A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that UnSouled is the third volume, but not the conclusion, of the ongoing Unwind "dystology." Set in a world where "harvesting" the organs of rebellious teenagers is normal, it raises compelling questions about medical ethics and free will. Violent episodes include beatings, stabbings, gunshots, lynching, and impalement with a farm tool. There's mild profanity and vulgar language -- occasional "a--hole," "damn," "hell," "bitch," "piss," and "crap." An implicit sexual subtext avoids explicit detail: One character has amorous groupies; another impregnates three of his followers. Drug use is minimal and not always voluntary; one character is forced to smoke a mixture of cannabis and tranquilizer, and another ingests chocolate suffused with pot.
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What's the story?
On the run from ProActive Citizenry, the Juvenile Authority, and vengeful parts pirates, Connor and Lev careen across the Southwest looking for a woman, nearly erased from history, who may hold the key to stopping \"unwinding\" forever. When Lev is critically injured, they and a new companion, the odd but talented Grace, must depend on the kindness of others to survive. Meanwhile, Cam, the boy made completely of harvested tissue, continues his pursuit of Risa, who betrayed him.
Is it any good?
If you're looking for a conclusion to the Unwind "trilogy," you won't find it in UNSOULED. But as an action-filled ride through a complex sci-fi setting, this installment probably won't disappoint you. Author Neal Shusterman keeps the suspense cranked high, and the characters in his twisty plots have more depth than many of their science-fiction counterparts. Good guys and villains alike have multiple and sometimes conflicting motivations. The character development adds a sense of realism to the somewhat unlikely science-fiction scenario. The ending leaves readers ready for a rousing series conclusion, whenever it might arrive.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ethical issues surrounding organ transplants. Do medical advances that allow some patients to enjoy better health at the expense of less fortunate ones have unintended consequences?
Why do you think UnSouled contains clippings from actual news sites about organ transplants and biomedical research? What do those excerpts add to the story?
Why do you think older people are sometimes fearful of teenagers? Can you see a society becoming so afraid of its rebellious youth that it allows them to be used for organ transplants?
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