Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

First, let me give props where they are due.  Thank you to my friend Lora for recommending this book.  We at The Family Addiction (TFA, as we call ourselves) LOVE when our followers recommend books for us to read.  We especially love when our followers recommend a really good book like this one.  Reading and reviewing a book is far more fun if we know you are waiting to hear what we thought about it.  Um, and it also keeps us accountable and helps us post on time.  These are good things.

Billed for readers grade 7 and up, Unwind is set in the future. The second civil war, which broke out over abortion, has just ended thanks to a treaty called "The Bill of Life."  To satisfy both the pro-life an pro-choice camps, the Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched until the age of 13.  However, between the ages of 13 to 18 a parent may choose to retroactively abort their child. The process of retroactively aborting a child is called "unwinding." Connor, Risa and Lev, the three "unwinds" that have escaped their unwinding, are the main focus of the novel and are our tour guides through their quest to stay alive.  If they can reach the age of 18 without being caught, they are free to live a normal live and will not be unwound.  If caught, they will be unwound and their organs and limbs will be harvested and used for transplants. 

You need to read this book.  No matter what your beliefs, your views and opinions on life and our species will be challenged.  I won't sugar coat it.  It made me uncomfortable.   It was impossible to be engaged with these kids as they faced the end of their lives and not compare it to my life.  Would this have been an option for me if my life had turned out differently?  What if we really did have a second world war?  What if retroactive abortion was available in our society today?   What would our world look like?

One of the reasons I was so involved was that the author made these teens and their stories so personal.  Not only do I know kids like these, I used to BE a kid like this.  The only difference  is that at one time or another, their parents decided they didn't want them anymore and signed an order to have them unwound.  Let's face more incident like the one the summer I turned 17 and I'm pretty sure my mom would have signed that order.

The beauty of this book is that the author doesn't take one side or the other.  There are pros (diseased children can get a perfect transplant from an unwind) and cons of the process.  There was no preaching, no hidden agenda.  I swear, the internal dialogue this book promoted was scary.  I finished the book over a week ago and still think about it on daily basis.  So how did it end?  The end was the end.  Except for me the end was the beginning and the beginning is a whole new way of looking at life. 

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  1. How IN THE WORLD does this book deal with the real, immediate, day-to-day consequences of pregnancy, child birth and child rearing that are usually factors in a woman's decision to abort a pregnancy? Things like threats to the life and health of the mother? Psychologically and financially unfit parents?

  2. Um, it doesn't. It is written in the years following the second civil war and the "Bill of Life." As the reader and a woman, those were certainly issues that were crashing together in my head as I read it but the book deals in terms of the these 3 kids and their particular stories.