Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
It’s finally here. The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling Unwind, which Publishers Weekly called a “gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller.”

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.

416 pages, ebook

First published August 28, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Neal Shusterman

83 books24.5k followers
Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.

In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal's talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently playing in Boston. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful "How to Host a Mystery" game for teens, as well as seven "How to Host a Murder" games.

As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the "Goosebumps" and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is adapting his novel Everlost as a feature film for Universal Studios.

Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers -- such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal's novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.

Of Everlost, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman has reimagined what happens after death and questions power and the meaning of charity. While all this is going on, he has also managed to write a rip-roaring adventure…”

Of What Daddy Did, Voice of Youth Advocates wrote; "This is a compelling, spell-binding story... A stunning novel, impossible to put down once begun.

Of The Schwa Was Here, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman's characters–reminiscent of those crafted by E. L. Konigsburg and Jerry Spinelli–are infused with the kind of controlled, precocious improbability that magically vivifies the finest children's classics.

Of Scorpion Shards, Publisher's Weekly wrote: "Shusterman takes an outlandish comic-book concept, and, through the sheer audacity and breadth of his imagination makes it stunningly believable. A spellbinder."

And of The Eyes of Kid Midas, The Midwest Book Review wrote "This wins our vote as one of the best young-adult titles of the year" and was called "Inspired and hypnotically readable" by School Library Journal.

Neal Shusterman lives in Southern California with his children Brendan, Jarrod, Joelle, and Erin, who are a constant source of inspiration!

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
25,734 (45%)
4 stars
21,289 (37%)
3 stars
7,698 (13%)
2 stars
1,322 (2%)
1 star
509 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,981 reviews
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,821 followers
March 20, 2016

Finished re-reading this! And I think I loved it even more the second time. For some reason, I'd kind of forgotten everything that happens in this one (I think I read it too fast the first time), so I'm glad I took the time to read it again––and this time I went through it a bit more slowly/carefully.

For once, I feel like my original review is pretty solid and covers almost everything I have to say about this book. I'm always blown away by Shusterman's writing, world-building, and characterization. UnWholly is a brilliant sequel to Unwind––and like it's predecessor, I love how haunting, thrilling, and morally complex it is.

I still haven't read books three and four yet, but I'm excited to see what they have in store!

Old review under the cut.


Original Review (1/16/13):

Putting out a sequel five years after the first book came out is pretty risky. And honestly, I was a bit skeptical. I mean sure, I was excited, because I get excited for everything Neal Shusterman writes. But still ... I'd spent several years with Unwind lodged in my brain; even though I read it when it first came out about five years ago, so many of its details are still crystal-clear in my mind. It's such a memorable and brilliant book, and I'd basically put it up on a pedestal. Therefore, I had really high expectations for this book and I was nervous that they wouldn't be met.

But they were. Oh, they were ...

Now, did I love UnWholly as much as Unwind? That's hard to say. While of course they have their similarities, I think they're very different books. Also, I have more of a sentimental attachment to Unwind and that probably affects my judgment a bit. I think I still love Unwind more. But don't get me wrong, its sequel is amazing.

As far as picking up where the first book left off, Shusterman does a brilliant job. I was afraid I would have forgotten some of the important details of Unwind (I probably should have re-read it first, but oh well), but I can't think of a time in UnWholly when I felt too lost for any reason. Shusterman does reference back to the first book a lot, but without info-dumping and only when it's important/relevant to the story. I found that a lot of the time, he would mention a pretty small detail from the first book and I would still remember it. So, it could be that the details of the first book were just so memorable, but I also think Shusterman did a great job reminding the readers of what had happened in book one.

Secondly, the characters were handled so well in this book. First of all, it was great to see our heroes from Unwind again––Connor, Risa, and Lev. All three of them have matured and changed a lot and have become legends in the world they live in, yet they still are the same people and they seem like real kids. They all have to deal with the mess left behind after the events of Unwind, and I could really feel their struggle. My hearts went out to them ... poor babies. But on top of that, Shusterman adds a very compelling new group of characters––including Cam, Miracolina, Starkey, and Nelson.

Man, I don't even know how Shusterman manages to have so many characters and yet make them all so distinct from each other and make them all so interesting. This is something that also impressed me in his Skinjacker series (which is also incredible). It seems like when he writes a series, with each book he piles on more and more new characters, and somehow he manages to keep it all from spinning out of control. That is an impressive feat, my friends. Every one of the new characters was compelling, served an important role in the story, and gave the reader something new to think about.

The idea of Cam was just freaking brilliant. I mean, a person made entirely out of Unwind parts? *Shudders* It's super creepy, but at the same time I feel like that's something that would actually happen (if the events in this story really occurred, I mean). It's really interesting to see how Cam has to adjust to having so many different Unwind's thoughts and memories, and how even though he has the mind of several different people, he still struggles to become his own individual person.

And Miracolina ... GAHHH I LOVE HER. Of the new characters, she was probably my favorite. Her backstory is incredible and thought out so well. Her relationship with her parents is so twisted and heart-breaking. I loved seeing her change throughout the story. Basically she was super badass and awesome. And her relationship with Lev is so adorable.

"So," says Lev, as casually as he can, "you wanna dance?"

"Do you believe in the end of the world?" she responds.

Lev shrugs. "I don't know. Why?"

"Because the day after that is when I'll dance with you."



Then there were characters like Starkey and Nelson, who were just terrible people. And yet, I couldn't really bring myself to hate them just because they were such good characters. And that's the thing I love about Neal Shusterman's characters ... Even the really despicable ones (another good example being Mary from the Skinjacker books) almost don't really feel like "villains" just because Shusterman has thought out their stories so well and makes the reader understand why they've become the way they are.

In addition, Shusterman gives us a lot more to think about in UnWholly. While of course the first book was thought-provoking, he adds a lot of elements into the sequel that give the reader more to consider. I think that, in this book, he does a brilliant job showing how both sides of the conflict can be manipulative––both those who are for Unwinding and those who are against it. Not only that, but I love how he mixes real-life news articles into the book that show how the concept of the story isn't all that unbelievable. While I don't think Unwinding could ever actually happen (just because it's scientifically impossible), I could see it maybe happening if it really were an option. As Shusterman demonstrates, society does have this overwhelming hatred towards teenagers, and in the media they are often portrayed as "feral" and inhuman. So, it's pretty scary stuff.

And of course, the plot was amazing. Even with so many characters and so much going on, Shusterman handles it fantastically. The plot is fast-paced and never stops moving, but it doesn't get confusing either. I spent most of the book pretty much like this:

So yeah, it was super exciting.

Over all, this book was just the bee's knees. It's compelling, it's moving, it's heart-wrenching, it's brilliantly paced ... and altogether it was a very strong sequel. I'm excited to see what's in store for the characters in book three.
Profile Image for Kenzie.
42 reviews63 followers
August 31, 2012
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:


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.

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!
Profile Image for Jillian -always aspiring-.
1,821 reviews198 followers
Shelved as 'need-to-read'
December 2, 2011
WHOA. I was always hoping there would be a sequel to Unwind (that ending was just too open-ended!!), but now that it's confirmed that there *will be* one. . . Oh my goodness, I'm so excited, and I know nothing about the plot (more twists, turns, and suspense, of course), the timeframe (taking place a few months or YEARS after the first book?), or the characters (same cast or not?). That is definitely the mark of a GREAT first book if I'm wondering about the sequel even YEARS before it may see print. :)

Anyway -- I love the word play with this title. UnWholly. Now, the *obvious* play comes from how it is a homonym to unholy -- like actions that are despicable, horrendous, and sinful (like how the process of unwinding itself can be perceived). On the flip side, though, "wholly" means "completely" -- so unwholly would be incompletely. . .like someone's body, mind, and soul after he/she has been unwound. (Those are the pathways MY mind takes with the title, though. :) ) I just love it. So inventive.

Neal Shusterman, you are very gifted. Oh yes indeed. I very much look forward to this sequel. Here's hoping you transcend even your own high bar and soar to make us readers all awed and amazed. :)
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
603 reviews732 followers
May 20, 2018
Is it possible to get a heart attack from reading a book?

Because these books should come with a warning label:
⚠️Unsuitable for readers of weak constitution.⚠️

I am blown away. What the hell else can I say about Neal Schusterman by now??

This was a worthy sequel to an already phenomenal start. There wasn’t a single moment of boredom and what makes it even more of an epic read? (Aside from the winning plot, that is?) The characters.
I can’t get over how utterly fascinating, incredibly fleshed out and well written each character is.

In awe. I’m in awe of his writing. The thought and care that goes into his characters and the way every loose thread brilliantly interweaves at the exact perfect moment.


Profile Image for Maggie.
431 reviews430 followers
September 7, 2012
I felt about UnWholly the way I felt about this season of True Blood.

I kid (and shamelessly take advantage of any opportunity to use an Alexander Skarsgard gif). But for the majority of the season, I was banging my head against the wall and yelling, "Stop trying to make Arlene happen!" And I'm pretty sure ifrit is Arabic for "waste of fucking time." But then just when I'm ready to wipe my hands of the show, it finally wraps up the extraneous storylines and gives me what I really care about -- Eric, Pam, Sookie. By the end of the season finale, I was completely reinvested in the story and anticipating next season.

Likewise with UnWholly...

Shusterman introduces three new characters who take up a good chunk of the novel with their background and development. While the characters weren't uninteresting, they felt like Unwind redux. Starkey is a less likable version of Roland, Miracolina is Lev 2.0 (or as I liked to call her, Tithe-1000), and Cam... Cam is a whole 'nother beast. Literally. Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "I came here for Lev. Bueller? Bueller?" The first half of the book felt like retread and what I did see of Connor, Risa, and Lev either annoyed me or wasn't enough. At one point, even Shusterman's writing started to grate on me. After he specifically mentioned Aquafina and Nike, I wrote in my notes, "WTF is this product placement? The most advanced technology exists and they still drink Aquafina's bottled sewer runoff?!" I actually like Shusterman's writing style but at this point in the story, I was so uninvested and detached that only nitpicking kept me engaged.

And then all the tedious groundwork came together and Connor, Risa, and Lev started acting like Connor, Risa, and Lev again. It's not that there was a lack of action earlier in the story, but this time, I actually cared and the tension increased tenfold. By the end of the book, I was sucked back into the story and eagerly awaiting Book 3.

Aside from the new characters, another aspect that may make-or-break UnWholly for you is the new development regarding the Unwind Accord. We learn more about how and why it came to be, which was a plot hole in Unwind. However, by filling that plot hole, it shifts the focus away from the abortion debate, which sets up a great storyline for Book 3 but also does a bit of a disservice to the issues raised in Book 1. For me, UnWholly lacked some of the heart and guts of the original, but still raised interesting questions and made me think. Shusterman also writes taut, tension-filled action scenes like few can. I'll definitely read the next book, but go in with modified expectations.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

This review appears on Young Adult Anonymous.
Profile Image for Lazaros.
271 reviews524 followers
September 1, 2015
“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.”

Not as perfect as the first book in the series but still pretty good for a follow-up if you ask me. Shusterman did justice to the characters, new and old ones alike. So the book picks up from where it left in book one when Connor was left in charge of the Whollies. The book kicks it off with a new character, Starkey, who I'm sure you'll find pretty easy to dislike.

Apart from Lisa and Lev who are still part of the story, we have some new characters accompanying each of our main characters journeys. What I loved about this book was that each main character had their own adventure in this one, it really made things more intriguing. Especially, seing how every piece came down together as one.

Maybe a reason why I didn't give this a 5-star rating is because I would have liked more back-bone story. Still, this was really good and I enjoyed immensely every second of it and if you loved the first book then you're sure as hell going to like this one as well.

What's more, Mr. Shushterman didn't forget a very important detail: that character development is really signifacant to having a great story. Connor, Risa and Lev, they are all more conscious of their actions, they have matured, seeing a greater picture other than just themselves.

Now, I won't lie that I had my concerns about this series when I had read the first book because I thought that because of the sensitive subject it breaches, it could get bad real fast. Thankfully, that's not the case.
Profile Image for Amma.
44 reviews1 follower
Want to read
September 26, 2010
Actually, I really like the title :), makes me think of Lev...:)

I don't know whether to rejoice or start crying that there's a sequel to 'the best book ever- no I mean it this time dude', Unwind. Some authors and series should quit while they're ahead *coughMaximumRidecough*. But I'm sure it will be excellent. The ending was very open and that's how I liked it. It allowed hope and optimism.

The only thing I'm dreading is a Risa/Connor sex scene :P.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,481 followers
May 25, 2015
Buddy Read/reread with my peeps at Buddies Books and Baubles

Shusterman is one of my favorite YA writers. He writes in such an engaging and imaginative way. The alternating PoVs each have a different voice and the glimpses into the minds of even the 'bad' characters gives immense insight into their motivations. I liked this just as much the second time through and it still holds strong as my favorite YA series to date. Well done Mr. Shusterman, well done.

Even if you aren't a fan of YA or only give few YA series a try I highly recommend this well thought out series.

Original Review July 2013

4.5 Stars.

“Anger is only our friend when we know its caliber and how to aim it.”

Unwind left me reeling with complicated horrible ideas and shocking moments that really stick with you. The unwinding of Roland left me torn because he was such a horrible person but unwinding was so horrible and to witness it step by step was one of the most heartbreaking things in the book. That said Unwholly didn’t have many moments like that for me. Perhaps that is because how more shocked and appalled can you get after Unwind.

Unwholly was more about how a revolution begins stalls and tries to pick back up. It is about finding your place in the world and dealing with the consequences of actions both yours and others. Finding the truth about the past and trying to use that to build a future.

Connor is stuck running the Graveyard he has so many responsibilities and no time for anyone including Risa. He hasn’t come to terms with having Roland’s arm and is so afraid that he will hurt Risa with it he is avoiding her. The anger in him is building but he is trying to keep everyone safe. The juvies know where the graveyard is and are just waiting for an excuse to take it down for parts.

Risa is trying to get through to Conner but he has built up so many walls. She ends up in a precarious position as Cam (the first person made from all unwind parts) brings her into his life. Risa is trying to save the Graveyard but as she gets to know Cam she can see he is just as much a victim as everyone else in the Unwind game. Risa and Conner struggle in this book but I love that they never really seem to give up on one another no matter if they are together or apart.

“The sad truth about humanity, Risa was quick to realize, is that people believe what they're told. maybe not the first time, but by the hundredth time, the craziest of ideas just become a given.”

Starkey is a sociopath, but he is a sociopath with a cause. Being storked as a baby he wants to save all the other storked kids. But unlike Conner he is willing to sacrifice anyone and everyone else in his way. Starkey was the most disturbing thing in this book. The lengths and deceptions he was willing to go to were horrifying. Is he what the government has finally made to go against the system or is he part of the reason why the system is in place to begin with?

But the break out character was Lev!!! I loved Lev in this book. The insights he had and fumbling to find a new role in life had moments of both joy and heartbreak. Lev sees the role he played in some of the changes that came after he didn’t clap, but they didn’t turn out as he had hoped. He really wants to make a difference but where to begin. Now there is an organization abducting tithes in his name and treating him like he is the second coming. As Lev tries to save Miracolina from sacrificing herself to be a tithe you see the redemption he desperately is seeking for himself. It was so touching his story really inspired me.

Like Unwind this took off quickly and kept going. There was not a lot of down time something was always happening. The shifting POVs make the story more three dimensional. Seeing into the mind of the Cam and Starkey were the most disturbing for completely different reasons. While Unwholly shifted gears and changed themes the plot and story are so good you can’t help but be riveted. I can’t wait to see how things resolve in Unsouled. I will say well worth the five year wait in between Unwind and Unwholly.
Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 80 books16.9k followers
November 14, 2017
This book made me worry! I worried about the main characters, because there were sections from the antagonists' POV and they showed what they were thinking and plotting. Then there's Cam, created from hundreds of unwinds - super creepy! And I wasn't sure how Shusterman would get the ending to work out, but then he did! And as most of you know, I'm very critical of endings but this one left me a bit breathless! I will definitely be reading the next in the series, UnSouled (I think). Although I'm already worried.
Profile Image for Alice.
229 reviews44 followers
July 7, 2018
I thought the first book was a lot more epic, but there were some awesome things in this one also. First there are 3 new main characters (Starkey, Cam, Miracolina) introduced in addition to the 3 continuing main characters (Connor, Risa, Levi). I personally saw these new main characters as the "evil" versions of the original three, but that isn't really accurate in context.

Starkey: The evil version of Connor.
Miracolina: Levi when he sucked.
Cam: Ok Cam isn't really similar to Risa, but dude definitely has enough going on already.

I didn't love the first 2/3rds of the book. Some of this comes from liking the original main characters more than the new ones added. (except for Cam I love Cam) The new characters get less character development than the original 3 because they are an ADDITION to the story and they all are in my opinion written to be less likable. That's why I stated they were the "evil" versions.

Even in the last book I always hated the airplane graveyard section of the story and in this book that continues on FOR A WHILE. I also hated Starkey and he is supposed to be an unlikable character, but he has a reason for being an asshole and the narrative never convinced me to be on his side.
I also hated Levi's and Miracolina's parts in the mansion section.

Levi's new hair. I just imagined him with his old hair because that's a no from me.

So in summary I didn't like Starkey and Miracolina and I thought 2 big sections of the story (graveyard and mansion) were boring.

The last 1/3rd of the book was amazing. The story is pretty much perfect from that point onwards. I really love the characters in this series so that's why this book is getting a 5 stars even with all it's flaws.

The other big reason why I love this is a spoiler. This is a huge reason why I'm still giving this such a high rating after not liking a big chunk of the story. I WANT TO HINT AT IT IN THIS REVIEW, BUT I WANT PEOPLE TO FIND OUT THEMSELVES.
Here's a hint:

There was this short chapter in the perspective of airplanes and I really appreciate being in the minds of inanimate objects.

Connor, Risa, and Levi. I still love the original 3 best. They are awesome as always.

Cam. He gave me the weird aspect I'm always looking for.
Profile Image for Jenny.
156 reviews6 followers
October 6, 2012
Argh. I LOVED Unwind. It is one of the most haunting YA reads I've ever encountered, and I was prepared to love Unwholly just as much. Well, nuts to that.

I feel like Shusterman had some serious scope-creep going on here. Like he started out going in one direction, then just had a whole bunch of other ideas that he couldn't quite flesh out enough within the length of this book. The plot spins in a multitude of different directions. I read and read and read...but nothing ever really managed to happen. There are no surprises in the plot, nothing very exciting (or at least novel), and certainly nothing as terrifying as Roland's unwinding in Unwind. The villans are boring (Officer Nelson...really?!), and the heroes are still dealing with the same crap from the first book. The most annoying leftover is Connor's inability to deal with his new arm. He won't touch Risa with it because he's afraid it will upset her, so he lets their entire relationship fall apart. Can't he just have the thing removed and have it over with? Or whatever?

I was also disappointed in the new characters. With the exception of Cam, they were just recycled original characters. Hate Roland? Well, you'll really hate Starkey...for exactly the same reasons. Mystified by Lev? Well, Miracolina will show you true piety. Does Shusterman think I'm an idiot that didn't pay attention the first time around?

My bottom-line problem was this: Unwholly could have been something really special, and it just wasn't. We get a little background about the Heartland war, and certainly Cam's character is something new. But there's no depth...or even heart about this book. It's a one-dimensional read. There's nothing to think about or process. And Cam's voice and experience could have been so much more than it was. Shusterman winds up boiling him down to much less than the sum of his parts.

I was hoping for Unwholly to advance the explorations of Unwind, and instead it just shut the first book down entirely.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
September 26, 2021
This sequel to "Unwind" certainly took things to a whole new level! I really enjoyed the way Neal Shusterman dug deep to the creepy core of humanity and took the original premise of UNWIND, where teens could be salvaged for scrap body parts once they turned thirteen, and in this second installment, tried to come up with every sick "what if" scenario to keep the game fresh. Just a really eerie dystopian scenario that was an exciting read.

And of course, I loved catching up with our old friends Connor, Risa and Lev, all three of whom have developed into more interesting characters over the course of this second book. I particularly enjoyed where Lev's journey has taken him. The new characters, Storkey, Cam, Miracalina are interesting as well, even as I majorly want to scream at Storkey. The ending was one of those where you just can't stop reading. Am very excited to go on to the third book in the series! 4.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Jessica.
219 reviews66 followers
Currently reading
September 3, 2012
No way! No WAY! I can't even type right now, I'm so shocked. Keep having to backspace. I can't believe it. Just when I thought my obsessive waiting for a sequel was over (Been waiting for Mockingjay and read it after almost a year of waiting). I wonder if it'll be the same characters, or if we get new ones.
But wait. I have to wait till 2012! NNNNNNNOOOOOOOooooooo...... (Trails of indefinitly)

Edit Dec 20, 2011: YEA!!!! It's going to be a triology!!!! Yea, yea, yea, yea!!!!

Only 280 more days until Unwolly comes out. *Long suffering sigh*

Edit Apr 20, 2012: Holy Hell Weasley! A description! THERE"S FINALLY A DESCRIPTION!!!! We've been waiting forever, but a description!!!

Only 130 Days left...

Edit Apr 21, 2012: *Imagine a cartoonish animation of a girl fainting here* A freaky cover!!!! How totally Neal Shusterman is that cover. It looks like a bullet was shot through his head! So awesome.

129 days left... No, I'm not keeping a countdown. *Shifts eyes at calendar* I'm not.
April 28, 2015
*4.5 Stars*

This document I sign of my own free will.
...I sign of my own free will.
...my own free will.

Okay, so, I wasn't going to write a review for this. I finished last night and I was like...nah. I'll leave it alone. I know I'm going to read the third and I know that I love Connor and Risa and Lev, people don't want to hear me grumble on repeatedly. Well, I wasn't guna! I didn't have as deep a reaction as the first and I didn't want to write a mundane second review where my heart wasn't in it. But then something happened, something that doesn't happen often. This morning I was driving to work listening to my awesome new AWOLNATION cd and then a glimmer of something started in my head-It started out super subtle. I was just driving along and it began to expand and thrive and it gained this crazy pulse and my tummy started to get all fluttery with butterflies and BAM-

 photo tumblr_mbwhsaX02H1qc0a0j_zpsqbsln7r8.gif

All the feels. I. Could. Not. Stop thinking about Connor. From his harsh journey to his struggles after the events of the first book...it all came crashing down on me and I started to reminisce about this whole book combined with the first and I just knew I couldn't not say something. These characters mean way too much to me for me not to be an advocate for their story, even if this installment wasn't nearly as strong as the first, in my eyes.

And here it is-I wasn't going to give it a 4.5, either. But if something can make me think about it constantly, dream about it (yeah I'm pretty sure I had some weird ass dreams about this weird series), and just care so deeply that it changes my first initial thoughts??? It deserves AT LEAST another half star. Once I make up my mind on a rating, that's it. That's my rating. But this one got deep under my skin....and that doesn't happen often.

Then, alone in the dark of a private jet, you smash your fist furiously against a wall until your knuckles are raw and bloody, but you don't care, because even though you can feel the pain, you know they're not your knuckles at all.

I am not going to lie and say that I didn't miss certain...ahem....couples? in this installment. Things are different and harder and we truly see an inner struggle from both parties-but, the kicker is, that's also why I gave this another .5 star. I love Connor. And I love Risa. Seeing his their tortured souls really made this book tick for me, and to say they don't consume my every thought when I can't be reading about them is a lie (obviously-look at this ridiculous review). So, yeah, that happened. My heart hit my head and told it 'Fuck off' because this story wasn't getting a cold four.

What if when they were alone together, in the heat of that passionate moment they both wanted-what if he lost control? What if that hand held her too tight, tugged her too hard-what if it hit her, and hit her again, and again, and wouldn't stop? And how could he ever truly be there with her if all he could think about were all the things that arm had done, and all the things it still might do?

One thing I don't like is when a story tells me something. It barely happens in this series, but I see it every once in a while and that's enough to annoy me-don't say 'but she will wish she had,' at the end of a chapter to make me 'anticipate' what is to come. Don't insult my intelligence. I will gather, from the upcoming scenes, that someone regrets something through various scenarios and tremulous situations-Don't think for one second that my name is a lie: if there is, in any shape or form, physical or mental peril, I will figure that out on my own with a gleeful and malicious smile on my face. Just....don't. Don't. Stop it!

Either things happen for a reason, or they happen for no reason at all. Either one's life is a thread in a glorious tapestry or humanity is just a hopelessly tangled knot.

There are a few new characters in this story and I didn't think I'd like having their POV in this one. I just wanted my babies' POV: Connor, Risa, and Lev. But, after a few chapters and pouting on my part, when we got to the meat of the story, I saw how intricate it made the story, how much more diverse it could be, if done correctly. What it did? Oh, it invoked some Chelsea rage, of that you can be sure. Seeing things unfold from multiple perspectives was like a serrated knife to the chest and more than once I about squeezed the life out of my Ipad-because while I loved one new additional character...another I could have thrown in a slowly burning building with no chance for escape. FUCK YOU you MOTHERFUCKER! HOW DARE YOU! HOW COULD YOU?! BASTARD. Phew. I feel much better. Sorry for that, anyone who chooses to read this.

He climbs into his hospital bed and forces his face into his pillow as the sobs crescendo into wails. A full year's worth of suppressed heartache pours forth from his soul like Niagra, and he doesn't care if he drowns in the killing whiteness of it's churning waters.

Finally-what I wasn't ever going to skip-I adored seeing Connor's struggles after the events that made him how he is now. It broke my heart but also made me swell with pride as he took on each new challenge and continually put his life on the line to take care of those who look up to him. I won't say anymore-just know, I'm like a proud mama hen with her chest all puffed out. And then Lev!!! OMG I haaaaated this kid at the beginning of book one-now I smile so big when he is a part of the story (especially near the end, you'll see why) and root for him just as much as the others (okay, well, if a grenade exploded.....I'd rather Connor and Risa got away DON'T JUDGE ME-but that's neither here nor there). So, yeah. Loyalty is a huge thing for me, and now these three have embedded themselves deep into my heart for all the things they do for one another and I want nothing but the best for them all.

Connor avoided being unwound, but he still doesn't feel entirely whole.

Well would you look at that...I had nothing to say and here I am with one of my long-winded reviews. Shocking. Yeah, not at all. Anyway, I hope anyone that makes it this far on this review will see how much I want everyone to read this series. If nothing else, read the first book and treat it as a standalone. But, I'm going to venture to guess you won't want to stop if you like the first at all-but that's just me.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
descriptive text here
descriptive text here
Profile Image for Terence.
1,113 reviews346 followers
October 30, 2022
Unwinding is a big business. The setbacks of the destruction of the Happy Jack Harvest Camp, the clapper who wouldn't clap, and subsequent law changes have led to a new ad campaign in favor of unwinding and encouraging adults to sell their bodies to unwinding to care for their families. It also led to something more unique and unusual than anyone would fathom a rewound teenager. Camus Camprix or Cam for short was created using all the best parts of unwound teens for unknown reasons by the corporate entities that hold sway over the Juvenile Authority.

I wasn't sure quite what to expect with UnWholly since in many ways Unwind felt complete as they clearly expressed their message in a hard to ignore story. UnWholly expands the world and story in ways I hadn't truly considered. Part Pirates now stalk AWOL Unwinds and every day people for the black market. The law stopping unwinding at 17 has only fueled the need for parts and the black market doesn't care where they came from. Connor and Risa are constantly worried about the Juvenile Authority since they are fully aware of The Graveyard. Camus Comprix is equally disturbing because it's hard to understand why he was made in the first place other than him being a walking advertisement for what unwinding can do for a person.

I think the most frightening aspect to me is that the Parts Pirates and Black Market aren't as scary as the Juvenile Authority as a whole. Terrible random illegal things happen in our world, but the idea that the government itself endorses surgically dismembering teens is still far more frightening because these teens don't know who they can trust or if they can trust anyone.

The overall storyline is still one that grips my heart hard because it's unfortunately a bit too realistic. It's sad to see that those in authority don't realize they've created the teenage threat they're dealing with. If the only choice is to steal or be dismembered most would steal. If the choice is to kill or be dismembered many would kill. Unwinding is all well or good until someone's loved one is the one being unwound or a person themselves is facing it. I'm sure few of the teens thought much about unwinding until the juvey-cops knocked on the door asking for them by name.

UnWholly is an emotional tale I can't quite capture with words, but I'll end this with a quote from the book:

"We are not just AWOLs! We are not just parts! We are whole human beings — and history will look back on these times in shame!"
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,954 followers
November 19, 2014
Imagine a world where body part harvesting is not taboo, but commonplace. Imagine someone else getting to make the decision for you to give your body parts to someone else. Imagine walking around and seeing people on the street who are proudly sporting new limbs, eyes, and other various body parts.

Would you want to live in that world?

I sure as hell wouldn't. But it sure makes for damn good reading material, as long as you take care not to think too hard about how it's virtually impossible for some of these scenarios to happen (scientifically, at least. You never really know how screwed up the government is going to get.).

Installment two of the Unwind series brought back the same beloved characters from book 1, but also threw in a couple of surprising new characters - one being a boy who was made entirely of recycled body parts. Of course, now I'm dealing with new questions in my head. Does he have his own personal soul and individual thoughts, or is he only an eclectic mix of all of the other minds and bodies combined?

Things that make you go hmmm...
Profile Image for Grüffeline.
1,076 reviews102 followers
May 31, 2019
"Worte tun doch nicht weh." Das ist eine der größten Lügen, die Erwachsene ihren Kindern auftischen. Denn Worte können mehr wehtun als jeder körperliche Schmerz.

Dieses Buch ist keine leichte Kost. Wo der Gedanke daran, wie krank dieser Weltentwurf ist, einem im ersten Teil schon ein wenig den Magen verstimmte, so hat Neal Shusterman mit seinem zweiten Teil noch einen draufgesetzt. Dieses Buch entspannt den Leser nicht, in keinster Weise. Vielmehr ist man mit einem unguten Gefühl im Bauch immer mit der Hoffnung an Bord, dass bald irgendwas besser wird. Oder dass es wenigstens nicht zum Schlimmsten kommt. Auch hier hört man dann wieder leise im Hintergrund den Schriftsteller diabolisch lachen, denn er quält seinen Leser aufs Äußerste. Gleichzeitig genießt man dieses Unwohlsein, denn die Welt, die Shusterman aufbaut, ist noch weit genug entfernt, dass man sich der Fiktion des Ganzen sehr bewusst ist.
Ein weiteres Meisterwerk von einem meiner absoluten Lieblingsautoren.
Profile Image for Cecilia.
276 reviews251 followers
September 10, 2021
Me ha gustado más que la primera entrega, el autor nos da a conocer información respecto a cómo se llegó a aceptar el método de la desconexión, lo cual ayuda al lector a situarse mejor en esta distopía.

En cuanto a los personajes, estos han ido evolucionando, sobre todo, Connor ya no es pura impulsividad sino que comienza a razonar en torno a las dificultades que se le presentan y las consecuencias de sus actos.

¡Me encanta cuando por fiin, existe ese reencuentro entre Lev y Connor!. En el personaje de Lev también vemos esa evolución, ha pasado por distintas etapas: desde haber traicionado a sus amigos, sentirse solo, sentirse acampañado y querido, hasta llegar a sentirse culpable de situaciones que escapan a sus manos. Sin embargo, la amistad con el ASP de Akron lo ayuda a tener metas que cumplir y a replantearse su vida.

Por último, Risa y Cam. Respecto a la primera, esa dualidad en torno a sus sentimientos y emociones no me gusta, es más, me perturba; pero la entiendo, y aún cuando yo creía que era muy inteligente cae en la trampa más obvia.

Y Cam, en un comienzo no era de mi agrado pero creo que le voy tomando cierto cariño, debido a esa inocencia que exhibe y esa necesidad de existir y ser alguien.

En fin, me ha gustado, me ha entregado parte de esa información que me falto en la primera entrega para entender mucho mejor todo; y este nuevo personaje le ha dado un vuelco a todo, y hacer que me cuestione tantas cosas! Así que Neal Shusterman lo ha hecho de nuevo y quiero saber en que termina todo.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,969 followers
September 2, 2020
Continuing the Unwind books remains pretty interesting. No huge over-plot has really developed, but it IS very interesting to see all the cracks in this society's facade.

I especially like how all the cracks are widening in such blatantly WEIRD ways. :) Re-wound? Yes, please.

I'm really curious to see if these novels get super dark and wild. Right now, I'm just seeing implications take on a life of their own.
Profile Image for Elena Rodríguez.
584 reviews265 followers
February 7, 2021
“Las cosas están cambiando. La gente está cambiando. Puede que no se note mucho pero está cambiando, y lo veo cada dia”.

Segunda parte de la saga. Tengo el corazón dividido. Por un lado me gustaron mucho los nuevos personajes y sus preocupaciones. Sin embargo, por el otro lado, la historia se me hizo un poco cuesta arriba y no simpatizaba con los personajes del primer libro salvo Lev. Igual esto se debe a que este libro no es más que una transición para lo que nos depara en Inconexión.

Voy a seguir leyendo la saga. Estoy completamente segura. Además dejan algunos frentes abiertos bastantes interesantes para esta tercera parte.
Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,240 reviews385 followers
May 19, 2015
Buddies Books & Baubles group read 15May15!

Took me an hour to fall asleep last night because for as exhausted as I was, the ending of this book just made me want to dash upstairs and grab UnSouled. ENERGIZER BUNNEH. BRAIN WOULD NOT TURN OFF. Yes, thank you, I'm now reduced to Camspeak.

This book brings back all our favorite players from UnWind and, like any sequel, introduces new people with their own problems and agendas. I disliked Starkey right off the bat, I still love Trace, and I have so many conflicting thoughts about Miracolina. It's obvious that Storkey and his mates will be coming back into play at some later point, and I really hope we see more of Miracolina as well. I'm still not sure whether to slap the shit out of her and call her brainwashed, or just loose the waterfall of respect for her as a character. It's mind-boggling that she has so much faith in this ridiculous system.


I hate him. I hate his attitude, his arrogance. And his arrogance is all-encompassing. I liked him in the early pages, when all he wanted was to carry on the legacy of what Connor had started, when he was somewhat innocent. The second I knew I wouldn't like him was when he got to the Graveyard and was all HANG ON THE AKRON AWOL IS A NORMAL KID LIKE ME? FUCK THAT. Seriously, who does that?? Starkey makes no sense to me while at the same time he does, if that makes any sense to you readers. I think the reason he makes *some* sense is because I've known people who think like him, and they're creepy as fuck.

Trace -- man, I love him and I don't care what y'all say. That plot twist made me gasp out loud. Doc got all scared that I was about to throw the book at that point, that's how intense it was. And then when Starkey just... yeah. GODDAMMIT.

Honestly though, this installment really shows how, when there's a conflict, there are always extremists on BOTH sides. Seriously, all I can think of is this quote from Pirates of the Caribbean (and it doesn't get a gif because Google's dumb and I can't find any)--

“Even a good decision if made for the wrong reasons can be a wrong decision.”

That pretty much sums up the ADR and the people at the Cavenaugh estate, Roberta and Proactive Citizenry, all of it. Also: I hated Roberta. I hated her for what she did to Risa, and for acting like she had more power than she did and thinking that she could control the Juvey-cops, and because I always envisioned her with a condescending tone like Dolores Umbridge. She disgusts me. And Nelson. Nelson is literally the Boogeyman. Cavenaugh and his people need to rethink their plan -- seriously, there's got to be a better way to go about rounding up would-be tithes than by proclaiming Lev as a god. No wonder the poor kid took off, talk about pressure.

And Cam... I suspected after reading UnWind that something like Cam would eventually happen. On the one hand, I pity him because he didn't ask for any of this. He has to take these parts from 99 UnWinds and find a way to create one individual, unified 'self' out of all of it. Gives me a headache just imagining it, because I've had a hard enough time figuring myself out as it is, let alone having to recognize that none of your parts are actually YOURS. The opening Cam chapters were my favorite, getting to see his thought process as he pieced his brain together to make everything work as a single unit. The thing that scares me about him is his feelings for Risa. I get that he's still a child in some ways because he doesn't understand some things, but his whole attitude by the end about IMMA MAKE HER LOVE ME BLAHBLAHBLAH is getting dangerously close to fuckboy territory and I don't want that for him. He's better than that. Sorry, I will ship Risa and Connor to the end of this series.

ALSO. Can we just take a minute to appreciate Neal Shusterman for his ability to weave so many characters together into the tapestry that is this whole story? So many different POVs, but I was never lost for a minute. And then to think about how he's drawn people apart or together whether they were within inches or miles of each other *cough*Lev and Miracolina*cough*Cam and Risa*cough*

I'm so excited that they're all coming back to Ohio and familiar territory (to me at least, harhar). GIMME UNSOULED NOWWWW.
Profile Image for ⋆  yel  ⋆.
356 reviews87 followers
March 6, 2020
4 of 5 stars


I almost gave this second book 3 stars, a star lower than the first book's rating. My frustration over Risa's unwise decision was so palpable I started to question why I liked her in the first book. But maybe I shouldn't judged her too quickly. It was a mistake on her part and I was glad that she made up for it in the end. It came to me how essential her not so great decision was to build a great story. Aside from that, I have no other problems with this book. The additional characters and their respective roles gave so much life to the story. Even all the villains, as much as they're so infuriating, they're effectively made to give us exciting story bumps once in a while. Well, maybe more often than once in a while. But they made the book more unpredictable just as much as the main characters did. That was why despite having a thought of giving this one a rating of three star, it was still a solid 4 stars. Definitely a solid rating.

It started off really well. I liked that despite having multiple perspective even from some minor characters, it didn't lead us away from the fact about who the real main characters were. I loved both Connor and Lev. Their character development is what I loved the most about them. I was so glad of their reunion after being apart for almost the whole book. The fact that the Akron AWOL and the clapper who didn't clap, the martyr and the patron saint, would join forces is something I would love to see. I'm waiting for this duo since the first book and I'm glad that there's a possibility of that to happen.

I have so much anticipation for the next two books. I can only imagine how much more the main characters are going to encounter before the end of it all, or even if they are going to reach it at all.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,981 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.