UnDivided: Unwind Dystology, Book 4

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
UnDivided: Unwind Dystology, Book 4 Book Poster Image
Sci-fi saga about organ harvesters nails the ending.

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age 6+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

UnDivided provokes thoughtful questions about cultural behavior -- in particular, what would drive a society to so demonize its teen population that parents would willingly surrender their children to organ harvesters? The stated motivation for "unwinding" may not seem realistic, but it isn't completely far-fetched, either, and the premise invites real-world comparisons.

Positive Messages

Set in a world where teens have few rights and can be used as unwilling organ donors, UnDIvided emphasizes the worth of the individual in the face of media-driven fear and corporate greed. Its ending suggests that there may be a chance for reconciliation between the oppressed and their oppressors.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters who actively oppose the organ harvesters -- Connor, Risa, and Lev -- all are willing to risk their own lives for the benefit of others. They are brave and resourceful in the face of grave adversity, sometimes to the point of taking unnecessary risks. But each is unique, and so are their adversaries, whose motivations are never one-dimensional.

Violence

UnDivided contains scenes of violence, often involving guns and knives. More often, characters are immobilized with tranquilizer darts. In two scenes, characters are put into an automated organ-harvesting machine while still conscious. A "clapper," a teen with explosive blood, detonates himself, killing dozens of innocents.

Sex

A few scenes with sexual content, most of it implied, rather than described. Starkey, one of the villains, has impregnated three of his followers. Risa and Connor are committed to each other and spend an evening sleeping in the same bed, although it's open to interpretation whether they actually have sex.

Language

"Damn," "hell," "bastard," "son of a bitch," "a--hole," and "ass," each used fewer than half a dozen times.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

An underage customer orders liquor in a scene set in a bar. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that UnDivided is the fourth and final volume of Neal Schusterman's Unwind "dystology." Set in a world where "harvesting" the organs of rebellious teens is normal, it raises compelling questions about medical ethics and free will. UnDivided contains scenes of violence, often involving guns and knives, not to mention the "clappers" who are able to cause explosions with their own bodies. In two scenes, characters are put into an automated organ-harvesting machine while still conscious. There are a few scenes with sexual content, most of it implied rather than described. Starkey, one of the villains, has impregnated three of his followers. Risa and Connor spend an evening sleeping in the same bed, although it's open to interpretation whether they actually have sex. Strong language includes "damn," "hell," "bastard," "son of a bitch," "a--hole," and "ass."

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byVictoria2404 October 29, 2018

A great read

LOVED this book. I recommended you read the dystology from start to finish this story has so many lessons and insights to what happens to the world around us .... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bycolt April 13, 2018

STARKEY

i really liked starkey. mmmmmmmmmmm

What's the story?

After years of being on the run from the authorities who want to "unwind" them for their valuable organs, Connor, Risa, and Lev finally find effective ways to fight against Proactive Citizenry and the Juvenile Authority. They are given new hope with the discovery of a 3-D printer capable of manufacturing human organs, thereby making the unwinding process obsolete. But powerful forces conspire to suppress this technology, and each of the teens must convince others to rise up and demand justice.

Is it any good?

The complicated plot strands that run through the previous three volumes of this sci-fi saga are expertly played out and tied up in UNDIVIDED. Author Neal Shusterman keeps the narrative moving at a brisk clip, continually raising the stakes and making sure that the various conflicts are choreographed for maximum impact.

Favorite characters achieve their goals against incredible odds, and despicable villains receive their comeuppance in satisfying ways. Readers who have persevered through four volumes will feel rewarded.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the media emphasizes aspects of teen behavior. Do you think newspapers, TV, or social media portray teen life in realistic ways?

  • How do giant corporations manipulate the media and affect public policy? 

  • What aspects of health care might lend themselves to abuse? What kinds of ethical problems might surround procedures such as organ transplantation?

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