Unwholly

UnWholly Book Cover UnWholly
Unwind Dystology, Book 2
Neal Shusterman
Juvenile Fiction
Simon and Schuster
2013-10-15
402

"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 and, in the same stroke, 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 expand, allowing the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished. Cam is a teen who does not exist. He is made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds. Cam, a 21st century Frankenstein, struggles with a search for identity and meaning, as well as the concept of his own soul, if indeed a rewound being can have one. When a sadistic bounty hunter who takes "trophies" from the unwinds he captures starts to pursue Connor, Risa and Lev, Cam finds his fate inextricably bound with theirs"--

 

Review:

Mr. Shusterman accomplished something with “Unwholly” that I would have thought impossible: He not only improved upon “Unwind”; he made the entire idea of unwinding even more disturbing.

My humble words can never appropriately describe the genius that is the “Unwind” dystopia.  The progression from the first book to the second is so natural that it is easy to imagine it actually happening in this country, and the facts added by the author send shivers down my spine.  They provide excellent talking points about how reality can be scarier than fictions and how the decisions made by us today can have the type of lasting impact that could lead to these types of laws.

Additionally, the “ads” and “political advertisements” sprinkled throughout “Unwholly” are brilliantly worded and well-placed.  They show the progression of thoughts and corporate greed, as well as the use of propaganda to sway the opinions of the population.  They are terrifying because we see and hear messages worded the same way every day.  None of it is as far-fetched as the reader would like it to be, and Mr. Shusterman is relentless in keeping us from feeling secure in our own worlds and beliefs.

Without getting too spoilery, I have to say that “Unwholly” made me completely reassess my own religious and moral beliefs on certain issues.  What makes one human?  What is a soul?  Cam puts those questions, and more, right into the face of anyone who seems to think they know the answers, and does so in a way that can keep a person up at night.

I could go on about the character development (exceptional), writing (exemplary), the attention to detail (minute), and more, but all it really comes down to is that the only way to appreciate how profound this entire series is is to pick it up and read it for yourself.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Violence, Sexual Situations

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