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Most Powerful Dystopian Story | Unwind by Neil Shusterman Book Review

With books like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are at the height of popularity. With each book pushing further into a terrifying ordeal within a broken world, Unwind is the one that takes this genre to a whole other level. And, that’s what we will discuss in this book review.

If you don’t like to hear about teenagers getting hurt, I would recommend not reading this book or this post. There is a pretty intense chapter, but if you enjoy dystopian books, let’s dive in further.

In this month’s book review, we will be diving into the twisted world of Unwind by Neil Shusterman and looking at how such a story can be told thoughtfully and uniquely.

Everything you need to know about the book can be summed up in a single sentence written on the cover: What if your parents could unwind you?

Book review of Unwind by Neil Shusterman Pinterest graphic

Book Review


At first glance, this is confusing yet intriguing, as unwind could mean many things. However, the true meaning of unwind is much more sinister than any guess you’ve made. When a child reaches thirteen, their parents can choose to have them unwound. Or, in other words, they can have their organs, and everything donated, basically leaving nothing. The thought is that this process allows the child to live on by helping the recipients. And, the parents no longer have to care for their kids anymore. Insane, huh? Yeah.

One question crept in my head as soon as I bought this book. What kind of parent would do that to their child?

And, in some ways, that question remains unanswered; but, the book explains the decision in a way that sort of helps you understand. Basically, you’re not left entirely clueless as to why this would even happen in the first place.

Of course, the book focuses mainly on the teenagers’ perspective and their journey, so above anyone, we sympathize with them. And, speaking of the characters, the story is told from the perspective of a bunch of people, with each chapter detailing one person’s view. It’s split into seven parts: Triplicate, Storked, Transit, Destinations, Graveyard, Unwound, and Consciousness.

“I was never going to amount to much anyway. But now, statistically speaking, there’s a better chance that some part of me will go on to greatness somewhere in the world. I’d rather be partly great than entirely useless.” – Samson Ward // Unwind by Neil Shusterman

How far are we capable of going? If helping someone else means ending another, is it worth it?

My Thoughts

This book really merges the science fiction, dystopian, and horror genres together. And, because of how intense the story is, and how on edge you become while reading it, Unwind is truly a book you won’t be able to put down. I finished this book in a day or two and was so enthralled by the characters and their stories.

With such an intense story, particularly in one chapter, this book has you questioning our existence as humans and what it means to be conscious. One question that came to mind was how much of ourselves can we lose before we become an entirely different being.


If you are a fan of dystopian books such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, you will most-likely enjoy this book.

If you would like to read this book or any other book, I highly recommend purchasing from ThriftBooks. This is not sponsored, and I have purchased nearly all of the books I bought from this website since finding it. The books are second-hand, so they are way more affordable than anything in your local bookstore. And, since you’re reusing the book, you’re lessening the footprint of purchasing a new book. ThriftBooks has so many books, such as books written in foreign languages (I’ve bought Icelandic, French, and Spanish books from the site), non-fiction, biographies, collectibles, and more!

However, if you are looking to purchase a recently released book, I recommend supporting the author and purchasing it new.

If you are interested in ThriftBooks, you can use my affiliate link. We both receive credit towards purchases at no extra cost. For more information on affiliate links, feel free to check out my disclaimers page here.

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