This book was bought for its cover, and what a cover it is. I’ve tried to give you a sense of its full awesomeness in this photo. (I’m not sure I’m really doing it justice, but hey ho.) You can see that the idea of the Kinder-surprise-style model assembly kit is carried right around the book from front, around the spine and even around the barcode. I love a fully designed cover. It gives me goosebumps. This book was bought as a present by someone else, so imagine the joy when I found out it was a Nick Stearn creation – he who designed Clash and The Deeping Secrets.
Anyhoo, design-drooling aside, Neal Shusterman's Unwind (Simon & Schuster) is a gem. It examines the idea of children being ‘unwound’ for their body parts – harvested for their organs if their parents sign them off before they’re eighteen. It’s written in the third person present tense and you’re kept at a certain distance by the narrative moving between three characters, but this allows for the fringe characters to gain a certain level of importance. In doing so the reader’s mind is left turning in and around and about, questioning fundamental issues about identity, value and medical science.
I rarely wish a book was longer, but this book... ah. It’s something else.