At first glance, you might expect this post to be about relaxation. You know, unwind. Let go. Etc., etc.
But au contraire, as my French friends will say. This post is about one of the BEST books I've read in a long time. And I challenge you to read it as well.
It's Unwind by Neal Shusterman. I stumbled upon this book when picking up my vacation reading. I'd read another by this author several years ago (The Schwa Was Here...also a great book). So I thought...why not?
I don't know where to start.
This science fiction story takes place after the Second Civil War, a battle waged between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice armies. The premise of the story is that human life cannot be touched from the moment of conception (i.e. no abortion). But parents can choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process of "unwinding." So any young person between the ages of 13 and 18 can be unwound, meaning all of their organs are harvested and transplanted into various recipients. They're not "technically" dead. What? No more counseling for troubled youth...oh no. They get unwound!
In this gripping story we meet Connor, a bit of a rebel, who learns that his parents have chosen to unwind him. He's none too happy about this decision, so he takes off. And it goes from there.
Not everyone in this future society is in favor of unwinding. There are some seemingly altruistic types who want to help these young people -- actually, to save them -- until they turn 18 years of age and can no longer face the dreaded unwinding. I say they are seemingly altruistic because...well, you'll know what I mean when you read the book.
I'm telling you: you've got to read this book. There was one part toward the end where I think I read almost 2 pages without taking a breath. Seriously. I felt I was there -- with the character -- observing a truly horrific thing. That just tells you how amazing a writer Neal Shusterman is. He grabs you on the first page and doesn't let you go.
I'm not usually a reader of science fiction, but this one is not to be missed.
There is a sequel to this book: Unwholly. I'll be picking that one up soon. But I'm still reflecting on Unwind.
Let me know what you think. Until next Saturday, happy reading.