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review 2016-04-20 18:59
UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

So . . . I stayed up all night to finish this book. I was completely useless the next day, but I regret nothing. That ending is awesome.


UnWholly picks up about a year after where Unwind left off. Connor, Lev, and Risa have gotten the world to pay attention to unwinding, but now they don’t know who to trust. Some people want to help them; others just want to collect the bounty on their heads. No place—not even the airplane graveyard in the Arizona desert—is safe. This book introduces three new characters. Starkey is a teen who’s obsessed with becoming just as famous as Connor. Miracolina wants to be unwound. And Cam . . . is a human made entirely from the body parts of other humans.


One of my biggest issues with the first book is that I didn’t buy unwinding. It doesn’t seem like a practical solution to any problem. This book adds enough worldbuilding that unwinding becomes slightly more believable. The story shows how this futuristic society is collapsing and the fear that people have of “feral” teens. Unwinding is big business in this world. Greedy medical companies are trying to make unwinding bigger, better, and more necessary. I really appreciate the worldbuilding because I felt like it was lacking in the first book. The new worldbuilding also takes some of the focus off of the abortion debate, which could be good or bad, depending on how you feel about the abortion stuff in the first book.


“The sad truth about humanity . . . is that people believe what they're told. Maybe not the first time, but by the hundredth time, the craziest of ideas just becomes a given.” - UnWholly


We need to talk about Cam. After I finished the first book, I started wondering if it was possible to use unwinding technology to build a whole new person. I wasn’t surprised when that’s exactly what happens in this book. I was (weirdly) hoping it would happen. Cam is the character I wanted. He’s fascinating. He’s super-naïve and super-intelligent at the same time. His brain is made up of pieces of other people’s brains, so he has an interesting way of thinking. What’s even better is that he encourages the reader to think. What, exactly, is a human? Is it possible to be more than one human at the same time? If Cam was created instead of born, is he property? How ethical/necessary is it to improve the human body?


Cam replaced Lev as my favorite character in this series. I still feel bad for Lev because he’s so young and has had to put up with so much crap, but Cam is what makes me want to read the next book.


I’m going to continue with this series, but I didn’t like this book quite as much as the first one. Compared to Unwind, UnWholly starts off very slowly. It took me a while to get into it. Also, UnWholly feels like a recycled version of Unwind. Actually, “recycled” is probably the wrong word. Let’s say that Unwind was unwound and then rewound into UnWholly. Some of the new characters are very similar to the old ones. Miracolina is the new Lev. Starkey is the new Roland. The characters are still dealing with the same problems as in the first book. This book doesn’t feel as original as the first one.


Despite the “rewinding” issues, I’m eager to continue with the series. I want to know what happens next.

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review 2015-10-06 14:13
4/5: Unwholly
UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

In a world where unwinding – the dissolution of teenagers for organ replacement – is legal, a group of very different teenagers struggle to survive in any way they can.

This is a sequel to the outstanding Unwind – one of the few books I’ve given 5/5 to, I believe. Neal Shusterman is one of the best writers I’ve ever come across – YA or otherwise. His world is totally believable, his characters are full and complex. There’s nothing flat here in dialogue or pacing; not a sentence is wasted. His writing is flawless.

His heroes and villains are both beautifully realised. Nothing is black and white; the heroes make hard choices, they make realistic choices as to what actions they can take. So do the villains. Everyone thinks their actions are right and the moral choices they make feel right to them. As readers, we empathise with them, even if we don’t agree with their actions.

Shusterman isn’t afraid to ask tough questions: Questions about how society treats its teenagers. Questions about leadership, and standing up for what you believe in – questions about leaving people to die so that others can live; questions about what it means to be a hero. There are no easy answers, either in the book or in the world.

So why not 5/5 again?

In ways, this felt like a bridge between Unwind and Unsouled (Book three). As a result, there was a slow sense of exposition going on – a lot of questions, but no answers. The pacing is slow – don’t expect explosions on every page – but the evolution of the characters and their situations is handled so well, the slow pacing can be forgiven. New story arcs develop, but not many of them complete.

I will be reading Unsouled, and not just so I can see how all this plays out; I want to spend more time with the wonderful writing and powerful world Shusterman creates.

I want to know how it ends...I’m a fan.

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review 2015-05-31 00:00
UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
UnWholly (Unwind, #2) - Neal Shusterman Chocolate. You have so many memories of chocolate.
Some of your memories are of being deathly allergic to it, some are of every birthday cake being chocolate. One of your memories is of your family never having enough money for it, except that one time, when your dad left, and your mum decided she needed to do something extra special to cheer you up. You’ve dreamed of it ever since. But at the same time, you’ve never had it before.

Warmth, blankets, hugs, sunshine, safe place… Comfort.

It takes a while to work out the words, because you don’t see things the way others do. All at once you have so many memories, but none at all. Your synapses fire in a different way, as your brain tries to bridge the gaps between different parts of your whole.

Slowly the pieces are coming together… literally.

And, now that thinking is becoming a little easier, a little less fuzzy, you’re finding words come to you more easily. You can find the word you want without having to cycle through all the images and feelings you associate with it first.

You’re the next stage of humanity, the best of the best, and you’re only going to become better with each passing day, as the scars fade, as all the tiny parts of you figure out how to run smoothly together.

The rest of this review can be found here!
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review 2015-03-30 23:46
UnWholly Book Review
UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

I think I'm one of the few who doesn't really love this series. I get why people find it fascinating, its an interesting take to the whole abortion topic. But for me, there are entirely way too many characters to become really invested. Once I started liking the story and character we'd quickly switch to a different plot line. 


Connor, Levi, Risa, and the others are back and surviving right where we left off in book one. Connor is in charge at their hide out, Risa is paralyzed after the attack and Levi has become a clapper. They're all separated and have to keep running so they won't be unwound. 


Just not my favorite series. I won't be continuing to read three and four. Most of it bored and me and I really didn't care enough about any of the 20 characters in the story. 


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review 2014-12-19 00:00
UnWholly - Neal Shusterman In the intro, Shusterman writes something along the lines of "I hope this is a terrifying, sleep-depriving book!"

Yeah, thanks Shusterman.

Yes, some of the new characters do feel a bit like those from [b:Unwind|764347|Unwind (Unwind, #1)|Neal Shusterman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1297677706s/764347.jpg|750423], but I don't really mind more of them. And the one that's different ... well, let's just say that he's VERY different.

The best part has to be the plot. It's a bit hard to follow at times, but once you get it, everything falls into place and it's just perfect in its horribleness. If that makes any sense. Which I doubt it does.

Just read it, okay?
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