Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

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In a not-so-distant future, the pro-choice and pro-life forces went to war. The compromise that ended the war was The Bill of Life. Under this bill, human life is protected from the moment of conception until the age of 13. Between the ages of 13 & 17, parents can choose to have their children “unwound”. Unwinding is a process that harvests ninety-something percent of the body and then transplants the parts into other people’s bodies. Supposedly, this means the child doesn’t die but lives on divided into the bodies of other people.

Three children selected for unwinding for various reasons come together in this story, Connor, Risa & Lev. The reasons they became unwinds vary as much as their outlooks on life, but they are thrown together by circumstances and must find a way to survive together.

WOW. I loved this book. The plot is complex and exciting, the characters are flawed (in other words, human), and the circumstances are believable. The idea of unwinding is just terrible, but somehow it is common practice in this world. There are a lot of details I won’t mention because I wouldn’t want to spoil this book. But, the most intense and disturbing are the moments the reader witnesses an unwinding – chilling. And all the more so in the audio version. The voices and the technique the narrator uses fit the situation perfectly.

I love the story, the narration, everything about this book. I purchased the next 3 books in the series and have already started listening to book 2 – UnWholly.

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Grades 6-8, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Sunshine State 17-18

Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

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Piper, a young girl with a talent for fixing mechanical things, finds Anna (a young girl with amnesia who needs her help) and together they take the 401 train trying to escape the man pursuing them. There they meet Gee, a boy who can transform into a dragon and who might be able to help them.

Piper is smart, brave and mechanically inclined, who could ask for a better heroine. She is alone and barely scraping by until she finds Anna in the meteor field (each meteor shower brings items from other worlds that the scrappers find and fix or sell). Anna doesn’t know who she is but she has the mark of the dragonfly which means she is someone important to the king. Piper sees her chance to help Anna and maybe get a reward that could change her life at the same time.

This story is filled with magic, adventure, steampunk, humor, and a smidge of romance. I highly recommend it to readers in grades 4 through 8 (and adults who enjoy strong female characters and a bit of western/sci-fi; sort of like Firefly for the younger set). A promising series which I plan to continue.

Posted in Adult, Book Review, Classic, Sci-Fi

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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This is a classic that I never read and I always meant to, and it’s short so it didn’t take long at all. It was just okay for me. My favorite parts of the book were the beginning and the end, not so much the parts when the time traveler is actually in the future. But, it is amazing to think that Wells came up with the idea of a time machine and how so many movies, books, etc. went on to use and further expand on the idea. Wells was truly a visionary.