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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 (1083 )
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4.1 (928 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mike Murphy 04-27-13
    Mike Murphy 04-27-13 Member Since 2012

    Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Page turning plot, strong characters, fresh ideas"

    I almost gave up on “Unwind” when I heard the opening paragraphs. I’m very glad I didn’t, I would have missed an excellent book.

    I was put off by the context-setting prologue, which explains that Unwinding was a compromise reached to end the Heartlands civil war between pro-life and pro-choice forces. Having fought each other to a stand-still, both side agreed to protect the rights of unborn children but to allow them to be “unwound” between their thirteenth and eighteenth birthday if they proved to be a burden to their parents. Unwinding distributes the living parts of the child so that can be used as replacements parts by adults. Unwinding is seen as entering an altered state of living rather than being killed.

    I found this idea so unlikely and so repugnant that I almost skipped the book.
    But within a chapter or two Neal Shusterman had turned this abstract idea into a horrifyingly plausible reality by getting me involved in the lives of three young people, who, for different reasons, had been marked as Unwinds but who refuse to accept their fate.

    In some ways, “Unwind” reminded me of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, another grim exploration of a dystopian future. Both books remind us of how we can be persuaded to accept things that are fundamentally evil when they are sincerely presented by the powerful as for the greater good and when they only impact those for whom we have little sympathy.

    But Schusterman’s book, while not side-stepping the issues, is more action oriented than The Handmaid’s tale. It has a plot that twists and turns and surprises and kept me wanting to know what would happen next. It is also kept fresh because each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the characters, typically one of the three Unwinds that we are first introduced to, although one of the most affecting chapters is told from the point of view of a secondary character and described in detail what happens when a person is unwound.

    Luke Daniels does a wonderful job in narrating this book. He is skilled with dialogue and accents and delivers prose at the right pace and with all the stresses where you would expect them to be. This makes the book easy to listen to and to think about.

    “Unwind” made me think, kept me interested and occasionally moved me to tears. I recommend it to anyone looking for science fiction with bite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina DENVER, CO, United States 02-20-13
    Christina DENVER, CO, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"
    What made the experience of listening to Unwind the most enjoyable?

    The way the story left you hanging on the edge of your seat!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unwind?

    The sudden change in one of the main characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    At first I thought the idea was ludacris, that parent's would essentially murder their children. But as I compared different religious practices and heard more about the background of how unwinding came to be, I could believe it. After I could believe it, then my emotions ran strong with this book.


    Any additional comments?

    The only bad thing is that the series isn't on audible. Just this book. But I am going to read the other books because this one was that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikki overland park, KS, United States 02-13-13
    Nikki overland park, KS, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Messed up"

    This book was very immaginative & scary to think life could ever be like this. If you liked the Hunger Games, I think you will like this. There was one scene that was pretty hard for me to listen to. Gory/messed up type things don't really bother me but this got me a little...i was cringing! Lots of twists & turns. The characters were good & you will be rooting for them

    When's the next book going to be on audible??!!! That's what you'll be thinking :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reading Fan 01-31-13
    Reading Fan 01-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting and thought provoking"

    I enjoyed the audio book, but there were a couple of places that I found it disturbing to read! The story is very good and takes a creative look at the value of life. I recommend the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Syd Rineyville, KY, United States 01-13-13
    Syd Rineyville, KY, United States 01-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought Provoking and a Little Depressing"

    After reading the premise of Unwind, I wondered if I could buy into the world Shusterman was sending me to. Would parents really be so cold that they would "unwind" their child for not living up to their potential? I tried resisting, but in the end, I was won over. Shusterman does a great job at showing us how this procedure is justified by society. If you tell a lie long enough, you start to believe it, and that's exactly what seems to have happened here.

    The main characters were well developed. They are flawed but good at their core. And although a romance blossomed, it took the entire book to come to fruition, so it was more believable. I found it easy to become emotionally invested in these doomed kids. In one scene, an unwind procedure takes place on an unlikeable character, but it was done so convincingly that it actually brought me to tears.

    I give the performance only 3 stars because Daniels' narration was so hard to get used to. His narration of the prose is VERY flat. He sounds just like the automated voice at my pharmacy! But, he is GREAT with dialogue. It took quite a while to get used to his tone, but by the end it was fine.

    All in all, I very much enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 12-21-12
    Sara 12-21-12 Member Since 2011

    Fat Chick getting Fit!

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    "Great series! Why only the 1st one?"

    If you like dystopian young adult books, you will love this series. I had to run to the library to get the second one and found out the 3rd is only available on my kindle! LOL Please....get the whole series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 10-31-12
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 10-31-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome Book!"

    I can't wait for the sequel now! Definitely worth the credit - one of my top 10 listens!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue United States 10-29-12
    Sue United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Disturbing"
    Where does Unwind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have to say this book is quite disturbing........and I put it in the same category as Hunger Games. Though it bothered me a lot to listen to it, I could not stop. It roped me in right away and I was compelled to listen to the end. For that reason I gave it 4 stars.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The continuing drama and unpredictability of the story.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Easy to listen to. Appropriate voice for the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was continually horrifying.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a book that you can't put down, this one is for you. I listen to audiobooks in my car, and this one definitely makes the driving time pass quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke 10-24-12
    Brooke 10-24-12 Member Since 2011

    Audio books are my new favorite thing, I'm catching up on so many books. If you know any good dystopia novels, please recommend them to me!

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    "Interesting idea, could have been better executed"

    I wanted to like this book, it's a very interesting idea for a dystopian society, but I don't think the author took it to the lengths he could have. The characters had the potential to be very engaging but I never found myself getting attached to them. There were definitely a few moments in the story where I felt very engrossed but overall, it just wasn't believable to me.

    Maybe there were too many ideas introduced that I felt weren't properly explored so it prevented me from really getting into it.

    And the narrator is verrrrry monotone also so beware.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane St. George, UT, United States 10-17-12
    Diane St. George, UT, United States 10-17-12 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself! I am the author of "Over the Moon" and "Falling Off the Planet." They are both YA Sci-fi fantasy romance.

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    "Thought Provoking"

    After a war between Pro-life and Pro-choice factions, a compromise is reached. A law is passed that defines "right to life" as being from conception to age 13. Parents can then get rid of unwanted teens by having them "unwound." This involves a process of total body part harvesting. The rationale is that the "unwinds" are still alive in other people. This leads desperate "unwinds" to a sort of underground railroad to the "Graveyard" where they can live until they turn 18 and become exempt from unwinding. The story is compelling, well written, and thought provoking. The characters are multidimensional and flawed, as troubled teens or orphans who are terminated by the state because of budget cuts. I found the ghoulish harvesting process extremely disturbing as the author goes through it with a victim, who is left fully conscious through it all. Everything is explained to him until he can no longer hear or think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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