Monday, March 28, 2011


Title of the Book:
Neal Shusterman
# of pages:
Published: 2007
Science Fiction, Young Adult, Survival, the Value of a Soul

Summary of the Book:
Set in a futuristic America where the second Cival War was over the right to the soul. The result of the war was an order in which parents could have their children “Unwound” between the ages of 13 and 18. The children are not killed off because their entire bodies are used as organ donations and therefore the body and soul never dies.
Connor is your typical “bad boy.” His entire high school career has been spent getting in and out of fights. When he finds his parents signed form to have him Unwound by the government, he decides to run. His path crosses with Risa, a State Home unwind, and Lev, a “tithe” who is willingly being unwound in order to adhere to religious beliefs. The three run the track of fugitives until they are finally faced with the ultimate challenge: survive until they are 18.

The three unwinds in the story all bring to surface various themes and challenges Shusterman portrays through the novel. Connor is faced with dealing with his anger. How does an unwind who has been betrayed by his family and the entire world find a way to control his anger? Connor plays the game of emotions as he battles his inner anger and finds a way to cope with what has happened to him. Risa deals with the challenge of perfection. She has spent her entire life in the State Home where she became a pianist. Though accomplished, she did not meet the talent of those State Home orphans who are able to avoid unwinding. Eventually she finds that her talents grow and expand as soon as she is no longer under society’s label. Through Risa’s story Shusterman declares that we are all talented in our own ways but not always in the ways society wants us to be. Lev deals with the horror of realizing that everything he has grown up with and believed about God is smashed to pieces. Shusterman makes a huge statement about religion through Lev’s story and contribution. Ultimately Lev finds that he does not have to conform to society’s definition of God; he can believe in a God who doesn’t believe in unwinding.
One of the most interesting aspects of the novel was the short excerpts at the beginning of each section. These excerpts were taken from actual quotes or articles from the world we live in today and connected them to issues in the novel. The excerpts showed that the novel is not as “sci-fi” as we might believe; we are faced, and will continue to face questions about how our world defines the right to life and a soul as we develop as a society.


  1. I really like books that have the settings in the future. Mostly cause while you are reading the book it makes you think and wonder if it is possible that our world would turn out like these made up horror worlds. And its true our world could fall apart and lose all ethical ideas. I am interested in this book and would like to read it to find out how the author portrays the future.

  2. I enjoyed reading the summary to this book. It seems like a twisted (pun intended) story. I mean his parents sign him up to donate his organs. I would have run too. I like the way they have until they are eighteen until they are safe. It adds hope to the story and im sure they have some close calls that would keep you on the edge of your seat. DEFINITELY a book i will look into.

  3. I really would recommend this book. My sister owns it, and we love it! We can't wait till the next one comes out!

  4. This is an amazing book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a crazy story. I loved reading the whole book!

  5. i really want to read this book i have been told by a lot of people and this review makes me want to read it more. this book is defiantly going to the top of my "must read" pile

  6. I really like the cover of the book. It looks good, and sounds good to. I would read this book!

  7. Hmm. This story sounds interesting. I love the futuristic setting books, but the part that sounds the most interesting to me is the religious struggle Lev goes through. This book is going on the "list".