Friday, December 2, 2011

30 days of book Discussion: Day 10

Favorite classic

I can't actually talk about this one, because it's also my Favorite Book, and I'm saving that for Day 30.  So instead I'm changing this category to:

A book you know is good, but still can't like

That would have to be Unwind by Neal Shusterman. This book basically takes the debate over abortion and takes it to extremes to play with the idea. So it's some future date after a civil war over abortion, and after the war the laws they decided on were: from the moment you conceive to the age of thirteen, a child's life may not be terminated. But once the children are between the ages of 13 and 18, "unwanted" children (or pregnancies, if you think about it) can be "unwound," meaning they harvest body parts from the teen so that parts of them live on but essentially their life as they know it is over.

Right. So basically if you don't want to be pregnant, you have to have the baby anyway and then when they are a teen you can have them unwound. Another option is: if your teen is a big troublemaker and you want a convenient way to get rid of them, you can send them to be unwound, all the while rationalizing to yourself that you're not really killing them, because they'll "live on" in other forms.

Can you guess what my problem is with this book? Okay, I have a lot of friends that love this book, and honestly, it was kind of thrilling and kept me turning pages and staying up late to see what happened. So I can totally understand why they like it and I don't mind that they do.

I think that it's just that my personal experiences have made it so this sounds completely ridiculous to me. Especially because I read this 4 months after I miscarried a baby and I was still devastated. It's just... I don't think any parent would EVER do this. Well, maybe like the fringes of society, freak-show-type-people. Like the guy who hid his daughter in his basement for 15 years or however long. I think, even if your teen is a troublemaker and obnoxious, you still spent 15 or so years raising them! All the effort, all the work, daily, taking care and feeding and teaching and whatever. I wouldn't throw that away,  I don't think the majority of people would.  Not to say anything about loving your kids, the bond parents have with their children that makes this sort of idea unpalatable and for me, unconscionable. I can't express enough my frustration with this concept.

So while the book was good, any time I gave more than a passing thought to WHY all of this was happening... I wanted to throw the book at the wall. Because it's just so silly. It's like writing a book based in a society that stabs themselves in the eye, except two teens in the society don't WANT to stab themselves in the eye, so they start trying to get away from all the eye-stabbers and will they ever make it?!!? It might be exciting, but it's also ridiculous.

Wow, I feel like I'm doing what I discouraged people from a few days ago with "Most overrated book." Well, I'm trying to qualify it by saying that I feel this way because of what I experienced personally, especially right before reading the book.  And I don't really mind that other people like this book.

I just kind of want to stab Neal Shusterman in the eye.

What about you?  Has a personal issue ever stopped you from liking a book?

1 comment:

Hannah said...

I will not be reading Unwind. :) I devoured the Hunger Games series, but was so disturbed by them. I was pregnant at the time and I just kept thinking, "They're children!! Stop making them murder each other!" And then I cried. Ha ha.