November 13, 2012

This is the best YA dystopian novel that I read so far. The idea is compelling, even though the premises are not solid. I love this novel much better than Delirium. See my review for Delirium.

The world in this story is a post-war world, a war between pro-life and pro-choice (which I think is almost improbable). It ends with a compromise, the solution of Unwind (killing a teenage human being to harvest the organ), hence the title.

First, the idea that the compromise between pro-life and pro-choice is an unwinding process sounds ridiculous. The pro-life doesn’t even agree to abort the younger-than-3-months fetus, not to mention 18 year old juvenile. The pro-choice also will not agree because the whole idea of pro-choice is to give the mother (which is a grown adult) more right than the fetus.

Second, the writer redeemed himself by making me interested enough to continue to read because of the idea of the locus of soul. When your body is divided to several part, is your soul divided also? When your body cell are kept alive, even though through separate body, can you say that you are still alive? This is quite a philosophical question to make you ponder. There are many twists in this novel referring to this idea.

Third, the characters are well designed and lovable. You can connect with the inner struggle of characters and sympathize with them. Yes, the character are not that complex, but it suffices for YA novel.

Fourth, the plot and pacing are good enough to make it interesting without being overly romantic like other YA novels.

Five, as a political statement, this book is not so strong. It is this fact that separate this novel for being in the same league as the political dystopian classic such as 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. I think the writer can do much better if he explored not the pro-choice and pro-life debate, but instead the rampant case of body part sales (in China for example) for economic needs. The news of a teenager in China who sold one of his kidney just to buy an iPad make me feel sick. I don’t know how many people sold their body part just to get money. Imagine that China become a rogue state that legalize the sales of human parts; THAT is a good premise for a dystopian novel.

Overall, well done, and I am willing to read the next installment:

Verdict: 3/5

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