Sunday, March 20, 2016

Say It With A Book #9 | UNWIND by Neal Shusterman

With Guest Blogger | Dr. Rehana V. Pallingayan, M.D.

There are stories which can scare the shits out of little kids when the lights are turned off but only effective for a few years because they realize these are not real when they reach their teens. There are lesser stories that can scare a teenager but its effects are more brutal, the scars won't go away even when they crossed their 20th year of life, even if they are in their deathbeds at age 80. Unwind is one such story that could scare these teens, not just because of the act itself but because it roots in their inner fear of being unwanted. As an adult reading this, I have but one fear that fiction may become real. The line is thin, so thin that a Heartland war may just be in its way.

My job makes me witness the effects of transplantation. We have good success rates when it comes to Corneal transplants and Kidney transplants. We also had successful liver and intestine transplants. We had dealt with heart transplants and lung transplants in the past. You see the effects of a second chance to these people- they try to live their lives fuller; that little kid could now dream for his future; a parent's wish could come true; and a wife is ensured of not being a widow. There is this satisfaction when one says the phrase- "A life well spent". But the other side of the story is as real as these stories of hope. The queue on the triage of who gets a kidney first is long and every day the end just gets farther. We do have a national organ donation program focused not only in the aim of delivering organs to these transplant patients but also in caring for the donors, making sure they are not victims of organ trafficking and that they are well aware that even if they still have a kidney, their lives have changed, same way that one can learn to ride a unicycle after learning to use a bicycle. A bicycle will always be stable.

What I loved about this book is the strength of its character development, these teens presenting their own stories merging into one central plot- the right to exist, to experience firsthand on how it is to live. You are drawn in their sadness, frustrate about what is lacking and cheer them further to reach greatness. The books also let you go back to the basic morals you carry within or without the topic of one's religious doctrines. Even minor characters have served their purpose, may it be the dead ones or a portion of their brain. As a young adult book, I hope the teenager gets the point of how stupid and at the same time beautiful it is to be an adult. I hope they understand how one's choices could shape the world, that it is easy to commit mistakes and harder to swallow its repercussions. But hopefully the message the kid gets is this- it is always the better option to choose life. 

Transplantation is not a bad thing. Organ trafficking however is a different structure. The concept of unwinding is the most ridiculous type of organ trafficking that I hope will never come to existence. It is not the question of a soul, a religious belief or a scientific know-how but of one's integrity as a human. We are allowed to save lives but never to be above anything to be allowed to take another's life.

Book details:
Title:  Unwind
Author:  Neal Shusterman
Publication:  June 2nd 2009; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Genre:  YA, Sci-fi
Rating:  ★★★★★

About Ranee:

  Ranee is TFG's in-house surgeon, probably one of the wittiest and sweetest doctors you'll get to meet She is very keen on volunteering in numerous medical missions nationwide.  When I asked Ranee's permission to feature one of her reviews here, I told her I was desperate. I was, really. I have it in mind to introduce her here for a long time now, and I am really glad that she finally agreed this time. 

Friends, “the Doctor is IN.”

TPW:  What is your favorite genre?
Ranee:  No particular favorite, I do not know if I do have a favorite genre but most likely it would be lit-fic. 

TPW:  How would you define yourself as a reader?
Ranee:  Definitely a moody one, oh wait a sniffer! Yes, definitely a sniffer, I smell books before I read or buy them.  
But really, it is my book collection that dictates. After finishing one book, I stare at my book case and just like in a trance, I seem to hear one book trying to catch my attention telling me to read it, so I do read it. Well it does help that I am a book hoarder so I have a vast collection of (unread) books waiting for my attention.

TPW:  Thank you very much, Ranee, for sharing this review. This won't be the last, I hope!