Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 6th 2007
Source: Owned Audible Book
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush Soda Saga or Trivia Crack.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
Why do I do this? Why do I wait so long on some books that are obviously a perfect match for me?
Unwind has an AWESOME premise- the war over abortion led to a kind of second civil war in the US. In order to put an end to it, both sides compromise in what has to be the most bizarre way possible (well, maybe not, history is rife with some crazy shiz). Aborting a pregnancy is no longer legal, BUT, you can A. stork your baby (leaving it on a doorstep of another family) or B. choose to have your kid Unwound once they hit the age of 13. If a kid can make it to 18, they’re safe, but until then I bet there’s less moody teenager crap going on.
So, what’s Unwinding? Well, in the future they’ve pretty much stopped trying to cure disease and shiz, and instead use transplants- and they use just about everything from brain to bone, to limbs to eyes. So, a teenager getting Unwound isn’t consider actually dying since they’ll go to other, living people… in pieces. There’s a huge need for new organs and body parts, so some kids never have a chance. I know, it sounds insane, but that’s where your job as the reader comes in: suspend your belief. I mean, if a certain candidate for a certain high ranking office can clinch his/her party’s nomination, then this doesn’t sound all that far-fetched anymore.
The story is told from 3 teens who are scheduled to be Unwound. Connor, who’s parent’s just aren’t interested in parenting him anymore (his younger brother is much more manageable), Risa, a ward of the state who’s musical talent just isn’t good enough to keep her around anymore, and Lev, who comes from a super religious family who takes that tithing concept to the extreme. Their stories all come together and get tangled up. Being selected for Unwinding is really just the beginning.
There’s also other great subplots- a young boy who had part of his brain transplanted is being haunted by it’s previous owner, the story of Humphrey Dumphrey, and the Clappers. Clappers are modern day terrorists who ingest liquid explosives that go off when they clap. Which is terrifying (even if they are anti-Unwinders, which is a movement I could support), mostly because I can see that this might someday be a thing. *shudder*
This is the first book of a trilogy, which I’ll probably get around to finishing. I loved the concept, because honestly, teenagers are so annoying. I know my parents would have been tempted to Unwind my pouty teenager ass, and high schools would probably be a lot less overcrowded if Unwinding was a thing.
narrates and does an awesome job! He gives each character their own voice, and made them unique enough that I never had to wonder who was talking. He did a good job with the female voices, especially Risa’s, too. I’m sure I would have liked this book regardless, but his narration definitely helped keep me on the edge of my seat. The other day Felicia of The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog featured Daniels on her June is Audio Book Month Appreciation post, and I realized I’ve only listened to a few of his narrations in the past. Time for me to up my narration game!