In order to celebrate Banned Books Week here at Stiletto Storytime, I let my readers select and choose a banned book for me to read and review this week. I cannot tell you how happy I was with their selection of Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Not only was it a book that I had missed out on but it was a book that I greatly enjoyed by an author whom I had read before and loved in the past.
“I’d rather be partly great than entirely useless.”
“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.”
Unwind is no doubt on the “banned” list because of its subject of a type of abortion or “unwinding” that becomes common in future society due to the fight between pro-life anti-abortion petitioners and those who believe that the world has become sullied by acts such as teen moms dumping babies in dumpsters and teens behaving badly. The resolution they find is that between the ages of 13 and 17, teens can be “unwound” and each of their parts can go on to “live” inside another person…therefore they do not really die since their parts live on. This dystopian idea was very interesting to me, as was the use of technology and technological terms to de-value life in many ways.
In the book becoming pregnant is known as “uploading”, babies can be “storked” or left on doorsteps and become the responsibility of whomever finds them with no punishment for the parents. Then their are the “tithes”, children raised to be sacrificed from birth, “special” children whom are given over in what is believed a noble and religious way. It is a world that values life and yet doesn’t. Where human life is respected and yet almost relegated to machinery to be broken down for parts. It was in short quite a fascinating concept. It was also a read I could not put down. I highly recommend it for lovers of books with interesting concepts, dystopian ideas and just a good read in general. So again thanks to my readers for the wonderful suggestion on the perfect book to celebrate Banned Books Week 2010!
*Click here for Unwind movie news, puzzles and other fun activities at Neal Shusterman’s website.
*Like Dystopian Literature? Check out this article on “20 Greatest Works of Dystopian Literature” written by Emma one of my great readers here at Stiletto Storytime. Thanks Emma for the article recommendation.
Happy Banned Books Week to All. I hope you all found a way to celebrate!