As you can probably tell if you’ve read more than one of my reviews, I like books that are different. Formulaic books (girl meets boy, they get together, a misunderstanding ensues, they make up) or (someone is killed, it looks like a suicide but it isn’t, impossibly beautiful police officer and impossibly handsome private detective discover that the killer isn’t who you thought it was all along) bore me, despite how popular they seem to be. Partially to escape that, and partially to keep up with what my kids are reading, I find myself turning to Young Adult literature. The genre these days seems to be where incredibly talented and creative writers hang out.
One of my favorite Young Adult authors is Neal Shusterman. I have yet to read a book of his I didn’t like, though some I like better than others. What’s great about them is that they are all different. He has several different series, and they are not at all repetitive. The voices of all the characters are unique and they force you to think about what might happen if……….
One book that I am of the personal opinion that everyone should read is Unwind. Unwind imagines a not-terribly-distant future (the book is not futuristic) that takes place after America has ended the Heartland War. This civil war took place between the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life factions in the country. To end the war, the Unwind Accord is reached. The Unwind Accord states that there can be no prenatal abortions. Unwanted babies can be “storked.” (What is storked, you ask? Well, I can’t give away everything, can I?) When children reach the age of 13 they can be Unwound, which theoretically keeps them alive, as all parts are used, but is basically harvesting them for parts. It is, of course, eighty zillion times more complicated than that. It is really brilliantly done. Honestly, despite the fact that there are now four books in the series, you really can’t tell what the author’s stance on the underlying subject is. It just asks a lot of great “what if” and “what then” and “how could” and “what would I” questions. It’s the kind of book you think about long after you’ve read it.
The best part is, though, that even though it is a heavy handed subject, the book does not read as preachy or dense at all. The characters act as they would act under the circumstances they are in, instead of choosing certain actions simply to make the point the author is trying to make. (Actually, I think his point is not so much to answer questions as to make sure we are asking the right ones.) Given the subject matter, this is really impressive.
To read the book, and to find the rest of the series, click on the handy-dandy Amazon link below.
Lori B. Duff is the author of the Amazon ‘Hot New Release’ Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza, a collection of autobiographical humor essays. The hard copy of the book can be found on Amazon & BarnesandNoble.com and select local retailers. The e-book can be found here. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.