Book Review: UnWholly (Unwind #2) by Neal Shusterman

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.

Release Date: August 28, 2012
Age Group: YA
Source: Purchased

Few authors can reduce me to giddy fan-girl type reactions like Neal Shusterman can.  He continually surprises me and his writing consistently exceeds my expectations.  I really didn't think I could love UnWholly as much as I did.  I think Unwind was still my favorite between the two books, just because of the raw shock of the concept's uniqueness, but it's a very close call for me.

Let's start at the beginning.  The cover of UnWholly is pretty freaky.  When I first saw it, I thought that the guy's face looked like patchwork.  Like he was pieced together, and his skin was not his own.  Oh, how right I was...but in a way I never expected.  The guy on the cover is Cam, and he is a new addition to the cast of characters.  At first, I wanted to hate him, and I really thought I would, but I ended up really caring about him and feeling a lot of emotions for him.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what Cam does in book three.

Another new character was Miracolina.  She is a tithe, like Lev was, except she wants to be tithed.  She wants nothing more than to be unwound: she thinks it is her gift to God and the universe.  Miracolina seemed to be a flat character at first, until she started to grow and change.  I loved seeing that transformation in her.

And, then we got to catch back up with the characters in book one.  I loved getting to know Connor, Risa and Lev even better than before.  I especially loved Lev's story.  He really turned out to be a different character than what I thought him to be in Unwind.  

I really can't say enough good things about this series.  Shusterman's plot is masterful.  His pacing is spot-on...the alternating points of view in each chapter really serve to keep the story moving quickly.  The characters are so well-developed, and the world-building was just right.  If you haven't picked up Unwind, don't wait!  It's exceptional!



  1. Almost done with this one and I have to agree that I never know where Shusterman is going to take his characters and story. This book creeped me out more than Unwind but I still need to see how it all ends! So glad you liked it!


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