Kenzie's Reviews > UnWholly

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
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Getting this out of the way first: Neal Shusterman, I swear, if you make me wait five years for the next book, I will die. Like, actually die.

My expectations were high, high, high for this one, considering how spectacular the first one was. Well, this did not disappoint in the least. Hot. Damn.



Damn it. DAMN IT. Neal Shusterman is an absolute master at two things: introducing a bunch of new characters, more than you'd think you'd be able to handle and it makes you want to groan and just think oh my gosh get to the main characters I want to hear about already, and then suddenly making you feel so strongly for them it hurts (whether it's love or broiling hatred), and crafting plot twists that are so sneaky so diabolical they make you gasp out loud. How does he juggle so many different perspectives (one of the perspectives is from the planes, for crying out loud!) and makes it work? Astounding. Just astounding. One of my favorite qualities from Unwind was the come-out-of-nowhere, impossible-to-guess plot twists, and this book did not lack in those in the slightest.

The characters. The ones we love from the first book--Connor, Risa, Lev, Hayden the new ones introduced in this one--Cam, Miracolina, Trace, Starkey, Nelson. I honestly didn't think I could love the main three from the first book more, but their character development was fantastic and my love for them grew tenfold with every hardship they faced. My heart broke for Lev so much--two particular scenes (one involving his family, and another after the amazing "HE'S PEEING IN SOMEONE'S SUITCASE!" scene) made my eyes mist and I was this close to bawling. I adored his bond with Miracolina. I adored Miracolina in general. Her transformation was great. Cam, oh, Cam, you just want to hold him and pet him and tell him that everything's okay. At the end though man... I can't wait to see what he has in store for the next book. Starkey... I can't talk about him without seeing red. All I can say is that I have never felt such hatred towards a character before, and considering other books I've read with those who'd done admittedly worse things, that's saying something! I sent Caitlin three text messages within ten minutes of each other that express my feelings about this character quite well. In verbatim:

WOW I HATE STARKEY SO MUCH WHAT AN ASSHOLE
YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND I HATE HIM SO FUCKING MUCH
I WANT TO RIP THIS KID'S THROAT OUT WITH MY TEETH


and so on and so forth. If you know me, it takes a lot to make me swear, especially with such violence. Could you actually believe that I sympathized with this kid once? That I actually kinda even liked him? Well, Shusterman has this way of just forcing you to get to know these characters, learn their histories, how their brains work, you suddenly find yourself more emotionally invested in them than you ever signed up for, and it's pretty bloody painful.

Never a dull moment for the plot. It's constantly in motion--there's never any dawdling, something is happening, whether it's happening to Connor, to Cam, to Lev, to Miracolina, to Lev and Miracolina, to Nelson (GYAHHHH THIS GUY), etc, the action never quits. It's fast, gloriously fast, and every scene keeps you on the edge of your seat and you don't want to stop reading until you have nothing left. I especially loved the creepy advertisements and the public service announcements that plagued parts of the book, as well as the pseudo-articles at the beginning of each part. It gave it such a realistic, authentic feel. Also, the death/almost death scenes? Brutal. Brutal, brutal, brutal. That's another thing he's a master at. (view spoiler)

The references to the first book--so many references to tiny characters you barely gave a thought who only appeared on one or two pages--made me regret not giving Unwind a reread before this one. This is plotted out extremely well and sometimes it was just so brilliant that I had to set the book down and writhe in my sheets for a few minutes before I could continue, all the while muttering, "Damn you, Neal Shusterman, you sneaky bastard."

Five out of five stars, and a proper place among my All-Time Favorites next to its predecessor. Made me laugh. Almost made me cry. Made my emotions rip themselves from every crevice in my body and whirlwind around me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Aaaaand one more Damn you, Shusterman and your brilliance! to properly end this review. I knew I bought a signed copy of Unwind even though I already owned it for a reason!
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Reading Progress

08/28/2012 "SO THE BOOKSTORE DIDN'T HAVE THIS IN YET AND THE OWNER LET ME BORROW HER ARC UNTIL THEY DO
I LOVE NICE PEOPLE SOB"
08/28/2012 page 71
20.0% "CAM YOU PRECIOUS BABBU ;__;"
08/28/2012 page 191
54.0% "NO LEV OMG MY POOR PRECIOUS BABBU LEMME HOLD YOU"
08/29/2012 page 238
68.0% "OMFG SCREAMING" 1 comment
08/29/2012 page 266
76.0% "OMFG THIS BOOK IS MAKING MY EMOTIONS GO ABSOLUTELY HAYWIRE JFC OMG NEAL SHUSTERMAN STOP MY EMOTIONS I CAN'T"
08/29/2012 page 350
99.0% "JFC THIS BOOK IS GIVING ME GRAY HAIRS"
05/20/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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Caitlin I APPLAUD YOU THOUGH I DIDN'T READ ALL OF IT JUST INCASE, BUT YES GOOD


Kenzie I DIDN'T SPOIL ANYTHING


Navdha My emotions have been perfectly put down in a review. *sniffs*
Thank you. :3
And I agree, DAMN YOU STARKEY! (view spoiler)


Kenzie :'3
(view spoiler)


Navdha (view spoiler)


Kenzie The worst the worst the wooorst ;___;


Wien OMG. All of my emotions have gone haywire with this. And Nelson, omg!!! Asdfghjkl and Trace. Damn you Neal! Make sure u just don't make us wait that long.


Ai Haibara I'm reading the book right now and golly, everytime I read about Starkey I get so scared for what's going to happen to Connor!


Kenzie STARKEY
He's the reason for any gray hairs I have o_e


Caitlin Remember from the first chapter and i was like, "STARKEY IS COOL" and then remember the last chapter where i was like "Star..key..."


message 11: by Kenzie (last edited Sep 23, 2012 08:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kenzie YES LOL I REMEMBER YOU TEXTED ME ALL LIKE OMG STARKEY SOB and yeah omg
NEAL SHUSTERMAN *shakes fist*


message 12: by Grace (new)

Grace Shusterman needs to kill Starkey. Him and his stupid stork legion GAHHHHHH!


message 13: by S.R. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S.R. Wemyss Oh, Starkey. My sentiments exactly. He's so smart and full of himself....I just....ERG!! HATE HIM!!


message 14: by Julia (new) - added it

Julia One comment - the pseudo-articles at the beginnings of the chapters? I checked them out, and... THEY'RE TRUE. ...I KNOW, RIGHT??? Anyway, great review, you basically said everything I could say about the book. :)


Reena "Well, Shusterman has this way of just forcing you to get to know these characters, learn their histories, how their brains work, you suddenly find yourself more emotionally invested in them than you ever signed up for, and it's pretty bloody painful."


^^^^ this.


message 16: by Adriana (last edited Jan 10, 2015 02:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adriana Your review is perfect! My thoughts were exactly the same and OMG I cried so much in the last few chapters.(view spoiler)


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