Jessa's Reviews > UnWholly

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
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's review
Sep 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult, dystopia, sci-fi, series, series-book-2, yes, 5-star-faves, 5-stars, read-in-2012, signed-by-author
Read from August 29 to September 02, 2012

So I have to admit that reviewing Unwholly feels nearly impossible in some much happens and from so many perspectives, that putting it all together in a review feels impossible, not to mention I don't want to inadvertently insert any spoilers! Reviews of this book are probably better left to the extremely talented reviewers on here, rather than my very amateur self haha, so that being said, I will just give a brief review of how I felt about this book and what I loved about it :).

Unwholly continues the story of Unwind and with an additional cast of characters who weren't present in the first book. Some of these new characters are VERY unlikable and they are so well written that I genuinely felt angry with them. It was difficult to read from the bad guy's point of view (it would have been like having Roland's point of view in Unwind) and it can make for a difficult read, but it also provides a great deal of insight into the manipulation and destruction these psychos are capable of. And of course, we read from Lev's, Risa's and Connor's viewpoints again as well. I feel the frequent changing of viewpoints with such a large cast of characters both worked for this book and didn' built up the suspense and gave me a better understanding of the motivations of different types of people, but at times I felt a bit bored or felt like I just wanted to get back to Connor, Risa or Lev. What I loved about the character development in this book is that I feel like I truly got to know these characters so much better than I did in book 1, particularly Lev. Even by the end of Unwind, I didn't have strong feelings one way or the other toward Lev, but he is quickly becoming perhaps my favorite character in this series - there is something so endearing about him!

While I don't want to give anything away, this book also reveals MANY of the motivations and reasoning behind things you may have wondered in the first book (such as why they allow the Graveyard to exist) and it's explained in such a way that it easy to understand and believable.

One of my favorite little extras in this book was all of the little advertisements and news articles peppered throughout. The articles were in fact the most disturbing aspect to me in some ways, as they were real articles - I clicked on the links and it took me to the original articles - which really made me see how our World could get from here to about terrifying!

I also love that the author didn't feel the need to have some absolutely ridiculous cliffhanger. He clearly understands that he can end with some semblance of closure, even if there are some open-ended aspects and people will still buy the next book. Many authors don't seem to get this and it makes me mad :P!

I have to say that overall this is one of my favorite middle books I've ever read in a trilogy - it definitely didn't suffer from the typical scenario of the middle book being the weakest link. I didn't go in with very high expectations, because I thought that there was no way any follow-up could live up to the original and I didn't want to be disappointed. I realized by the end that I had nothing to worry about, because this book is incredible and on par with the original. I highly recommend this book and I cannot wait for the final installment!!
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Quotes Jessa Liked

Neal Shusterman
“Words don't hurt you." Which is one of the hugest criminal lies perpetrated by adults against children in this world. Because words hurt more than any physical pain.”
Neal Shusterman, UnWholly

Neal Shusterman
“Eventually your body will learn the alliances it has to make with itself,' Kenny had said - as if Cam was a factory full of strike-prone workers, or worse, a clutch of slaves forced into unwanted labor.”
Neal Shusterman, UnWholly

Reading Progress

08/29 page 16
08/29 page 54
13.0% "this book sure starts off with some unlikable people lol"
08/30 page 125
30.0% 1 comment
08/23 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Jessa Thanks Sam, likewise!! I always love reading your reviews, especially of books I have been anticipating :D!! This book is...I don't even know how to explain it; it's much more messed up than the first one in a way. I don't like quite how much it jumps around from each person, but so far, it's really good! There are some really, REALLY unlikable characters in this one lol...worse than Roland!

Jessa Sam wrote: "Hmm... interesting! I'm looking forward to meeting some of these new characters (I think!) :D I'm glad to see 5 stars from you. I will have to re-read the first though before I can start on this. :)"

Yeah...I was like halfway through re-reading the first book when this one came out and I almost decided to stop reading it because I was SO anxious for this one, but now I am really glad that I finished it first, as there was a lot I seemed to have forgotten. I would have still understood the book anyway I think, but I got a lot more out of it by reading them back to back :). There are a lot of new characters, some likable, most not lol, but it was pretty interesting reading from their viewpoints because you could truly kind of understand their motivations and how they ticked...though at the same time I kept missing reading from Connor, Risa or Lev's POV. Lev soooo grew on me in this book for some reason lol, I <3 him haha.

Jessa Sam wrote: "I guess I better re-read then. It's been a while and my memory is a little foggy. ;) Great review, Jess! I'll see if I end up feeling the same way about Lev. :)"

Thanks :) I can't wait to see what you think :D!!

message 5: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Great review Jessica. I read the first book as part of a book club and one of my friends did research on some of the stuff that was presented in the book and found out they were true places and events. Intereting to see he does this in book 2 also.

Jessa Arlene wrote: "Great review Jessica. I read the first book as part of a book club and one of my friends did research on some of the stuff that was presented in the book and found out they were true places and eve..."

Thanks! Yeah, there were more articles in this one and I was just shocked...I actually only realized re-reading Unwind this past week that the articles in Unwind were real too and my jaw just dropped...I think the articles really add a lot to the book.

I like to think that this sick World they end up in is impossible, but in this book in particular, it makes it very clear how things could get from here to there. I think it's of course still highly unlikely, but it even being plausible is SO scary!

Jessa WOOHOO! I entered Neal's crossword puzzle contest yesterday and won an autographed copy of Unwholly :D this makes me SOOOOOOOO happy :D!!!!

 ☆∞Love Frances∞☆ Congrats and I Hate you *pouts* all joked aside I dont hate u btw :) I think ur review was great and I am crafting mine now and am like OMG what do i write?! I put it off for like a month already. Ugh.

Jessa ☆∞Francine wrote: "Congrats and I Hate you *pouts* all joked aside I dont hate u btw :) I think ur review was great and I am crafting mine now and am like OMG what do i write?! I put it off for like a month already. ..."

Haha, thanks Francine :)!! I was SO excited to win, I was literally beaming lol and had a smile from ear to ear! Thankfully I had just re-read Unwind, so it made the crossword puzzle easy since everything was still so fresh in my mind. And I look forward to reading your review!

Jessa Ah I received it today - so exciting lol! I posted a photo of it on here :D yeah, it seriously made my day :D

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