Tiernan’s Letter Essay #7 Unwind

I have just finished reading Unwind, a 335 page novel by Neil Shusterman. You may notice the his name because he has written thrilling books such as Everlost, Everwild, Everfound, and Full Tilt. He is also a young adult fiction author. He was born in Brooklyn New York on November 12, 1962 and is now 53 years old. Neil Shusterman attended the University of California and won the National Book Award for Young People’s literature, and the Golden Kite Award for Fiction. Now to the book.

In this story, unwanted teenagers can be Unwound. This may seem like child murder, but surprisingly, it is not. But this can only happen up until age 18. once you pass that age, you can’t be unwound. Connor, a sixteen year old boy that has been signed over by his parents accidentally finds the order, but the way that he found it was very depressing. The first thing that he found was the tickets. There was one less than the total amount in his family, and he knew that was bad news for him. then he found the order. The saddest part was that his family’s flight was booked for the day that he was going to get unwound. At this moment, Connor knew it was time for him to make a move.That night, he ran away. He tried to bring Ariana, his friend, with him but she couldn’t. She would have gone, but her sister has getting married that week and there was no way she could betray her. So now Connor was alone, but not for long.

On his journey, Connor reaches a truck stop and sneaks into a truck. The driver comes back and is surprised to see Connor, but claims that this isn’t the first time this has happened to him. He also has an arm from an unwind. He got in a terrible truck accident, and lost his arm, so he is very grateful and helps unwinds escape from their order. So, the truck driver takes Connor only so far, and is stopped by juvy cops. They search his truck, and find Connor and take him into custody. That is until a bus can’t stop, and crashes into a tree nearby. This is when Connor takes his chance, and little did he know that soon, he would no longer be alone.

Connor breaks free of the juvy cops hold and runs and ducks behind a car, and there is a kid lying there. He picks the kid up, and runs near a girl that seems to be hurt. She claims that her arm is broken, but he sees no damage. So they head for the woods and a juvy cop is in their way. Connor strips the cop of his tranq gun, and shoots his thigh, and runs into the woods with his two new companions,

Connor figures out that the girls name is Risa, and the boys name is Lev. They travel far and finally find civilization, and hop on a school bus. And not to mention, they pick up a baby along the way and now Risa and Connor have to pretend that they are a couple. So, when they get to the school, they hide in the bathroom and wait for lunch time so they can fit into the crowd and not get caught. And they will do this with ease because it is a high school. And just as the bell rings, they go to the stall next door to get Lev, but he is gone. They had always held a suspicion that he was going to tell on them. This is because he was a thithe. His parents got his order signed when he was born, so he is almost religious to being unwound. And when police start to enter the school, they know that they are in trouble. This is when a teacher helps them out and sends them to a woman that will help them escape from getting them unwound. They hide in her basement for 4 days until an “ice cream truck” comes and picks them up to take them to the airport that will take them to an unwind shelter. When they get to the airport, they have completely lost Lev, and had to give up the baby because it wouldn’t have made the flight. They get into groups of four, and pack into boxes. The boys and girls are separate, so Connor and Lev aren’t with each other. When everyone is set, the old cargo plane speeds down the runway and they take off to their new life.

Quoted passage from the perspective of a juvy cop

“He looks at the girls arm, its not even bruised. This should be the first clue but his mind is already too far ahead of him to catch it.

‘Stay here, I’ll be right back.’

He turns ready to pick up his pursuit, when something drops on him from above. Not something, someone. The AWOL Unwind! The officer is knocked to the ground, and suddenly there are two figures attacking him-the Unwind, and the girl. How could he have been so stupid? He reaches for his tranq pistol, but its not there. Instead he feels its muzzle against his left thigh, and sees the triumph in the Unwinds dark, vicious eyes.

‘Nighty-night,” the Unwind says.

A sharp pain in the officers leg, and the world goes away.” Pg. 40

This passage really struck me because this is really the part where Connor is no longer alone. He is now joined by Risa and Lev and they start their journey to escape.

I liked how the author really described everything in full detail so that I could really understand everything that was going on. I didn’t really like how the author based the book off of three different perspectives because at some points it was hard to understand.

I rate this book a 6 out of 10


Tiernan Lynch

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3 thoughts on “Tiernan’s Letter Essay #7 Unwind

  1. Tiernan. I think this is an amazing book, and I think you did a good job on your essay. you had a very big summary, but I would recommend that you build up on your summary.

  2. Dear Tiernan,
    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay. I liked how you added a lot of good thoughts and information from the book. I also like the quoted passage and summary. Good job!

  3. Dear Tiernan,

    I enjoyed reading your letter-essay. You gave us a lot of information on the book. It really seems like you know a lot about your book. Good Job!

    – Jake M

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