Monday, October 27, 2008

"Unwind" by Neal Shusterman

Shusterman has done it again - taken the thread of reality as we know it today and unspooled its length straight into a nightmarish future that seems totally possible. Connor, Risa, and Lev are three teens who, by choice or circumstance, are slated as "Unwounds" - kids who are soon to be "harvested" for their body parts. In a society that has experienced and lived through the horror of a war between pro-choice and pro-life factions, parents can choose to have the lives of their teens "altered" to benefit the rest of humankind by the donation of their very bodies.

Although they have different degrees of dedication to the "cause", Connor, Risa, and Lev have all escaped their trip to the harvest camp, and find themselves literally running for their lives. Shusterman develops the three characters at the same time he creates a chilling atmosphere of fear and suspicion. One of the most terrifying passages I've ever read is the chapter in which the unwinding of one teen unfolds through his thoughts and words.

I'd rate this page-turner FIVE out of five stars.

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