Unwind is a 2007 dystopian novel by young adult literature author Neal Shusterman. It takes place in the United States in the near future. After the Second Civil War was fought over abortion, a compromise was reached, allowing parents to sign an order for their children between the ages of 13 and 18 to be "unwound" — taken to "harvest camps" and dissected into their body parts for later use. The reasoning is that, since 99.44% of the body is used, unwinds do not technically die because their individual body parts live on.

Neal Shusterman (born November 12, 1962) is an American writer of young-adult fiction. He won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for his book Challenger Deep.



    2005 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award.

    2008 California Young Reader Medal for The Schwa Was Here.

    2015 National Book Award for Young People's Literature for Challenger Deep.



Fiction series

The Accelerati trilogy (with Eric Elfman)


    Tesla's Attic (2014) ISBN 978-1423148036

    Edison's Alley (2015) ISBN 978-1423148067

    Hawking's Hallway (2017) ISBN 978-1423155218


Antsy Bonano


    The Schwa Was Here (2004) ISBN 978-0756967192

    Antsy Does Time (2008) ISBN 978-0525478256

    Ship Out of Luck (2013) ISBN 978-0525422266


Arc of a Scythe


    Scythe (2016)

    Thunderhead (2018)

    The Toll (2019)


Dark Fusion


    Dread Locks (2005)

    Red Rider's Hood (2005)

    Duckling Ugly (2006)


Shadow Club


    The Shadow Club (2002)

    The Shadow Club Rising (2003)


Skinjacker trilogy


    Everlost (2006)

    Everwild (2009)

    Everfound (2011)


Star Shards


    Scorpion Shards (1995)

    Thief of Souls (1999)

    Shattered Sky (2002)


The Unwind dystology


    Unwind (2007) ISBN 978-1416912040

    UnWholly (2012)

    UnStrung (2012) ISBN 978-1442423664

    UnSouled (2013) ISBN 978-1442423695

    UnDivided (2014) ISBN 978-1481409759

    UnBound (2015) (short story collection)


The X-Files universe


    The X-Files Young Adult Series


        3) Bad Sign (1997) [writing as Easton Royce]

        10) Dark Matter (1999) [writing as Easton Royce]


    The X-Files Young Readers Series


        8) Voltage (1996) [writing as Easton Royce]




    Dissidents (1989)

    Speeding Bullet (1991)

    What Daddy Did (1991)

    The Eyes of Kid Midas (1992)

    The Aliens Approach (1996) [writing as Easton Royce]

    Mutiny (1996) [writing as Easton Royce]

    The Dark Side of Nowhere (1997) ISBN 978-0316789073

    Downsiders (1999)

    Full Tilt (2003) ISBN 978-0689803741

    Bruiser (2010) ISBN 978-0061134081

    Challenger Deep (2015) ISBN 978-0061134111

    Dry (2018) co-authored with Jarrod Shusterman, Simon & Schuster ISBN 9781481481960


Picture books


    Piggyback Ninja (1994)


Short stories


    Resurrection Bay (2013) ISBN 978-0062295163 [published only as an ebook]


Short story collections


    Darkness Creeping: Tales to Trouble Your Sleep (1993)

    Darkness Creeping II: More Tales to Trouble Your Sleep (1995)

    Mindquakes: Stories to Shatter Your Brain (1996)

    Mindstorms: Stories to Blow Your Mind (1996)

    Mindtwisters: Stories To Shred Your Head (1997)

    Mindbenders: Stories to Warp Your Brain (2000)

    Darkness Creeping: Twenty Twisted Tales (2007)




    How to Host a Murder: Roman Ruins (1997)

    How to Host a Murder: The Grapes of Frath (1997)

    How to Host a Teen Mystery: Hot Times at Hollywood High (1997)

    How to Host a Murder: The Good, the Bad, and the Guilty (1998)

    How to Host a Murder: Tragical Mystery Tour (1999)

    How to Host a Teen Mystery: Barbecue with the Vampire (1999)

    How to Host a Murder: Saturday Night Cleaver (2000)

    How to Host a Murder: Maiming of the Shrew (2001)

    How to Host a Teen Mystery: Roswell That Ends Well (2002)

    How to Host a Murder: An Affair to Dismember (2003)




    Guy Talk (1987)

    It's Ok to Say No to Cigarettes and Alcohol (1988)

    Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story (1989) with Cherie Currie

    Kid Heroes: True Stories of Rescuers, Survivors, and Achievers (1991)




    "Shadows of Doubt" (1993)

Unwind received positive reviews upon release, with praise focusing on the novel's immersive environment and sociological implications. It also received many awards from young adult literature authorities. A film adaptation of Unwind is currently in production by independent producers. A second novel titled UnWholly was released in August 2012, and a third in December 2013, titled UnSouled and a fourth in October 2014, titled UnDivided. A novella, UnStrung, was also published. UnBound is the most recent addition to the Unwind Dystology and was written by Neal Shusterman, Michelle Knowlden, Jarrod Shusterman, Terry Black, and Brendan Shusterman. It was published December 15, 2015 by Simon & Schuster and is a collection of novellas that explore the secrets and lost stories of the Unwind world.

In a near-future dystopian United States, teenagers between ages of 13 and 18 may be "unwound" (dissected and sold as transplanted parts). This is considered legal because roughly 99% of the patient is kept alive.


The story centers around three teenagers who have been scheduled to be unwound.

Film adaptation

In 2010, the film rights to Unwind were sold to Tasty Films and Contagion Film. Casting has yet to begin, but as of April 15, 2012, the film has moved into the early stages of pre-production. Novel-author Neal Shusterman drafted the screenplay. On December 9, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Constantin Film had picked up the film rights to the whole series.





The heartland war - a long and weary battle over abortion. The resolution - a new law.


Abortion is abolished but now instead of abortion is 'unwinding'.


From being born to the young age of thirteen you are protected but between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, you can be unwound. A process where 97% of your body is donated and is given to the sick and injured. The government calls it the 'divided state'. A process by which your body is dismantled and used for organ donation. Troublesome kids, wards of the state or any child who the parents can't handle is at risk of being "unwound."


The story follows three main characters all meant to be unwound, and discovers how fate brings them together.


Connor has always been trouble, sometimes unable to control his temper. When he finds out that his parents are about to have him unwound, he runs away and crosses paths with Risa and Lev. Risa is a ward of the state being sent away due to shortage of money and Lev is a tithe, sacrificed by his religious parents for a greater good.


Connor and Risa have only one goal: to be able to make it until their eighteenth birthday, when the law will protect them from being unwound but Lev, who has always believed in his special purpose, is deeply annoyed that they rescued him from his destiny.


Should he run with his two 'rescuers' or should he turn them in?


I really enjoyed this book. The characters and world in which they live, is very realistic and all of the characters are easy to relate to. There are many questions posed in this book, it deals with tricky subjects such as: life and death, the human soul and religion. It leaves you thinking about these long after you've finished the book.


The world which the author creates is one which is set in the future, but it is not so over the top so that it makes it unrealistic and hard to depict.


The story is great, lots of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and hard hitting story lines. 'Unwind' is a mixture of 'The Hunger Games', 'Divergent' and the 'Chaos Walking Trilogy' but it also has something else making it different to other young adult dystopian novels out there.


Its a terrifying tale of love, horror, survival and rebellion. From start to finish 'Unwind' is unputdownable, and I urge you to go and pick it up now. This book is definitely in my top five. After reading it, there was one question i couldn't decide on - be killed or be unwound? Thought-provoking and terrifying, 'Unwind' will keep you reading late into the night…

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