In high school, I was introduced to a book called Unwind(2007) by Neal Shusterman. It wasn’t the kind of book I would typically read but the description on the back hooked me. Shusterman creates a world full of panic, stress, and different from the one we currently inhabit while making it look like a scary but viable option for the future.
Medical technology has advanced so far that cancer, disease, deformities, and breaks are things of the past. No longer are those death sentences, and they no longer keep you on the sidelines. How do they do it? Not with stem cells that’s for sure. Scientists have figured out a way to harvest everything from a human and transfer it to a recipient. Need an ear? They’ll give you someone else’s. Need a toe? No problem! Without stem cells, how do they get these parts? From teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, with and without their consent.
In this future, parent’s can decide that they don’t want their teenager, or that their kid is causing them to much trouble and sign a ‘unwind order’. Giving the government permission to take the kid and bring them to a ‘harvest’ camp, where they are locked away and then divided.
There are several elements that are typical of any young adult series but it entirely holds its own. I highly recommend this dystology and here’s why:
- It’s unique – seriously who thinks of this? and very well authored. The world he creates is spine chilling and takes place in the United States.
- It makes you think long and hard about how the government is run, humanity, and ethics.
- It’s quotable. My favorite – “Hope can be bruised and battered. It can be forced underground and even rendered unconscious, but hope cannot be killed.” from the third installment, UnSouled.
- Shusterman creates dynamic characters. You are going to love these characters and hate them. You’ll feel protective of them and you’ll want them to die, but when the time comes, your heart will break.
- From start to finish it’s unpredictable, you will not know what’s coming.
- There’s a wide variety of characters. Characters who are for and against unwinding, teens who volunteer to be unwound, gay couples, interracial couples, Native Americans, old people, the mentally impaired, etc,. It’s seems like no one is left out.
I loved it and you will too!