Neal Shusterman

About the Author

Born in Brooklyn,New York.He was an only child. Some things that change his life was he was assign extra credit for English in 9th grade and he had to write a story in a month. At the end of 9th grade he was beginning to feel like an writer. When he was 16 his family moved to Mexico for his junior and senior year. He said it was a great experience to live out of the US and have a different view point of things. It helped him out with his writing because he was expose to many view points. This was not the only book Neal Shuterman wrote. He wrote, The Shadow Club, The Eyes of King Midas ,Downsiders,and many more. He won many awards with his book like The Shadow Club won Children Choice Award from the international Reading Society.

Plot Overview

Expedition: A second civil war had happen in the US called the Heartland War. The two sides were the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. At the end of the war the compromised was that you can not harm the baby until the ages thirteen through eighteen. The parents can unwind them which is taking the child and tear them limb by limb and use 99.44% of their body for other causes,to help other people. We stubble among 3 stories, a trouble maker names Connor. A orphan name Risa and a tithe named Lev. Connor has figured out that his parents had sign the papers to get him unwind and he is planning to run away. Risa is in a State Home (orphanage home) she was storked when she was born and the state took her. Due to budget cuts they do not have enough money for her and she has to get unwind. Lev is a tithe, a sacrifice to god his parents made and he is praised for this and looks forward to helping other people.

Rising Action: Connor has left home and started to run and he stumbles into a truck driver who gives him a ride north. Connor is very tired and sleeps on the way and it is morning the truck has stopped and he realizes that the truck has been stopped by a Juvenile Officer and his father. Connor first instinct is to run which he does. Risa on the other hand is on the bus to the harvest camp and realizes there is no way she can run or get off the bus. Lev's parents are driving him to his unwind and his father hits the breaks and sees this kid in front of him and the kid grabs Lev and takes him as a hostage. When Lev's father hit the breaks that cause major chaos through the highway and Risa's bus crashed and the bus driver dies. Risa realizes this her time to escape and run away to the forest. Connor is almost hit by a car and the rear mirror hits him and he takes a kid in the car as a hostage. Its Lev and he sees a girl run into the forest and takes the kid. Lev tries to escape, but he is tranquilized. Connor meets Risa in the forest and all three of them are on an adventure to escape their fate. The juvey-cop who was chasing them got trapped by Risa and Connor and he tranquilized the cop. All three of them go to a town and try not to look suspicious and Risa plan was to pretend to get on the school bus because there was a cop and was looking at them funny. Right when they going to the bus the police stopped and waited until they went on the bus. Connor saw a baby on a doorstep and the kid open the door and told his mom they got storked, again. This made Connor angry and he decides to take the baby and he did not think it through and after that they had to get on the bus. The police looked at them strange as they were getting on the bus. After they went to the school they hid in the bathroom and Lev decides to betray them and tell the office that there are Unwinds in the bathroom. After doing that he regrets it after getting off the phone with his Paster, Dan. He pulls the fire alarm and this is RIsa and Connor way to escape. They find this teacher and they give them a location were they can hide and they start running. After going to the safe hiding place they find other unwinds and there is one that cause trouble, his name is Roland. He is socially superior and he does not like Connor and Connor has the same feelings towards him. They get sent around to different locations and they finally end up at the Graveyard

Conflict: Once Risa and Connor hit the Graveyard everything is fine and they are protected from the outside. They all get assign jobs and Risa a nurse job and Connor is the mechanic. The person in charge is called the Admiral and he feels there is something special about Connor. Connor does not trust him and the Admiral knows so he tells Connor something that no one knows. Some one at the Graveyard has killed five of his guards and two of his new arrivals. Connor needs to find out who it is and bring him to the Admiral. Meanwhile Lev is on an adventure with this weird kid named Cy-Fi before he comes to the camp. Connor knows who killed the five guards and two new arrivals, Roland. He suspects him and traps him, gets him cornered and puts him in a crate and questions him. Meanwhile while Connor is busy with Roland, the whole came becomes chaotic and the unwinds are trying to kill the Admiral and burn down the place. Risa is with the Admiral and the Admiral is on the floor not responding and there are a bunch of unwinds at the door banging. When Connor is informed about this he starts running towards the chaos and see this guy named Cleaver leading it. He is beaten up and bleeding and Connor runs up to him and tries to save him. Something slips out Cleaver mouth, how he killed the five guards and the two new arrivals. Connor was furious and left him to die. Connor stopped the chaos and got the Admiral and Risa out,but the Admiral was having a heart attack. Cleaver is dead so he can not fly them to the hospital the only person that could fly a plane was Roland. He agreed, but right when they hit the hospital he snitched that Connor and Risa were unwinds. He was caught too, but he made a deal with them to tell where hundreds of unwinds were. The Juvey cop already knew about the Graveyard and the deal was off. The government knows about the Graveyard, but the Graveyard helps keep unwinds off the street so they turn a blind eye. All three of them were sent to Harvest Camps. After arriving Connor notices that Lev is there too. Lev is informed that Connor is getting unwind and he has a plan to stop it. Once Roland gets unwound and Connor is next. Lev's friends help and all three become clappers, clappers make a person a bomb. One of his friends claps when a officer is near them and that creates chaos and when Connor is in the room where the do the uwinding, there is a clapper hidden in the room and she goes off. The whole building blows up and Connor walks out with a missing eye and a crushed arm. Risa was on top of the building because she plays in the band. A large metal rod lands on her and she became paralyze. Lev was the third clapper and did not clap. He tried, but he could not picture him doing it and instead he helped Connor and Risa before he was taken out by one Juvey cop.

Falling Action: After the bombing at the Harvest Camp, Connor found himself with a new arm and an new eye. He recognizes the arm it has a shark tattoo,it was Roland's arm. Connor knew what this hand did to RIsa and never wanted to touch with that hand because Roland almost raped her in the Graveyard. RIsa visits Connor and Connor sees what happens to her. Both of them cannot get unwind because Risa is disabled and Connor has someone else body parts. Lev ends up in a prison and he can not get unwind because he has the clapper chemicals in him so if though they get most of it out of his blood, but can not get rid of it.

Resolution: Connor takes over the Graveyard and he has help with his friends Hayden and Risa. The bombing of the Harvest Camp made it big and people could not turn a blind eye at unwinding. Protest started and the government lowered the age to seventeen. Lev became a famous face because he was a clapper that never clapped and he was an ex-tithe.

Dystopian World

It was children who were troubled or misunderstood and the parents would just sign a paper that just got rid of them. The world they lived in had no sympathy for those who were misunderstood and thought they were worthless. It was really sad how the parents do not even feel bad. It was the norm for all unwinds to runaway and the way they have to survive is to steal and do what ever. Then they wonder why unwinds are so bad, they are not, they are trying to survive and it is not their fault. Unwinds are just lost and are told they are worthless unless if they are tithe.Tithe are worship, but they are the same as an Unwind and it is sad. How could someone tear apart a teenager without a blinking their eye twice. The world they live in is a man for himself, you really can not trust anyone. They have to earn it and even though they did, you still gotta watch your back. It was never a Utopia, Connor,Risa,and Lev really made the audience see that the world they live in was horrible.

Characteristic of the Dystopia

  • Unwinding was viewed as a good thing
  • The Unwinds live on fear
  • Tithe are worshiped because the were "chosen"
  • Freedom of speech were restricted
  • The Graveyard was under surveillance
  • The government was watching all the Unwinds

Dystopian Controls

Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media.

I say this because it was advertise as the best solution for troubled children. Plus it was controlled by the government, but it was not a bureaucratic because there was no taping because they knew about the Graveyard, but did not act upon it. This one fit the best.

Dystopian Protagonist

There were three protagonist , Connnor, RIsa, and Lev. All three of these protagonist let us see the truth to their society. Especially Lev because he was told that unwinding was a honor and slowly we learned with him how horrible it was to be unwind. Connor was the protagonist that knew the truth since the beginning, but it was that he did not think before actions and that is what got him in trouble. Risa was special she was talented and smart and did not know the whole truth, but knew parts. With these three protagonist together made it clear that how bad it was and what they would do to get out of it. Risa would not get her her spine transfer because if she did they would unwind her after she was healed. In the middle all the protagonist knew there was something wrong with the world and they felt they were trapped by themselves. After having all the unwinds together and fought together the protagonist knew they could make a change.

Personal Review

I love this book so much. I usually do not read books for pleasure and I usually hate dytopia based books. I loved how in the beginning it was already exciting, you get to know the character so well. I could not put the book down I read more than half the book in a day. It was an amazing book and I had to get the second book. If I really like the book I get the second book. The last time I fell in love with a book is with Perks of Being a Wallflower which was 8th grade. I give it a 11 out of 10. I fell in love with this book and I loved how it had a little romance in it near the end. Connor and Risa are my favorite in the book and I love seeing how the characters change through out the book. Lev changed a lot, he was proud of being unwind and at the end he was so against it. I was proud of him when realized how wrong it was. Also there was an argument in the book which I have not figured out. When you are unwound are you still alive because in the beginning I believed you were dead, but there is a state you go into. It is like you never existed, but you did before. It is really confusing, but I am glad I was expose to this book. It got me to read more now and I would recommend everyone to read it.