In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them
Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
First off, this book is YA. It’s not the usually adult Historical Romances I do. It’s Young Adult. That said, this book was awesome! (Rika, I definitely recommend this be your first foray back into the YA genre!)
The premise is nothing short of amazing. You can tell the author put a lot of thought into the whole plot and his acknowledgements at the beginning support that. I’m excited about this book so my thoughts are going to be disjointed.
– It’s told in multiple perspectives. But, each character is unique and alive (haha) that the shifts aren’t jarring. Sometimes the point of view changes are needed because one perspective became intense.
– The main characters are Connor, the supposed bad-boy, Risa, unwanted ward of the state, and Levi, the tithe born and raised to be unwound. The order I listed them? It’s in favorite order. Connor is nothing short of spectacular. His three-dimensional; emotional, confused, hurt, determined to survive. Risa is all that and more, but Connor holds a special place in my heart. Levi, he’s a complicated character because you can tell he was written to be loved and hated. (I can’t say more or I’ll give away lots!!)
– “Change…that’s all. The way ice becomes water, the way water becomes clouds.” My arguments, being the nerd that I am, would be: yes, it’s change, but change in any form detracts from the original form. It’s never exactly the same, some things are lost, lessening the integrity. Hmm…you’ll have to read the book and tell me if you agree or not.
– The storyline moves. Literally. The characters are essentially on a journey (literally and figuratively) and the reader is taken along for the ride (trip, marathon, sprint) and it’s all done subtly. They were a school and I could see the commotion, the disinterest, the excitement.
My issues with the book. It was told in third person limited…but omniscient. From a writer’s perspective and having taken a Fiction Writing course, the character knowing what’s going on around him when he’s unconscious bothers me a bit.
I’m not usually a fan of present tense writing and that threw me a little. (But, I built a bridge and got over it.)
But, enough about that. Imagine living in a world where things like “I can’t wait to see these hands playing in Carnegie Hall someday” or “I brought you into this world; I can take you out of it” are said and can be literal and legal?
It’s scary because if you read beyond the simple enjoyment of a book and look into a deep meaning we seem to be getting closer to a world of Unwinds, the Bill of Life, and technicalities that make murder legal.
The end is just…I…please read and come back so we can discuss this. It was…bittersweet? Is that the word? I don’t even know. I finished, but I’m still thinking about it.
By the way! It’s being made into a movie and you can visit the site if you want to audition. It’s being made by independent filmmakers so hopefully it won’t be corrupted by Hollywood glamour and will stay true to the plot.
4 ½ stars: Recommended.
Hope you try it!