It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/1/14

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

Unwind-imageMy school district’s four middle schools will welcome author Neal Shusterman this November. We have not yet formally announced it to students/families, but the teachers are so excited that I am sure we will spill the beans soon.

So I figured I better read and re-read some of Shusterman’s works.

The chilling dystopia Unwind takes place in a post-second-civil-war United States where the abortion issue was resolved by protecting life from conception until age thirteen. Parents/guardians may choose to “unwind” children from age 13-18–a process which distributes all of their organs to those in need so that they do not die, rather live on in an “altered state.”

Connor, Lev, and Risa are “unwinds” who tell most of this multiply narrated story, and they represent the three “types” of unwinds: children whose parents sign them over due to unruly behavior, financial burden, etc.; children who are wards of the state and too expensive to keep caring for; and “tithes” whose parents “donate” them for religious beliefs. As the three attempt to escape their unwinding, they find themselves in a number of harrowing situations and eventually fall in with a rebel faction, of sorts. Throughout the book, readers will find themselves horrified not only by the thought of a society that allows people to be unwound, but also by many of the other practices and beliefs of that society. Much food for thought here–as is to be expected from a stellar example of dystopian fiction. UnWholly  and UnSouled  are way-high in my TBR pile, and UnDivided hits the shelves on October 14.

independentstudyIt was dystopia week, as I also read book two in Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing series, Independent Study. Once Cia  survived the brutal Testing and gained entry into the University, officials assumed her memory wipe erased the horrors of what she had experienced. However, she soon finds the Transit Communicator she used to record what really happened. The tension multiplies when her placement exam identifies her for Government Studies, and the first-year’s Induction is nearly as dangerous as the Testing itself.  As an intern in the United Commonwealth’s president’s office, Cia learns that the leaders have plans to oust the powerful University director Dr. Barnes and abolish The Testing, but that it won’t be easy. She also learns more about the rebellion, including a faction that will resort to violence if necessary. I found book two just as intriguing as the first one, and the ending includes a shocking reveal that makes me glad I won’t have to wait for book three (see below).

Currently Reading/Listening to:

graduation-day rotters



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