Ahhh!!! I’m still not sure how to put my thoughts into words for this book. It was intense. It was twisted. It was messed up. But it was good, in a way.
There has been a Second American Civil War. Pro-Life against Pro-Choice. The two sides finally reached an agreement known as The Bill of Life. A child’s life may not be aborted or ended in any way… But from ages thirteen to eighteen, the parents of the child may have him or her “unwound”. The process of “unwinding” doesn’t “technically” end his/her life, rather he/she is just living in a new way as his/her organs and body parts are given to people who need them. Connor is a rebel teen who has gotten into too much trouble too many times and now he’s a runaway. Risa is a state ward who is going to be unwound because of budget cuts. Levi is a tithe: part of the ten percent to be given to God. So he is prepared to be unwound.
Let’s start with these characters. I loved them, alright?! They were engaging and unique. Connor has a temper which at leads to him acting before thinking. He’s not a strong and buff kind of guy, but he can still be cruel when he’s lost his temper. He’s also sarcastic. Risa’s smart and inventive. She has a lot of useful skills. She is able to come up with a cover story on the spot. She can defend herself pretty well too. Levi, normally called Lev, makes some very bad decisions. Some because it was the way he was raised, others because his hatred and anger was used against him and he was led astray. But, in the end, I think he’ll turn out alright.
It was very exciting and intense right from the start. How could a runaway story not be intense (Especially when the government is after you.)? Things finally let up for a little bit, but it didn’t last. Let me just say, what an ending! It was shocking, unexpected, but totally fits this kind of story. It is a kind of sad and happy ending that gives you the feeling that better times are ahead.
The writing was not something I’m used to, but really good. It was third person, but in present tense.
This was so thought provoking. Christianity was so twisted as to make Christians see unwinding as good. Some characters struggled with believing in God since He had let all this bad stuff happen. Characters discussed questions that they didn’t necessarily have the answers to. For example: Did they have souls? If they did, when did they get their souls: in the womb, when they born, etc.? Were they alive after being unwound? These and other questions really made me think. Some of these questions could be asked even in our own time.
There was a bit of language, but not a lot. There was a time when this boy almost, almost raped this girl, but it was stopped before anything actually happened. One kid said that he had two dads, but it never went into detail. There was a few intense kisses and it was suggested that the characters wanted it to become something more, but they never went through with that. There’s violence, but I didn’t feel like it was graphic. Some kids blew up themselves to kill other people. The story shifts to a kid’s perspective as he is being unwound, but nothing was actually described because the kid couldn’t see or feel what was happening.
This was such an interesting read, I’m excited to see how the rest of this series turns out. It is not as creepy as you would think. I’d recommend this to older turn just for some of the content. If you want something different, go read this.