Monday, September 17, 2012

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

Title: UnWholly
Author: Neal Shusterman
Pages: 416 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5[

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've been waiting to read this follow up to Unwind for almost five years, even though I actually didn't know I was waiting until year three. I was very concerned going into this book. How can any book match the genius that is Unwind? Will this be another middle book slump? Will I love the characters as much as I did before?

I had no reason to worry. UnWholly was amazing. Almost flawless. The only thing holding it back is that it's not quite as good as Unwind. There was still the major conflict of emotions for me. I am absolutely disgusted and appalled by the thought of unwinding, but I'm also intrigued. I know which side I would stand on, but it scares me that I'm sure there are already people out there that would embrace this terrible idea without coercion. That's what this series does to you, it makes you think . It makes you question , not only yourself but the people you know too.

The returning characters were as I remembered them. Connor, Lev, & Risa are some of my favorite characters in any book ever and oh, how I had missed them. There were a few new characters that I really liked and a couple who I didn't.

Miracolina is an intelligent, feisty tithe who knows what she wants and isn't going to let anyone get in her way. I liked her a lot.

Starkey is someone I felt pity for at first, but the more his character evolved the less I liked him.

Trace is pretty awesome. To me he symbolized something very important in this book, but I don't want to spoil anything so I'll leave it at that.

Cam is the world's first fully composite human being, which means he is made up entirely of other people. I don't even really know what I can say about Cam. He terrified me, and at times I found myself somewhat disgusted by him. He began to grow on me, but I didn't get to know him well enough for it to become complete. I was a little thrown off by his obsession with Risa, but there was something that I liked. He's the character I'm most interested in reading about in the next book.

When "I am" becomes "I'm not..."

The only complaint I have, and it's barely a complaint, is that I wanted to know more about the parts pirates. Is it sick that I wanted to know exactly how it worked? I am so disturbed by the idea, but curious. Is the black market unwinding like the unwinding that happens in the chop shops? I have so many questions that I hope will get answered.

The most disturbingly amazing thing about this book is that some of these things are already happening. People are already selling organs on the black market. There's someone out there right now who's kidnapping someone to cut out their kidney or liver to sell. How far off are we from unwinding? Probably not far enough...

What are some books that have made you think?


  1. I've been looking forward to reading a review of this one. I have it -- just haven't been able to get to it yet. Now, you have me very excited. Great!

    1. Definitely move it up! It's so great and I'm super excited for UnSouled[Shusterman recently released the name!].

  2. Super review, I've got Unwind on my book shelf and am looking forward to starting this series.

    1. It's one of my favorites, I can't wait to see what you think of it.


  3. Have you read the short story Unstrung? It has a little on parts pirates though not that much.