Anna's Reviews > UnWholly

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
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Aug 30, 12

bookshelves: signed, simon-schuster
Read from August 27 to 29, 2012

More of my reviews can be found on my blog: Literary Exploration

Holy wow. UnWholly opens up a whole new can of worms, shedding light on the more complicated aspects of unwinding and creating a shady grey area between both sides. There were characters I wanted to hate just because of what they were or how they thought, but I knew that there was more to it. There were characters I wanted to slap because their choices disregarded their feelings and opinions on unwinding. As much as I loved this book, I struggled to look at things from all perspectives. Shusterman's world has begun to change, as do our beloved characters and the way they view it. While Unwind was a heartbreaking story, one that I loved to no end, UnWholly provides more story lines, more characters, and a complexity that will challenge the way you think.

Connor, Lev, and Risa are still the same amazing characters I grew to love in Unwind, but they're struggling with new issues now. Risa can no longer walk, Connor must rule the graveyard, and Lev has to live with the consequences of becoming the clapper who didn't clap. In addition, we meet Cam, who has been built rather than born, Starkey, the stork who wants to rule, and Miracolina, the tithe who will stop at nothing to be unwound. Each new character adds another layer to Shusterman's story that will make you stop and think about this society that allows teens to become unwound. I had a hard time accepting Cam and I'm not even sure if I do yet. He's been built from the best parts of 99 unwinds, but is that his fault? He's an abomination, but is he really alive? I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that he was okay. Even being compared to Frankenstein's monster paints a picture of death and something unnatural, something that should never have been allowed to live.

The inclusion of propaganda advertisements that discusse the benefits of unwinding is included throughout the story which really messed with my mind. Maybe I'm just gullible or easily persuaded into things, but I started to second guess myself and personal feelings towards unwinding, which I'm sure is exactly what Shusterman had in mind. The writing style is still spectacular, gorgeous, elegant, beautiful, thought-provoking, and all the other gushing things I tend to say about Shusterman. His world-building is amazing, adding levels of complexity in UnWholly that left me unsure about who was right and who was wrong. And by the end, I couldn't hold the emotions in anymore. Shusterman's ability to tug at my heartstrings unwound my feelings and left me an emotional wreck.

If you haven't already picked up Unwind you definitely need to. This series of stories is unlike anything I've ever read. Shusterman's ability to create a world so horrifying, yet so complicated is remarkable. After finishing this one I cannot wait to get my hands on whatever is coming next! Be warned, this book will have you second guessing yourself and our beloved characters. I loved the inclusion of advertisements because it makes the world all the more real and makes the ideas of unwinding, and why people fell for them, so much easier to understand. If you're a fan of books like The Hunger Games and Uglies this is definitely one you're not going to want to miss!!
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Sarah OMG can't wait to read this one!


Anna IT IS SO GOOD... not as good as Unwind... but good in a different, more challenging way.


Sarah eeeeeeeeeek! So have to get a copy of this soon ☺


Anna It is out today!! GO BUY IT!


Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* AAHHH I FORGOT THIS CAME OUT ALREADY. D: I must get my hands on it ...


Sarah OMG! I want it even more now that I read your review! Totally buying this ASAP!


Anna Sarah wrote: "OMG! I want it even more now that I read your review! Totally buying this ASAP!"
YEAH YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO IT WAS SO GOOD!

Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* wrote: "AAHHH I FORGOT THIS CAME OUT ALREADY. D: I must get my hands on it ..."
I KNOW RIGHT?!?!? You need to get it like yesterday!!!


 ☆∞Bellas☮ ♥Shelf∞☆ those advertisiments made me doubt my intial hatred towards unwinding! It was GENIUS on Shustermans part Anna, he crafted a helluva tale.


Anna ☆∞Francine wrote: "those advertisiments made me doubt my intial hatred towards unwinding! It was GENIUS on Shustermans part Anna, he crafted a helluva tale."

It really was!!! I totally had myself doubting unwinding as well. I think he did a great job of making us, as readers, doubt everything we'd learned so far!


Tellulah Darling Anna wrote: "IT IS SO GOOD... not as good as Unwind... but good in a different, more challenging way."

I think it's great. With the second book in a series to be different and more challenging. Since it can't compare on the world building that may have drawn us in to begin with.


Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) I am insanely jealous that you have a signed copy of UnWholly! This book was amazing!


Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) Oh, your review is great! You are SO right about the propaganda. I didn't even touch on that, but it made me think too! And I didn't care for Cam either. Not one bit.


message 13: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) wrote: "Oh, your review is great! You are SO right about the propaganda. I didn't even touch on that, but it made me think too! And I didn't care for Cam either. Not one bit."

Ah, wasn't it a cool touch though?! And Cam was CCREEEEEEEEPPYYY!!!


Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) I think the propaganda was brilliant. Even in the first book I couldn't tell what was real and made up (you know the inserts before each "section")... I really need to check those links because if that stuff is legit OHMYSWEETGOODNESS


message 15: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Alanna (The Flashlight Reader) wrote: "I think the propaganda was brilliant. Even in the first book I couldn't tell what was real and made up (you know the inserts before each "section")... I really need to check those links because if ..."

I checked one or two of them and I think I remember them being real! (It's been awhile...) but I know seriously, it's crazy!!!


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