Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I got up to page 138 with this. The first chapter was compelling enough to keep me interested; the author presents three viewpoints here, all with their own backstories.
Quickly, however, I found two things very annoying. First, the author talks down to the YA reader. Second, although this is set in some future time, the cultural references were all of today’s moment…and actually even outdated for today. So, even though the characters admitted using old cultural references, it didn’t come off well. Because of these two issues, it really sounded like an adult author trying too hard to reach the teen reader…and that’s a big turnoff.
Finally, as the pages turned, the author intruded more and more into the narrative and dialog. By the time I stopped reading, it felt like he was preparing to deliver a “big message,” which is also a turnoff. Not that fiction can’t deliver messages; they just need to be handled with a lighter touch.
2 stars.


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