Good morning! It’s still morning, right? I woke up early and went to the gym this morning. First time on a row machine and my arms absolutely hate me. They’re angry. Really angry.
I have my cup of coffee and I’m so excited to settle in and tell you about some books that have spurred a lot of thinking around here. The good kind of thinking, about life and value and what makes us human.
The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman is set in a time when human life has been declared sacrosanct from conception to the age of 13. From the ages of 13 to 18, however, a child can be unwound—a process which allows for each part of the individual to be used in another person. There is no shortage of organs, no blindness, no immobility. If part of you doesn’t work, you have it replaced. Parents can have problematic children unwound. Wards of the state can be unwound if they don’t prove necessary. Basically, if you’re between the ages of 13 and 18 you need to watch your back.
The way Shusterman tells this story is captivating. There are several important characters, but Connor, Lev, and Risa are consistently important throughout. As I read, I was forced to evaluate the decisions we make today pertaining to organ donations and the value of individual lives. What would take a society to the place where it was okay with disassembling adolescents? What course of thinking makes that seem justified?
This is why I love dystopian fiction—it explores consequences and, in showing us the next world, demands that we more closely examine this one.
Unwind and Unwholly are particularly action packed. Things happen very quickly and there are a lot of characters to keep up with, but Shusterman is clear when transitioning from one character to the next. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good ride and doesn’t mind pondering some of the deeper aspects of humanity like ethics and questions of person hood. It was clean and suitable for middle school ages and up.
I recently read the third book thinking it would wrap things up and it didn’t. It’s a dystology not a trilogy. (Duh, Kaela!) There are definitely more books to come. Which is good because I. Need. Answers.
Have you read these books?
If not, have a look! I hope you enjoy them!