Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Imagine a world where there is no more abortion debate. Every baby gets born. The catch? Between the ages of 13 and 18, your parents or guardians can choose to unwind you. Technology has progressed to a point that "unwinds" are used for parts. Every part of them is reused for transplant surgery, to heal burn victims, to replace damaged organs and limbs. Crazy, right? But your parents would never do something like that...

That's what Conner thought too, until he found the note on his dad's desk. So he had gotten in a few fights at school, and he wasn't getting along with his family like he used to...but this? He and his girlfriend are going to run away before it happens, until she decides to stay. He's on his own. It's illegal for unwinds to run, and if he's caught, he'll be sent to harvest. His only hope is to stay hidden until he turns 18, after that he may face prison, but at least he'll be alive.

Risa is so nervous, she knows that so much is riding on this piano recital. She has practiced so hard, and even though her piece is difficult, she is confident she can pull it off. If she can just show them how talented she is, maybe she stands a chance. "Wards" - wards of the state - are always facing the possibility of unwinding. Risa's always been a good kid, but not the best. She's talented, but not a prodigy. In the end, it's not enough. "Budget cuts," they say...how can her life be dependent on a budget? She has no choice, and she's on her way to the harvest camp.

Lev's family believes in self-sacrifice. They believe in giving their all to God. They believe that tithing shouldn't stop with money, but that they should do their part to contribute to the life saving measures in place for victims of disease and disaster. That's why Lev's celebrating...this is his Tithing Party. Tomorrow, he will go to the harvest camp as an example of God's love and sacrifice. He's grown up knowing this, and he has made his peace with it. His oldest brother is less accepting, but Lev knows this is the right thing. He's on his way to harvest camp, too...

Suddenly, Connor makes a hasty appearance into the others' lives. He causes a wreck to the transport bus that Risa is on, and grabs Lev on a whim. Risa follows thinking this may be her only chance for escape. Can this mismatched group ever find a common ground? Will they be able to find safety?

A powerful idea, built into a powerful story. Regardless of your opinion on the topic of abortion, it forces you to think about your own beliefs. At times, it may have seemed a little over the top, but then again...so are teenagers. Rumors are that Schusterman is hoping to sell the story to Hollywood.
"'With the war getting worse,' says the Admiral, "we brokered a peace by bringing both sides to the table. Then we proposed the idea of unwinding, which would terminate unwanteds without actually ending their lives. We thought it would shock both sides into actually seeing reason - that they would stare at each other across the table and someone would blink. But nobody blinked,'" (Schusterman pg. 224, 2007).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Everlost by Neal Schusterman (Skinjacker Trilogy, Book 1) 
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies series, Book 1)

Schusterman, Neal. (2007). Unwind. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

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