Title: Unwind (Unwind trilogy #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
In the future, abortions are illegal, but parents are given the option of sending their children to be Unwound before the age of eighteen. The Unwinds are sent to have every part of their body harvested. For most kids, being Unwound is death. But for others, it's a great blessing.
When sixteen-year-old Connor finds out that his parents are sending him to be Unwound, he runs away from home, causing a traffic accident in an attempt to escape.
Sixteen-year-old Risa grew up in a State Home for abandoned children, and the smallest of slips in a piano performance is enough for the state to send her to be Unwound. It al seems over for her, until she's rescued during a car accident by Connor.
Lev is a tithe--prepared all his life to be Unwound. It's a great blessing in his community, until his Pastor tells him to run and he is kidnapped by two teenagers slated to be Unwound like him....
Okay. I'll say it right now. This is literally, hands down, the best dystopian book I have ever read. The best. The world building is amazing, and it grapples with the issues that society is struggling with today. And one day, I will pass this to some fan of the Hunger Games or the Divergent series, and tell them that this is how a dystopian is written. Every detail of this society is well thought through. The Unwound thing reminds of that movie with Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley (Never Let You Go or something like that).
Having three main characters was a risk, but a good one. We can see the effects this society has on people raised in different communities (from the abandoned children as a result of the anti-abortion law, the delinquents sent away for being typically rebellious teenagers and the brainwashed Christians raised to believe that they are doing good). It explores the topics of social brainwashing and peer pressures. Gay marriage and racism are also lightly touched on, enough to convince you of the realness of this world Neal Shusterman created. It also goes into the ethical issues of organ harvesting. I mean, seriously?
I loved the little sub-plots that went on in this book. It never seemed too much or distracting. And I never got confused or lost in the plot. All the tiny little plotlines allowed the characters to develop and explored even more of society's problems without straying from the main focus. Also it talks about the social dynamics of teenagers and kids.
The only thing I didn't like about this was Levi. I just. Couldn't. Stand. Him. I don't think he was supposed to be particularly likeable, but after *spoiler* the first part with CyFi, his plot line fizzled. *end spoiler* Whereas the story of Connor and Risa just got stronger and seriously I ship those two.
I don't know about the next book. This book ended nicely. But I'll be reading it and reviewing it soon.
Grade: A+++ No words. Just read it.