Unwind, Unwholly, Unsouled, and Undivided by Neal Shusterman
This series is creepy! In order to calm myself so I can review this dystology, I’ll address the novels in terms of three categories: the concepts, the peoples, and the propaganda.
Unwinding — the process of taking apart a person piece by piece so that those parts can go on to another person. Like organ donation, but without the consent. Unwinding has to be the most morally reprehensible concept I’ve ever heard of.
Another bizarre concept — storking. Got a baby you don’t want? No worries. You HAVE to carry it to term, but after it’s born, you can leave it on someone’s doorstep. No harm, no foul. Just don’t get caught or you have to raise it yourself. *smacks head*
AWOLs — teens between ages of 13 and 17 who have been scheduled, by their parents, for unwinding but who ran away. These are the smart kids in these books.
Tithes — kids who grew up knowing that at thirteen they would be unwound “for the good of all”. Like tithing at church, but with a human being. (If you could see my eyes right now you guys…bug eyes…huge, huge bug eyes.)
What the hell is wrong with the people in this universe!!!!
All the peoples:
Problem with this thinking is: the problem never goes away if you ignore it! Durrrr! I would like to think that most people would not stand idly by while all of this unwinding and storking and tithing and kids running for their lives was going on, but I’m frequently surprised (or maybe not that surprised) by humanity’s ability to stick its collective head in the sand.
The only people who seemed to want to do anything about the problems in this world were Connor, who only started to care about other people when he HAD to; Risa, who was thrown together with Connor and was arguably the only reason Connor turned out to be a decent guy; Lev, another victim of circumstance turned do-gooder, and a super old lady named Sonia who ran an antique shop that doubled as a safe house for runaways. Some arguments could be made about the goodness of a few satellite characters, but these are our main players. (I’m not even going to talk about Cam, the first rewound person, in this review. There’s just not enough time.)
The propaganda represented in this novel was seriously scary. Scary, because it could so easily become a reality. How many parents out there have been at their wits end because of their teens? Come on, everybody’s hands flew up at that, right? Teenagers are naturally snarky and dysfunctional. They’ve got so many hormones racing through them their own bodies feel alien, they’re told all the time to grow up but are never given opportunities to behave like adults, and probably the worst thing is — they feel suppressed, caged in, the total opposite of freedom. It’s no wonder they act out! But surely, surely in this world, our real world, we will never adopt something as heinous as unwinding our children into a so-called “divided state”…right???
If you’re not intrigued by now, I can’t help you. If you’re totally put off, I understand. Regardless, I think you should read these. Now.