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Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwind by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many years in the future, the United States has come up with a solution to the pro-life, pro-choice debate. Every child has an equal chance at life until the age of 13 – at which they can be retroactively aborted. No, they don’t “die” persay, they are just “unwound”, with 99.4% of their organs and body bits going to people who need them. The story follows three teenagers, Cory, Risa, and Lev, all to be unwound for different reasons and their journey to hopefully evade the fate that awaits them.

The plot of the story posed an interesting premise. With the current climate of such strong feelings about pro-life, pro-choice – could we potentially reach the position of this dystopian U.S.? The foundation of the story is based on the conclusion of a war that occurred when abortions for stemcells, and bombings of abortion clinics reached a boiling point. Neither side won and it was ultimately decided that children were to be given a fair chance at life. It was in the adolescence that a parent or the government could decide that the “child” was no longer fit for society. With being unwound, the government was convinced that the person would not die – they would just be living in a different form.

I did enjoy the book. I have always fancied dystopian fiction books (Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Delirium) and this was no different. Initially, I was not sure how I felt about the change of character narration for each chapter, as it seemed just when I was about to learn something, the POV would switch. Toward the middle of the book, however, it allowed for the story to pick up pace and I think it would have lingered too long if it had only one POV.

I also enjoyed the character development. As one would expect when constantly facing life and death situations, the main characters and their personalities did not stay static. The portrayal of each person and their unique situations was done so well that I became emotionally invested in the characters – the sign of a good book. My husband was even caught by surprise as he had listened to the first part of the book and then joined me for the end. He could not believe the transformation of some of the characters, and although he is a movie person, he just might listen to this book. (We have it in audio format.)

I definitely recommend “Unwind” to others and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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