Friday, September 25, 2009
MHS is crazy for Shusterman's Unwind
I thought 8 copies of Unwind would be enough to keep everybody happy but I was wrong. Everyone is loving this story or a future world gone wrong. I'm up to sixteen copies and they are all checked out!
In this crazy-but-believable future, doctors and scientists have perfected organ transplant technology. Anything that goes wrong with your body is easily solved by plugging in a new part. Losing your eyesight? No biggie! Plug in new eyeballs. Injure your hand? Just get a new one grafted on. Freaky, huh?
This means that full-size, low-mileage parts are at a premium. Can you guess where they come from? Teenagers. Bad teens whose parents have had enough. Orphaned teens who society decides have no special talent. "Special" teens who have been conceived for the express purpose of having their organs tithed. To be "unwound" is to have your parts harvested for reuse by others.
Bad boy Connor, orphaned Risa, and tithed Lev are all scheduled to be unwound. If they can survive until they turn 18, they will no longer be eligible for the process. Their story is disturbing and incredibly suspenseful. The characters are complex and Shusterman's premise will really make you think.
The climactic scene with Roland...wow. Sometimes a piece of fiction sticks in your heart and brain long after you put the book down. That scene wrecked me when I read it and it's still (still!) with me now.
It's not all that often a book is thrillingly suspenseful and intellectually challenging at the same time but Unwind certainly is.