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review 2018-02-28 20:47
UnDivided (Unwind Dystology) - Neal Shusterman

This is a near-five-star read. Really excellent writing, storytelling, and intelligent critiquing/interrogating of culture. Shusterman has an absolute genius for weaving exciting, twisty plot threads and more character arcs than should be possible together at the last moment for explosive, satisfying endings. Loved so many characters, but especially (mildly spoilerish warning:) Gracie, the "low-cortical" surprise hero who uses her particular skills to basically save the world. I think she's supposed to be something like autistic? But her way of looking at the world turns out to be exactly what's needed. Awesomeness.

 

This is still a pretty depressing premise that calls out human selfishness and irresponsibility in a big way, to the extent that the ending was somewhat implausible, but who wants to read a series about how we're ruining the world with no happy ending in sight? I enjoyed the read, and loved (/feared) the chapter-intro content all the way through the series. In early books, Shusterman used PSA and marketing-style ads to play up the way propaganda and corporate manipulation/marketing worked on people's fears and clouded their thinking. This last book uses actual headlines and articles from the last decade or so to show just how terrifyingly plausible this dystopian future really could be. Smart way to build tension and horror undertones (overtones?) while also proving that the author did an incredible job on the research and world-building.

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review 2018-02-10 04:08
Undivided - audiobook
Undivided - Audible Studios,Neal Shusterman,Luke Daniels

 

 

An amazing end to this brilliant series. There were times I was screaming in anger, crying with sadness, and slamming my fists in frustration. I loved this series and now must find something else from Neal Shusterman to read.

 

 

 

Stay Whole.

 

oh and...

 

Nice socks.

 

If you like dystopian books, you should try this one, you won't be disappointed.

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review 2016-04-23 18:25
UnDivided
Undivided - Neal Shusterman

Well, that was satisfyingly messed up.

 

In the final-ish book of this series, Connor, Risa, Lev, and Cam uncover some of Proactive Citizenry’s secrets. The organization has been blocking scientific progress so that they can use their technology to get rich off military contracts. While Cam tries to expose Proactive Citizenry, Connor and Risa are on the run from parts pirates, and Lev is trying to get justice for all of the teens who have been unwound. While all of this is happening, Starkey continues his terroristic attacks on harvest camps, but some of the kids he commands have a plan to overthrow him.

 

One of the reasons why I don’t read a lot of series is that I usually don’t like how they end. There are so many plot threads in a series that they are rarely all wrapped up in a satisfying way. I think authors also sometimes chicken out with the ends of series. Authors are so desperate to give every character a happily ever after that the finale is bland.

 

Neal Shusterman did a fairly awesome job of ending this series. UnDivided is unpredictable, fast-paced, and creepy. There were several times where I stared at the book in horror, thinking No, that did not just happen! I was scared for the characters the whole way through. Every time I thought this series couldn’t get any more disturbing, it gets more disturbing. I would love to give examples, but everything I want to say is a spoiler, so you’ll just have to trust me.

 

This is my second-favorite book in the series. The first book is still my favorite, but this is a satisfying ending. I only have two small problems with it:

 

First, (I know I already said this in another review), I still don’t understand Risa. She’s a love interest and nothing else. I really, really wanted her to have more of a role in the conclusion of the series.

 

Second, there is a scene where Connor is trapped in a room full of kids who are sedated with IVs. Connor can’t get out of the room, so he pretty much just sits there until he’s captured. Why didn’t he yank the IVs out of the kids? He yanked out his own IV. Maybe taking out everyone else’s would have caused enough chaos that he could have escaped. Or he could have had a very sleepy army at his disposal. Maybe I missed something, but that part of the book didn’t make much sense to me.

 

Again, I’ve said it in other reviews, but my favorite part of this series is the ethical questions that it examines. UnDivided shows the dangers of letting science go too far and also the dangers of suppressing science.

 

“ . . . facts never prevent the ignorant from jerking their knees into the groin of science.” - UnDivided

 

Just because modern science doesn’t have the perfect solution to a problem doesn’t mean that it never will. We have to keep working toward solutions, but we have to be careful about how we do that work. Getting rich from scientific advancements should not be more important than human lives.

 

If I had to sum up this series with one word, I’d call it “brave.” The author confronts a lot of topics that most other authors would shy away from. I don’t agree with every position that the author/narrator/characters take in these books, but I think UnDivided is a brave conclusion to a brave series.

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text 2015-11-04 09:06
3/5: UnDivided
Undivided - Neal Shusterman

Book four of four.

Having a destination, Lev, Risa, Connor and Cam are on the move again. Their arcs, started four books ago, come sluggishly to a close. I plowed my way through this one. Shusterman takes his time to explore the characters and develop them right to the end. It feels like he didn't quite have enough material to stretch to four books.

I had a few problems with this one. There were a surprising number of easily spotted typos, for one thing. But more importantly, some characters who were working up to be major players were forgotten in the climax. I would have liked to have seen them standing at the end, to know how they were doing.

This is a series that was running low on steam towards the middle of book three, and it’s straining to reach a conclusion by the end. Stop at the gut punching UnWind or go no further than UnWholly.

 
 
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text 2014-12-02 01:14
Feeling my biblio-groove again! (Nov reads)
Undivided - Neal Shusterman
Symbiont - Mira Grant
Hate is Such a Strong Word... - Sarah Ayoub
The Final Descent - Rick Yancey
Revival - Stephen King
Somebody Killed His Editor - Josh Lanyon
All She Wrote - Josh Lanyon

This feels so good!

 

For months and months, since the spring, my reading has been nearly nonexistent.  I mean, I'm talking only like one or two books a month.

 

The worst part was that I went into this change in my life and pattern just after joining an actual blog, when I'm supposed to be on my game and I just wasn't.  

 

I've finished SEVEN books this month!  It's not quite the 11 I was at previously, but damn it I'm proud of those 7 books up there.

 

Best book that I read up there is probably Undivided.  It's maybe a little bit cheating though since it's the final installment in a beloved series so if I'm being fair my favorite book that was a total surprise was Someone Killed His Editor.  (Awful cover.  Awful.  Really cute story.)

 

I don't think that any of these books qualifies as a 'disappointment' but I guess if I had to pick one that I liked the least it would definitely be Hate is Such a Strong Word.  

 

Overall, I'm happy with how my month ended.  I definitely intend to do more for December!

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