Unwind: A Book Review

Unwind by Neil Shusterman

A 4⭐️ Book Review

The first book in the Unwind Dystology by Neil Shusterman is a quick, but disturbing read. I can’t say that I loved this book, but it was a good read, one that I’ll be thinking for quite awhile.

Unwinds are children. Some are marked for Unwinding from before their births, and some are designated as Unwind for various reasons as they grow older. Be a troublemaker like Connor? Unwind. Be a ward of the state without enough musical talent like Risa? Unwind. Be the 10th child in a religious family dedicated to tithing 10% like Lev? Unwind.

And what is an Unwind? Simply put, an Unwind will be harvest for parts. Eyes, hearts, lungs, appendages. All taken from Unwinds and grafted into people who are considered more deserving.

None of these teenagers know each other at the start of the book, but Connor’s actions set in motion a journey to run from the harvest camps and launch a course for each of them to discover who they are, Unwind or not.

This book is heavy. While weaving together the story of Connor, Risa, and Lev, Shusterman addresses abortion, the soul, and body autonomy, all topics that are relevant and worldly now in 2021. I’m impressed by Shusterman’s ability to build a dystopian world layered with foundations of our own realities and bring the hard questions to life.