Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar


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.

***** ***** *****

Unwinds didn’t go out with a bang – they didn’t even go out with a whimper. They went out with the silence of a candle flame pinched between two fingers.

there is only one word to describe it: INSANE.

side story:

after the hype CoFA has caused me, and the disappointment it  brought me after finishing its chapters, i want a book that will wipe off my mind completely of Jace (and his somewhat-downfall) because yes, i was in mourning. 😦

so i scanned my recommended TBR list and settled for Unwind. i need something mind-boggling; and where else can i find that but in dystopian novels?

i have to say that my mind was not only boggled. but it was SHAKEN, turned upside down, and left hanging without any support. UNWIND is (like i said) definitely INSANE. and i loooved it!

(Jace, i’m sorry but this book slightly cured my despair over you. SLIGHTLY. but it’s enough. for now.)


a solution was discovered to end the war b/w pro-lifers and pro-choosers. when a kid reaches the age of thirteen, they can be ‘unwound’ – every SINGLE part of their body (not a limb wasted) will be harvested and given to donors who most likely need it (or want it). so who are the candidates? kids who are too much trouble to raise for their parents. orphans who the gov’t can no longer support their basic needs. kids who are ‘tithes’ – kids conceived and nurtured then given to be unwound upon reaching the age of thirteen.

i know. morbid, right? the story was wicked! the solution to a society’s problem was unethical but the people sees it as normal. which made the society even creepier.

oh, there’s also ‘storking’ – if you are a mother who doesn’t want to raise your baby or simply doesn’t have the means, you can leave your baby at anyone’s door for them to find. and once they found the baby, it is theirs by LEGAL rights. crazzzy!

i liked that the first chapter kicked off with Connor running for his life when he knew his parents decided and signed the papers for his unwinding. from there, i was glued to the pages!

have you seen the movie Vantage Point? it is similar with the first part of this book.  A single commotion linked Connor’s story to Lev’s, then to Risa’s from each of their POV. the unlikely alliance to get away from unwinding was born. it was amazing!


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

give me the permission to bash his character because i really dislike him!… at first. he doesn’t think. he only acts. and it got him (and the others) into trouble. there’s this scene with him and a baby that was storked and i so wanna beat him to death! moron. although he redeemed himself in the end, and he did grow up after each chapter, i don’t like him that much.


a strong and independent girl, very bad ass! and street smart, and responsible. i felt the unfairness she felt when it was announced to her that considering she already reached her ‘potential’, it’s the end of the road for her. she is just too much of a burden for the gov’t to be fed, given shelter, etc. so she needs to be unwind. crap. if that was me, i will kill everyone present when that was announced. *brandishing my samurai* lol


if i dislike Connor, i HATE Lev. as in really really hate him. after the school incident, i keep on praying that he’ll get caught already so he can be unwound. he’s so eager for it, so why not give it to him already!

but the scenes he had with CyFi made me turn around and wait for his conversion to my good faith. and he did! the 360 degree turn of his story was unexpected (if you knew his unwavering faith on the unwinding system and how being a tithe is an honor to serve God) and very touching. 🙂

from that point, the change in his character is shocking. scary even.

i believe he is the star of this book, not Connor.

but there are times i don’t believe that such convictions are coming from a thirteen-year-old. and yet, a month of Lev surviving on the streets, trying not to get killed, it can be believable.

ultimate high experience:

the scene between the Admiral and Emby at the graveyard. jeepers creepers! When the name ______ was mentioned, i closed my Kindle so quickly i could’ve killed a fly with it! There’s no thump thump in my heart (i think). i was frozen for about ten seconds. Gosh, Neal Shusterman, KILL ME NOW why don’t you! it was really really a petrifying moment. *goosebumps*

fave scenes:

1 The second time Connor and Risa hid in a bathroom *wide grin*

2 The Harvest room – need i say more? *wiggling eyebrows* the author has a very very sick mind, i tell you.

the verdict:

one of the best dystopian reads. ever. it can even surpass Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. but it stops there. The Hunger Games trilogy (as a whole) still top Unwind. but in terms on ending, i’d go for Unwind. why? because it has the best ending i read in a dystopian novel. close to a Happy Ever After, i might say.

One thing you learn when you’ve lived as long as i have – people aren’t all good, and people aren’t all bad. we move in and out of darkness and light all of our lives. right now, i’m pleased to be in the light.




“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”