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Anyone read Unwind by Shusterman?

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My almost 13 yr dd's Honors English teacher recommended this to the class, and dd brought it home today from the school's library. I haven't read it, the content is a bit bothersome, and I've seen 'a scene' referenced online.


What is the scene (you can pm)? She's read the Hunger Games trilogy and The Giver. Is this about the same, or worse? TIA!

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I read it a couple of years ago. I've also read The Hunger Games and The Giver. Let me preface my opinion with three things:


1) I love dystopian/apocalyptic literature. I've read a TON of it.

2) I've read a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz...psychological thrillers are a genre I like. (I also like psychological thriller movies.)

3) Given 1 and 2, I don't consider that I scare easily. Things that I read/see don't really bother me. They don't give me nightmares, etc.


Now, having said that, I found this book incredibly disturbing. Way worse than either of the other books you mentioned. I had nightmares for the better part of a week after finishing it. I can't think of that book a year later without it affecting me.


* Spoiler Alert *


The story is about 3 kids and is set in a time and place where abortion is illegal, but you're allowed to "unwind" a child between 13-18 as long as all of their parts are put in another person. The main character, Connor, has been sent to be unwound by his parents because he's too much trouble. He's not a bad kid, just a kid in a bad patch. He befriends Risa, who is being unwound because to save money because she's a ward of the state. And they befriend Lev, who is has been raised that it is his honor to be unwound as a tithe.


If they can survive till their 18th birthday, they're safe. Connor doesn't make it and is unwound. The scene where he is unwound is very graphic and intense. Connor must be awake for the entire process in order for them to harvest his body. He's begged and pleaded not to be unwound, he's fought for his life tooth and nail. And he's forced into a room, strapped down, and describes the feelings he has as he's cut to pieces, beginning at his toes and working the way up to his head. He has a "nurse" who is assigned to sit next to him and reassure him throughout the whole process. They have pain drugs so he's not in pain, but he describes each sensation...the loss of his toes, of his arms, the loss of his sight, of no longer being able to answer the nurse (because his tongue has been removed), no longer being able to feel the nurse holding his hand...until he begins a thought and is unable to complete it because he has been completely unwound.


* End Spoiler Alert *


The writing is great and it's a good premise, but it's so incredibly detailed and graphic that I was dry heaving and sobbing when I read that part. And, like I said, I just don't get upset over books/movies. The only other book that's ever had that sort of effect on me was when Dumbledore died in Harry Potter, LOL! And that didn't upset me in the way this did; that was more of a "my grandfather just died" upset. :)


I would have a REALLY hard time recommending it to a tween/teen. And if I did, I would read it with them and be fully prepared to deal with any psychological fallout from it.


Feel free to ask anything else you'd like to know and I'll try to answer from what I remember.

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I read it - loved it. It is disturbing. I don't know a lot about the author's ideology, but I can guess he is not pro-life. I think one of his goals was to show what horrible things could happen if abortion were made illegal. To that end, it was absurd.


The sequel was just released last month I think. Going to look for it now that I have been reminded!

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