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review 2018-02-18 23:39
Capitalism wants to destroy teens
UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

UnWholly, incredibly, manages to dig deeper and raise new questions around its alarming premise. While profiling a couple more heroes, its assessment of humanity and society remains fairly bleak. The events at the end of Unwind prompted a condensing of the period of legal "abortion" of unwanted teens from 13-18 down to 17 as the cap. Unfortunately, this seemingly positive development assuages public guilt or concern and prompts a wave of intensive marketing and PR to promote unwinding troublemaking teens. A decidedly dystopian conspiracy (several, really, but one 'originating' one) put a new spin on this dark future, and heroes from book 1 get a chance to develop and grow further, while new characters are introduced. It's a marvel that Shusterman can juggle so many characters, viewpoints, and plot threads so masterfully to craft a tense, intelligent, troubling, yet entertaining thriller-paced novel. 

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video 2018-02-10 03:32
UnWholly - Neal Shusterman

 

Ok, now that I saw the trailer for book 3, I had to look for others. Here is the trailer for book 2 of the Unwind series: Unwholly.

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review 2018-02-07 02:20
Unwholly - audiobook
UnWholly (Unwind, #2) - Neal Shusterman,Luke Daniels

**If you haven't read Unwind, there may be spoilers in the following review.**

 

 

Book 2 in the Unwind series continues to follow the story of Connor, Risa, and Lev along with a few new and interesting characters. There's Nelson, a "parts pirate," determined to track down Connor and turn him over to the Juvenile Authority for "unwinding," Starkey, a power hungry kid who wants to usurp Connor and take control, and even Cam, a teenager created using the parts from various unwound kids. They call Cam a "rewind" but he is like Frankenstein and he doesn't even know if he is "real." The chapters alternate between different character's POVs and the narrator does a good job giving them different voices and personalities. In between chapters are actual news articles about organ harvesting and abandoned and "feral" teens. (The only thing annoying about that is hearing the narrator spell out the entire websites where the articles are found, something you wouldn't have to read yourself and would probably gloss over.)

 

This series continues to twist your expectations in new ways. I loved this just as much, if not more than the first one. The plot twists at the end made me jump right into book 3.

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review 2016-04-20 18:59
UnWholly
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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