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Search tags: teen-rebels
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review 2018-02-28 20:48
UnBound: Stories from the Unwind World (Unwind Dystology) - Neal Shusterman

Normally I wouldn't review a story collection all that highly, but this felt like such a natural supplement/extension of the series that I barely noticed the format. Shusterman juggles so many characters and perspectives with such excellent transitions in voice, that this prequel/sequel collection felt seamless. Cool world-building backstories seem like a behind-the-scenes peek, while the post-book-4 bits are fun and add a little more dimension. Must-read for fans of the series.

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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 2018-02-21 07:16
To no one's surprise, corporations are destroying the world
UnSouled - Neal Shusterman

Third out of four book series digs deeper into the capitalism, convenience, and corrupt corporations angles of this incredibly well-developed dystopia. Deeply disturbing, largely because of just how plausible it is. Still some hope for the main cast to chase, but there's no backing down on exposing the selfishness and willful blindness of humanity either. Doesn't overdo it with caricature-like saints of heroes either. Shusterman has a genius for weaving together several viewpoints and plot threads into an explosive crescendo of a conclusion, so I'm definitely looking forward to the big wrap up.

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