Sunday, August 5, 2012

Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

Genre:  YA Dystopian
Unwind Trilogy, Book 2
Expected publication date:  August 28, 2012

Note:  I highly, highly recommend you go read Unwind before reading the description and my review for Unwholly.  While the description given can spoil the plot for the first one, your welcome to read on if you still need more convincing on this series.

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.

I have to start off with the cover.  Let me tell you, this cover gives me the heebie-jeebies.  It's one of the ugliest, weirdest looking things out there.  But I only wanted to pick it up sooner after seeing it and loving the first book, Unwind.  And now that I've read this book, I believe the cover is perfect.  The book explains it well.

We remember the main characters from the first book, Connor, Lev, and Risa, right?  Well, they're in this book as well.  In addition, we're going to see some new faces.  And this adds a whole other dynamic to the story.  For the most part, we see a lot of teens that have had their human status revoked. Can you imagine how that would feel?  To have your loved ones (even though you may not love them always) and those charged with raising you basically tell you that you hold no value in society?  You as an individual, will not make the society, as a whole, a better place.  Therefore, you're life has been revoked.  I really can't imagine a world with so many problems and so much hate.

But then...  This book does a really good job of trying to bridge the gap between our world nowadays and the world in this book.  This is not a dystopian of some far away world that will never exist here.  It's something (that yes is super bizarre and feels unlikely) could potentially happen in our world.  And Neal Shusterman does a very good job with showing already published articles (in the here and now) and relating them to his book's world.

This book challenges the basic beliefs and struggles that we as humans have.  Our selfishness and instinct to save ourselves over others.  Questioning whether a bum's life is worthy of life in our society. Only instead of bums, it's troubled teenagers that face this question.

Do I recommend this book?  Absolutely, after you've read the first.  If you enjoyed Unwind, then you'll enjoy Unwholly.  It's definitely thought-provoking and makes you question the world.

My favorite quote from the book:
The sad truth about humanity, Risa was quick to realize, 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.     ~p 86

Thanks goes to Simon and Schuster for providing me a review copy.


  1. I loved unwind so I'm really excited. To read unwholly too, despite the creepy cover...
    I agree, although it is a very bizarre concept, the whole idea of unwinding isn't So far fetched that it's impossible...which makes the book even more scary!
    I love the quote you included :)

  2. I haven't heard of either books! But both of them sounds really good!!! Awesome review.

    Magical Urban Fantasy Reads


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