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Unwind Audiobook

Unwind

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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

4.2 (2487 )
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4.3 (2188 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jendayi Dillard 06-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    William 12-30-13
    William 12-30-13
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    "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
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-20-12
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

    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 2016
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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
  •  
    Phillip Arlington, TX 04-29-14
    Phillip Arlington, TX 04-29-14 Member Since 2013
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    "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.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. 03-13-17
    R. 03-13-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT FOR TEENS. Inappropriate for all."

    This book was listed on the teen best seller list. I can't imagine why. The writing is good and the reading was better, but the storyline of this book is disturbed. Not in a 1984 or Animal Farm kind of way that serve as a cautionary tale, but simply disturbed. I feel the author has dark fantasies of what a future could be. This is the first book I have ever read that made me genuinely sorry for the author. Clearly talented, but this storyline is not coming from an OK place. How tormented to even contemplate the ideas in this book. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, but I am sincerely frightened at the thought of teens reading it. For teens,what they read often becomes normal or acceptable to them. This is neither. I am a free speech, never bans book kind of guy, but I would strongly warn anyone considering this book, and Parents should say NO. It is not simply disturbing, but disturbed in itself. It left me sickened and worse off for having read it. I do not recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 10-28-16
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 10-28-16 Member Since 2015

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "Protect your head from the moralistic bashing..."

    Very interesting concept, and I certainly can see the attraction of unwinding some of the azzhats I see bumming around the streets, but it does take a huge (HUGE) suspension of disbelief to buy into the underlying concept of this novel.

    I am not sure which part I couldn't accept: that a parent *would* unwind a 13 year old they raised from birth, or that any parent would *not* unwind a surly 17 year old. HAHA.

    Lots of room for exploration of more adult themes which were not touched on here in any depth: selection based on race, gender, orientation, disability, etc. And, really, could our world really be the same in every other manner if we unwound unwanted teens? Wouldn't our entire mode of existence have to be altered to accommodate this? The author assumes unwinding could evolve from our current state to be part of mainstream society, but this is fundamentally too far-fetched to accept.

    Anyway, it is YA, so no deep thoughts on the nature of a society that would allow unwinding, but, otherwise, it is kinda interesting and, while we really don't care about most of the characters, I think that is the point... or maybe the author just isn't very good at characterisation because the characters all feel interchangeable with the stereotype they represent (i.e. bad boy, bad girl, orphan girl, religious boy... their names are irrelevant).

    The pacing is a bit disjointed - there are long segments where not much happens, then a burst of stuff that is a bit interesting, then long segments again. I think this pacing issue was mainly due to the YA-Lecture component of the story and, if the author was not so driven to share morals, the story would have been better.

    There is nothing gory, no swearing and no sex here. The narration is fine.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Soitgoes 08-23-16
    Soitgoes 08-23-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "To be honest..."

    I'll probably be one of the few people to say they didn't like this story. I didn't know what I would think going into it, but having listened to the whole story I'm not sure I'll bother with the rest. Quickly, here's why.

    I thought the background information on the war and subsequent decisions was really limited. I'm sorry, but if parents are willing to basically kill their children there needs to be a whole lot of information on how people were convinced that this was the right decision. There isn't. And so the whole story requires you to just blindly accept that this actually happened. Even though the war was between pro life and pro choice groups. Somehow those two decided to unwind children under 18? I don't buy that.

    There were a few highlights, but overall I felt like I was waiting for the big moment. There was one obligatory major moment but other than that I felt like it was somewhat dull at points.

    The characters at time felt one dimensional and not well thought out. Some were just always bad, others were always there to save you. And then random characters existed to surprise you with their actions but those surprises felt somewhat hollow.

    Overall, interesting idea for a story but I had to fill in too many holes and suspend too many beliefs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 05-22-16
    Barbara 05-22-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "blah"

    This book was recommended from a friend who loved it, honestly I don't get it. It's not a plausible story line and it's told in such a way that you end up not caring very much about anybody in it. I'm not even sure which side of the agenda it was trying to be, pro choice or pro life. Either way, do yourself a favor and read something else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 05-14-16
    Matt 05-14-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could have been great"

    Though requiring a massive amount of suspension of disbelief, the premise is interesting. There are a few truly compelling scenes in the book, most notably the culmination of Lev's journey to Joplin and a section near the end focusing on Roland. However, as with much teen fiction the antiseptic dialogue and character interactions both detract and distract from the import of the weighty philosophical issues at play. The book would have been better served if written as a straight up, adult SF novel where it wouldn't have to pull its punches.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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