In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them.
Connor'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 eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
Genre: Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction/Futuristic Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover; Library
Page Count: 335
Pub. Date: November 6, 2007
My Rating: 5 Stars
Amazon.com: 4.5 stars
Goodreads: 4.4 (Average)
"One thing you learn when you've lived as long as I have - people aren't all good, and people aren't all bad. We move in and out of darkness and light all of our lives."
The book focuses around 3 main characters: Connor, Lev, and Risa - strangers until fate dealt a hand that brought them together. And what characters they are!
Connor is the troublemaker. A boy with a hot temper and a tough exterior, but just too much trouble for his parents to deal with. He comes across the papers that sealed the deal for his "Unwinding" and takes matters into his own hands.
Risa is a ward of the state; especially gifted in classical piano. But no practical use for the greater good so she's scheduled to be Unwound due to "budget cuts." (How fair is that?!)
Lev is what they call a tithe. He's been deemed a sacrificial offering to God since his birth. Told for 13 years that his purpose in life as a tithe is considered a blessing and to be looked upon with pride.
(Initial reaction after I finished: AWESOME.)
First off, I love the cover. Perfectly conveys just how creepy and intense it is.
Second, I really, really enjoyed this. At first the prospect of the story seemed bizarre, but frankly, that's what made it so great! A story unique and of itself; you'll be flipping pages till your eyes fall out.
Neal Shusterman wrote the 3 characters in a way that made them each believable and real. But that's not to take away from the great secondary characters. It's an exciting ride from start to finish; giving you chills down your spine in all the right places. If you're looking for a book that is captivating, unpredictable, and intense, then this is the book for you.
On a side not, this book explored the many avenues of future technology and what it could become. To me, it's almost unnerving to even consider the fact that technology so advanced could become a reality in the near future. This book brings many questions to life and leaves you with much food for thought. Definitely some eerie prospects that I will be pondering over the next couple days, I'm sure.
Philosophical thoughts aside, there is so much more I could say about this book, but I just can't find the words to say it. (Plus, most of it would involve spoilers and I certainly don't want to spoil anything!) My advice? Just read it!