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The cover says it all. Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a terribly haunting story that questions faith and our current views on life. I actually read this book about a month ago but I couldn't bring myself to talk about it for a while.
Now I'm not a particularly squeamish person. I can deal with blood, I watch Game of Thrones, and I was an avid Bones fan for a while. This book is not a bloody book but the content is difficult to read. Kids are unwound during the course of this book and it was difficult for me to read. I had to put the book down multiple times during this story just to get through it.
Shusterman does a good job creating characters. In real life, Connor might not be someone I relate to but in this novel he becomes a hero. I was able to sympathize with him in a way I wouldn't normally sympathize with a character like him. Then Shusterman makes an incredibly relatable character in the form of Risa. She is a kid caught in a bad situation and you cannot help but feel for her. The final piece of the puzzle is Lev. In my opinion he has the most growth throughout the novel. He grows from being a passive member of society to a strong hero who questions the rules he has been brought up to view as his destiny. Overall, Lev embodies how we should all view changes to our society.
This book is most haunting because it could happen. It addresses increasingly important issues within our society. These aspects make this book a great example of the role dystopian fiction can play in showing us a possible future. I recently read an article from Wired, which talked about how we need dystopian novels to help children understand the criticize what is occurring in our own society. Dystopian novels mimic the uncertainty of our future and maybe make us better prepared for dealing with the future. Unwind is just another example of how dystopian fiction is asking critical questions we may one day need to address.
Unwind is a good novel if you don't mind being truly frightened by the content of being unwound. I'm not sure I will continue with the series, not because I didn't like the book but I feel like I've had enough of this subject matter. Definitely give this book a try! It's worth the feelings of terror.
Also If you'd like to check out the Wired article here is the link.