The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not talented enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape-- and to survive.
Neal Shusterman does a fantastic job of creating a parallel world whose citizens are battling the same ethical question we are, except on a more severe scale. After a second civil war, which divides the country into pro-life and pro-choice, an eerie compromise emerges: the unwinding. A human is untouchable from the moment of conception until the age of thirteen, when a parent can have their child unwound, each body part is given to different donors. A method has been perfected to be able to easily transplant any and every organ. This book follows Connor, Risa and Lev, all of whom came together from completely separate worlds and separate beliefs, having a common goal: to survive until eighteen and avoid unwinding. Shusterman does a great job of giving radically different perspectives that all are understandable; he also does an amazing job of integrating dark and heavy topic with comical and light moments. I recommend this book for any teenager who can stomach a fairly dark and eerie book.