Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman

Book cover: Unsouled, book 3 in the Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman’s Unwind dystology (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) is creepy science fiction that takes its inspiration from real-life social issues including abortion and organ donor shortages.

The story begins with Unwind (2007) and continues with UnWholly (2012) and UnSouled (2013). UnDivided, the fourth book in the series, is expected in 2014.

A “compromise” between pro-life and pro-choice forces — sides in a second U.S. civil war — created a process called “unwinding.” From ages 13 to 17, a child can be “unwound” by his or her parents or guardian. Unwound children supposedly continue to exist in a “divided state” with every part of their bodies harvested.

An interesting touch by Shusterman is the paid political ads interspersed throughout the narrative. (“Does your teen seem unable to stand living in his or her own skin? It could be more than simple teenage rebellion. Your child may be suffering from Biosystemic Disunification Disorder, or BDD.”)

The story opens with an encounter between three teens — Connor, Risa and Lev — who are slated to be unwound, each for different reasons that add complexity to the narrative.

As the story continues, readers are introduced to an ever-growing cast of characters.

About the first book, Karen T. Bilton wrote for School Library Journal, “This gripping, thought-provoking novel is guaranteed to lead to interesting discussions about abortion, adoption, organ donation, religion, politics, and health care.”

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