Book: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I didn't know what to borrow from the library, so I consulted my 'Want to Read' list on Goodreads. There are 410 books on this list... 


Some were available on Libby, so I borrowed them stat. 

I'm so amused that 2010 me gave 2022 me a good series to read!

What it's about

Unwind is set in a world where unruly teenagers between the age 13-18 can be sent away to be 'unwound'. This means that the person is sent to a Harvest Camp where he is dissected. These organs and parts go to organ transplant patients, and anyone who needs a part. You may get hands that play beautiful piano (and continue to do so - the memory and talent remains), or the legs of a wayward athlete. 

Parents sign these Unwind orders - the children have no say.

Most 'unwinds' are unwilling participants for obvious reasons, but there is also a special category of kids that willingly go through the process. They are called tithes. As you can guess, they are offered to the camps usually because of religious reasons. 


The premise is fresh even though the book has been out for more than ten years! This was hot on the heels of Hunger Games. It begs big questions of the weight of someone's life and human rights. Do children 'belong' to parents? Legally yes but should parents also have the right to Unwind a child because they are disobedient, disrespectful or a plain menace to society? 

The main characters (across the books) are usually male, hot-headed and smart. Sound like every shonen anime protagonist, huh? Haha. They are also natural leaders and people look up to them, but they make mistakes too. The main female character is street savvy and placed in a 'nurturing' medic role. 

The political intrigue deepens with each book. We always want to find out who the mastermind is! 

The Unwind Dystology has 4 volumes. It's a fuss free YA novel with an interesting premise which prods your mind to think about organ trafficking and bigger nefarious structures running the world. 

I'm happy to read it - it's a nice change of pace after all the science fiction I've read last year. 

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