Unwind

5 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 4,906 ratings

Summary

Follow three teens on the run from a fate worse than death—having their body parts “unwound” and harvested for others—in a gripping series that raises the question: What does it truly mean to be alive? 

Maybe they’re fed up with difficult behavior. Maybe they need the money. For any number of reasons, parents can have their teenage kids “unwound,” salvaged for their body parts, from their hands and feet to their tissues and heart. But most kids don’t take too kindly to the thought of being taken apart at the Chop Shop, and it’s not uncommon for Unwinds to attempt escape. 16-year-old Connor is sent to be unwound due to his constant fighting. 15-year-old Risa, a ward of the state, is shipped off to the Happy Jack Harvest Camp to cut orphanage costs. 13-year-old Lev, the tenth child of a deeply religious family, was conceived and raised to be unwound as a tithe. Together, these unlikely allies fight to survive and evade being captured by “parts pirates,” while planning to get revenge on a society in which a child’s life can be discarded at age 13. Will they stay alive and intact until they reach 18? As the series continues, the teens push the moral issues of unwinding into the light of day, forcing society to confront its terrifying practices and chilling compromises. 

Winner of more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards, Luke Daniels brings the dystopian world of the runaway Unwinds to your ears. He gives each character a unique voice while keeping the tension mounting, making the story come alive and feel whole. Nuanced and appropriately eerie, his delivery nails the vibe of a near-future United States not that different from today’s.

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best selling author of more than 30 books for children, teens, and adults, including the Unwind series, the Skinjacker trilogy, and Challenger Deep, winner of the National Book Award. He was inspired to write Unwind out of anger at our society’s tendency to polarize and oversimplify complex moral issues. He hoped his series would prompt young people to question the status quo and explore all sides of ethical arguments.

The series debut novel, Unwind, was awarded the 2008 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association and attracted critical praise. To quote a starred review in School Library Journal: “Characters live and breathe; they are fully realized and complex, sometimes making wrenchingly difficult decisions. This is a thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely.”

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  • Book 1

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  • Book 1.5

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