Unwind by Neal Shusterman

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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.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

About Neal Shusterman

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Neal Shusterman, New York Times bestselling author, has written more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including Full Tilt, The Skinjacker Trilogy (Everlost, Everwild, and Everfound), Unwind, UnWholly, Bruiser, and The Schwa Was Here, which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction. Several of his books are now in development as feature films. Neal lives in Southern California when he’s not travelling the globe, and can be found online at Storyman.com.
Published May 20, 2009 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 353 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In this gruesome age of organ harvest, readers meet Connor (doomed to be unwound by his parents), Risa (doomed as a ward of the state due to overcrowding) and Lev, a tithe, conceived for the express purpose of being unwound and “donated” to society.

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The New York Times

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The author’s decision to describe the process is a questionable one — a book’s great unknown can leave the strongest impression on a reader — but he executes as precisely as the surgeons who perform the unwinding.

Mar 16 2008 | Read Full Review of Unwind


Someone with arthritic fingers could buy a completely new hand from an unwound child, and have it surgically transplanted -- the new hand would work flawlessly, and their life would be all better.

Jul 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Unwind

Teen Reads

In fact, this human dimension is one of the reasons UNWIND is simultaneously enthralling and repelling, as harrowing descriptions of capture and unwinding procedures result in a narrative that will engage readers with every fiber of their bodies --- shocking their hearts and emotions even as it e...

Nov 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Unwind

Common Sense Media

Raising issues that range from abortion, organ transplant, and euthanasia to the rights of parents, children, and society, Shusterman does what he's done many times before -- takes an idea and runs with it far beyond where most authors are willing to go.

Nov 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Unwind

The Overflowing Library

Unwind is set in a world where teenagers between 13 and 18 can be sent by their parents to be unwound, for whatever reason their parents might have, to have their body parts used to help someone else.

Sep 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Unwind

Your Entertainment Corner

I like that Unwind makes you think because it shows both sides of the argument ‘what to do with unwanted children.’ You think long and hard about what’s right even though the novel delves into the realm of unbelievable.

Sep 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Unwind

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