Unwind

Unwind - Neal Shusterman "With the war getting worse... we proposed the idea of unwinding, which would terminate unwanteds without actually ending their lives. We thought it would shock both sides into seeing reason -- that they would stare at each other across the table and someone would blink. But nobody blinked... Everyone was so happy to end the war, no one cared about the consequences."Connor is a "troubled teen," sent to be unwound because his parents don't know how to deal with him. Risa is an orphan, sent in because of budget cuts and lack of funding in the state homes.Lev is a tithe -- the sacrifice of religiously fanatical parents -- who has been raised to believe his unwinding is an honor.Together, they're on the run from Juvey-cops who would turn them in to have their bodies divided up, all the pieces used as transplants for others, a process known as Unwinding. As they journey to what they hope will be a safe haven, they encounter others with different views and experiences, raising questions of morality, sacrifice, and the sanctity of life.This was a re-read for me, and though I knew how everything would turn out, I still found myself on the edge of my seat, clutching the book, and not wanting to set it down. The philosophical and moral questions raised by the book keep the reader intellectually engaged, and the situations the "Unwinds" get themselves in keep the plot moving, making this a quick, but incredibly thought-provoking read. The characters are human and flawed, but grow and develop through the course of the story, becoming better people for their struggles. There are many parts of the story that are emotionally jarring, taking the reader from the frustration and anxiety of being on the run, to the sorrow and grief of regret, to the sheer terror and helplessness of being unwound. It's one of those rare books that keeps breaking into your thoughts long after you've closed the last page.There are, however, parts that are disturbing, and others that are downright terrifying, so this is a book I'd only recommend to mature readers who are ready to take on weighty topics and don't have a weak stomach. If you're squeamish, skip chapter 61.Overall: Still one of my favorite books due to its emotionally engaging plot and the fact that it really makes you think.