

unwind“Unwind” is that kind of book that you enjoy reading, and can’t put down, that kind of book that will keep you thinking after finishing reading it, that will make you understand how much your life is worth living.
I just keep thinking about how lucky I am that I live in a better world, that I can decide about my life, that I can still change what I did wrong, that I can just ‘be’.

I liked the characters whom are smart and strong, I loved the twists of the story, and the hidden messages between the lines just touched my heart from time to time.

It’s a wonderful biter-sweet story about life, love, friendship and hope.

ro Note: The Romanian version of the review can be found here.

Extras:

Short book excerpt:

“What if . . . what if . . .
“What if it’s a harvest camp after all?” says Emby. Connor doesn’t tell him to shut up this time, because he’s thinking the same thing.
It’s Diego who answers him. “If it is, then I want my fingers to go to a sculptor. So he can use them to craft something that will last forever.”
They all think about that. Hayden is the next to speak.
“If I’m unwound,” says Hayden, “I want my eyes to go to a photographer — one who shoots supermodels. That’s what I want these eyes to see.”
“My lips’ll go to a rock star,” says Connor.
“These legs are definitely going to the Olympics.”
“My ears to an orchestra conductor.”
“My stomach to a food critic.”
“My biceps to a body builder.”
“I wouldn’t wish my sinuses on anybody.”
And they’re all laughing as the plane touches down.”

Inspired by the book:

Check out this short film By MainStray Productions based on the book:

Note that it contains some spoilers!

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