Nan’s Notes: Unwind

  • by Neal Shusterman
  • 335 pages
  • young adult/fiction
  • published June 2009
  • I borrowed this book from a friend.

I almost put this book down when I started it I thought it was going to be too disturbing (I rarely feel like that). But I kept on reading and I am so glad I did. This is a book that will be going through my head for a long time. It’s a book you want to talk about with others who have read it.

Let me tell you a bit about the book. Happy Jack Harvest Camp looks like a place every teenager would want to visit.  It is located in northern Arizona, surrounded by forests and red mountains. The grounds are beautifully maintained and filled with calming and tranquil pastels. The only problem, is that at a harvest camp, kids who are designated as unwinds are the only ones who come here. You walk in, but you don’t walk out.

Unwind takes place in the future after the Heartland War. After the war, the “Bill of Life” was passed. Now, abortion is illegal but teenagers between the ages of 13-18 can become unwound. This means, the child is terminated but also kept alive by having all his/her organs and body parts sent to hospitals where people pay for them  replace sick or hurt body parts.  Hospitals now keep fully stocked organ centers so there are always parts available.

Even though unwinding has becoming common and accepted, there is still a lot about it that is unknown and most people do not want to become an unwind. Connor and Risa, 2 characters on their way to becoming unwinds question whether you die or live on after unwinding. Lev, looks at it differently. he is a tithe. His parents had him, planning on donating him to be an Unwind. Connor, Risa, and Lev do everything possible to escape their fate.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book.  This could end up being one of my most memorable reads of the year (and it’s only my second book!).

I haven’t read any other books by this author but I know I want to. What are some of your favorites by Neal Shusterman?

Awards and Honors:

  • 2008 ALA Top Ten Picks for Reluctant Readers
  • 2008 ALA Best Young Adult Book list
  • 2010 Japanese Sakura Medal
  • 2008 Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • 2010 Washington Evergreen YA Book award List
  • 2010 Oklahoma High School Sequoyah Award List and
  • 2010 Oklahoma Intermediate Sequoyah Award List
  • 2009/2010 Texas Lonestar Award List and
  • 2009 Texas Tayshas Award List
  • 2009/2010 Virginia Readers Choice Award List
  • 2009/2010 Indiana Rosewater High School Book Award nominee
  • 2010 Utah Beehive Award Nominee
  • 2009/2010 Missouri Gateway Readers Award Nominee
  • 2010 Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award List
  • 2009/2010 Vermont Green Mountain Book Award
  • 2010 Rhode Island Teen Book Award List
  • 2010 Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award List
  • 2009/2010 Georgia Peach Award List
  • 2009/2010 Florida Teens Read Award List
  • 2009/2010 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award List



6 Responses

  1. Wow this sounds incredible but also very disturbing. It reminds me a little bit of Never Let Me Go as well.

  2. Amanda – I really liked this book. I can’t believe I almost put it down. I don’t think my review really captured the spirit of the book, but it had sat a draft for so long I just wanted to get it up on the blog.

  3. Wow…. I have never heard of anything like this and swear my heart is beating a little faster after reading what it is about. I am not sure if I could handle this one.

  4. its a very good book guys and i think if you have read up to 50 pages of the book you cant take it out of your eyes!!!!!!!

  5. I respect the person who made this website! i hope many people looks at this site!!!! Well done!

  6. i found this site cause i was doing a project in school :):) pretty hard to find :):)

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