Unwind is a young adult dystopian novel written by Neal Shusterman. After the Second Civil War, fought by the pro-life movement, the pro-choice movement, and the government, ensuing legislation allows parents to “unwind” their children. Unwinding is a process where people between thirteen and eighteen years old are forced into harvest camps. At the camps, their bodies are dissected and their body parts reused.
One of the main characters is Connor, a 16-year-old troublemaker. Connor’s parents choose to have him unwound to get rid of his delinquency. During his attempted escape, he earns the nickname “Akron AWOL” after taking a hostage and shooting a police officer.
At first, Connor only cares about himself and causing trouble. After a series of chance encounters with others destined to be unwound, as well as a series of stays at safe houses, Connor morphs into a courageous and selfless teenager. Because of his connections to others, he is ready to give his life if it means being able to save his new friends. This transformation is mirrored in his relationship with Risa, throughout which becomes more mature and giving.
At The Graveyard, Connor and Risa are willing to work until they turn 18 and become safe from the legislation. However, they learn there are other factions within the group who are more concerned with destroying all facilities which perform the unwinding functions.
Instead of joining these groups and potentially causing more death in a reckless manner like he would have at the beginning of the novel, Connor acts with more care. Connor has a newfound appreciation for life and eventually takes over control of The Graveyard.