Unwind #1. Author: Neal Shusterman.
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
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. (Goodreads summary)
Shusterman has pulled off the impressive feat of writing a book that directly addresses multiple present-day problems without being boring or preachy. It’s an action-packed dystopia – I couldn’t put the book down. The dystopian element of unwinding is distinctly disturbing, and this is exactly the point.
Sexual Content: Light kisses. Character says “I’m not like my dads – my compass points to girls”. Boy corners girl in a bathroom and threatens to further assault her, before backing off when another character comes in.
Language: 4 hell, 5 scatological terms, 2 d***
Violence: Bus crashes, no one badly hurt except the bus driver, who is killed. Character remembers seeing a baby die after being passed around the neighborhood for about 2 weeks because nobody wanted it. Mob/stampede – one kid is nearly trampled. Character finds the bodies of five suffocated kids, apparently deliberate murder. Two kids fist-fight, one nearly strangling the other. Mob beats a boy to death. Suicide-bombers blow themselves up, killing the people around them. One kid is unwound while we’re in his point of view: unwinding is the legal process of dismembering a person for their organs/limbs; they must be conscious, although there’s no pain felt. Be warned that this scene can be very disturbing.