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Unwind | [Neal Shusterman]

Unwind

Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
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Publisher's Summary

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them.

Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

If they can survive until their 18th birthdays, they can't be harmed - but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, 18 seems far, far away.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges listeners' ideas about life - not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

©2009 Neal Shusterman; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1656 )
5 star
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4.2 (1441 )
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4.2 (1429 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jendayi Dillard 06-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Story starts slow, but hang in there!!"
    Any additional comments?

    The story starts out feeling slow and extremely heavy-handed. Stick with it. It gets so much better! Many, many moments that are beautiful, striking, suspenseful... overall, awesome book!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Arlington, TX 04-29-14
    Phillip Arlington, TX 04-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wickedly twisted tale"

    I have nieces and nephews in the 13-20 years old range that have been raving about the YA novels they read for a few years now. So, recently, I have begun trying them out and I have to admit that some are very good and Unwind is among the best. I would give it 4.5 stars if it was allowed.

    Among the various dystopian trials and tribulations thrust upon the protagonists of YA fiction, being unwound has to be the most harrowing. In practically all novels of this genre young people face a daunting future that will require a Herculean effort to overcome. But, while death is ever-present in all of these scenarios, at least when a character dies, he is dead.

    Not so in the world of "Unwind." In this world an agreement has been reached, after a sort of pro-life/pro-abortion conflict, that makes abortion illegal but allows parents the right to unwind their children between the ages of 13-18. Unwinding is a process by which a person's body is disassembled system-by-system, organ-by-organ, and over 99% of their parts are then transplanted, grafted, etc. into other people who need them. This allows the unwound person to remain alive in a divided state. And they do remain alive (at least in a way) as becomes obvious when we meet a character who has received the frontal lobe of an unwound teen and the consciousness of the unwound frontal lobe takes over from time-to-time.

    "Unwind" follows a group of teens set to be unwound, for various different reasons, as they try, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, to avoid the authorities and remain alive in a whole state. Shusterman developed a great idea with "Unwind" and has penned a great story in which to carry it out.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 12-30-13
    William 12-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A fun story emerges from an absurd premise"

    This was a fun book, despite the fact that it relies on a premise that is, frankly, a bit absurd. In no reasonable world do pro-choice and pro-life groups "compromise" by allowing not only retroactive abortions (i.e., the flat-out murder of teenagers), but also the use of teens as body farms. It would be abhorrent to both groups, just as it is expected to be abhorrent to nearly all readers. Because I found the basic premise to be ridiculous, I had a hard time suspending my disbelief, and it thus took me a while to get into the story. But I'm glad that I persisted. The characters and interesting and believable as they respond to real threats. And the horror of the process, which is mostly shrouded in mystery for much of the book, is chillingly illustrated towards the end by actual unwinding of one of the less sympathetic characters. Furthermore, the narration is superb. So despite the rickety premise, I really enjoyed the book, and I'm looking forward to the remaining installments.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-14-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    729
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    Story
    "Nice Socks"

    UNWINDING MAKES SLAVERY LOOK GOOD.
    I am following 21 reviewers. I have made a list of all the books they gave 5 stars to. I had never heard of Unwind or Neal Shusterman, but it was on the five star list. This is the best book I have read or listened to since June and that was over 50 books ago.

    YOUR BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOUR NIHILISTIC.
    The subject matter of this book may seem weird at first and a little unbelievable. In this future, abortion is legal up to age 18. I know your thinking too stupid, but the author makes you believe. The story is strong and compelling. Keep in mind, In China girl babies are killed all the time, due to the one child law and the importance of male children. In my life time I can remember when divorce was rare and abortion was illegal. Girls who had sex outside of marriage where whores. Most women were virgins when they got married. T.V. was not allowed to show a couple in the same bed. In some cults here in the United States, girls of 12, 13 and 14 are married off to old men. Eleven year old boys are taken to the country, left and told not to return. (see Prophet's Prey) In the Middle East, women are property (see A Thousand Splendid Nights), they still stone people to death, etc.

    I AIN'T NO RUNAWAY, I'M A RUN TOO.
    This book not only has a great story, it has characters. These are characters you will care about. The side characters such as one called SciFi, are so good they could have there own books about them.

    IT'S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.
    The book has 68 chapters and six parts. The story builds through each part. There are several twists and turns. The description of an actual Unwind, will stay with me for a very long time. It was very intense. (Make sure you have a tissue)

    TOUCH ME NOT
    Based on this reviewers recommendations, I will be listening to The Map of Time. I will be seeking out more Neal Shusterman Novels based on the quality of this book.

    I'M A TITHE
    I am not sure I have heard Luke Daniels before and he was very good. His reading was spot on. His narration is so good you forget your listening, as the story is do deep into your head.

    YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE GRAVE AND DIG IT UP WHEN YOU WANT IT.

    24 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-20-12
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly shocking premise!"

    Overall, an enjoyable listen. It didn't grab me like HG did, but it is still a quite good story which held my interest and made me care about the characters.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Windsor, CT, USA 04-20-10
    Susan Windsor, CT, USA 04-20-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Gripping!"

    This book will blow your mind! It is the most gripping book I have read in the last two years. There is a twist around every corner. While the story is set in the future, our society is very close to so many of the scenarios. I teach high school reading. Many of my students were reluctant to read this at first. It scared and shocked them. But the story offers so many opportunities for discussion of current societal issues that eventually they got caught up in it. I would not recommend this book for anyone under 15 years old. The content may be too intense.

    I did not like the reader at first. I thought he was too monotone. I started to like him about half way through. By the last quarter, I really appreciated how very good the narration was. I decided that maybe he keeps the emotion in his voice purposefully restrained to let the authors's words provide the impact. Time after time I found simple sentences that conveyed huge meaning. I really liked Neal Schusterman's style. Totally worth your time and money.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Ham Lake, MN, United States 05-25-14
    Deborah Ham Lake, MN, United States 05-25-14
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    "One of my all time favorites"

    I really loved this book. If you like "Hunger Games" or what-if type books on what crazy things could happen in the future, this was a very well-written, great story. I liked it so much I'm going to buy the Kindle edition as well. The narrator did a great job with the voices too.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Gilbert, AZ 04-27-14
    Joe Gilbert, AZ 04-27-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I liked it."

    Set in the future of one possible outcome of the abortion debate, it is a little bit far fetched, but enjoyable. Hey, it's fiction, so let the far fetch basis of the book slide and the story is very well written. If you like the description they give for this book, then you will probably like the book itself.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica United States 04-16-14
    Erica United States 04-16-14 Member Since 2012

    If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable Premise, but Fairly Good Story"

    I was hesitant to grant the premise at first, but once I did I found the story captivating. The relationship seemed needless, but there were points in the story that were haunting and beautiful and human and, overall, I would completely recommend this story. There is a scene near the end written from the perspective of one of the antagonists that I can't shake from my mind even weeks after hearing it. So kudos to this author, and pick up this book if you get the chance!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ally FALL RIVER, MA, United States 02-10-14
    Ally FALL RIVER, MA, United States 02-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whoa"
    Would you listen to Unwind again? Why?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story was intense to say the least. But the subject matter does hide that fact, I wasn't sure if this was gonna be an extremist anti abortion story but honestly it doesn't seem to favor either side of that issue.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Luke Daniels is one of my favorite narrator. What I love after listening to all 5 iron Druid chronicals is that his voice has enough range that this book sounds very different,


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    'Nice socks'


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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