[REVIEW] UnWholly

Series: Unwind #2
 Neal Shusterman
 young adult, science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, romance, thriller, horror, adventure
 August 28, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon

The Harvest Camp revolt was victorious, but the war on unwinding is just beginning.
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. But even as the future of unwinding is brought into question, AWOL kids are still fighting to make it to their eighteenth birthday. 
Connor has his hands full running the Graveyard, a safe haven for kids like him who escaped unwinding. Risa, paralyzed from the waist down after the attack on the camp, is afraid that she may be more of a burden than a help. And Lev finds himself involved in an underground movement to rescue tithes, where he is practically worshiped as a god. 
One of them will be betrayed. One of them will go on the run. And one of them will cross paths with Cam, a teen who doesn't exist. A twenty-first-century Frankenstein's monster, Cam is made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds. 
And none of them will be ready for the startling truth behind unwinding... 

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I reread UnWholly late December 2015. I wanted to reread it to prepare myself  for UnSouled. I'm starting UnSouled right now, by the way :D

When I started reading Unwind, I know that I was so excited to go around everything - okay, not immediately since there was no sequel announcement yet when I first read it. But when I knew about it, I got really excited but that excitement kind of drifted off when I months pass and I can't even find it on the bookstore.

It feels kind of odd that I'm not as excited for this series right now unlike before. But reading through the first few chapters of this novel again, I was reminded why I LOVE Neal Shusterman - it's his characters that really capture me. I LOVE reading what goes through their minds; I LOVE their development; I LOVE them in general.

"I like you better as a man  of action."
"Action has to be well thought out. You taught me that."
Risa sighs. "Yes, I suppose I did. And I have created a monster."

Connor was my fave in Unwind and he still is here in UnWholly. I like how he slowly developed from someone who simply wants to survive to someone who wants to do something about unwinding. Risa was a very neutral character for me. I like her before and I still like her now. I like her bravery, how strong she is, and how she wants to really do something for others. Her weakness is greatly understandable and plays a vital role in the choices she made here. I like how it all played out well. Lev's current position was probably what caught me a bit off guard - what some people thought of him as. I don't want to spoil anything but let me just say it was a bit sickening and mostly brainwashing (that's just my opinion though). I used to not like Lev just because of how stubborn he was but how much he grew from being a single minded 13-year-old to a strong kid who'd stand by Connor not matter what is probably the best thing I like about him.

I like how the introduction of new characters never felt overwhelming. It didn't made the novel too crowded with so many point of views. I mean yes, there's a lot (LIKE A WHOLE LOT!) but Shusterman really executed the multiple POVs really well. It never made me confused or frustrated over forgetting whose who already. Startkey enraged me. I hated him! He's got charisma but something's not really right with him - he's too aggressive and extremely narrow-minded. Miracolina was a bit like Lev but I LOVE her at the end. Her ending made me smile which makes me really excited to read about her in UnSouled. As for Cam, the 'twenty-first-century Frankenstein', I really like the whole concept of his birth. It was really interesting. His whole existence placed more thought provoking things on this book.

"When you live a life without questions, you're unprepared for the questions when they come," he says. "You get angry and you totally lack the skills to deal with the anger. So yes, *I became a clapper, but only because I was too innocent to know how guilty I was becoming." -p209

Despite being a reread, I still greatly enjoyed this. Certain scenes still moved me and strongly felt for certain characters. I raged, got annoyed, and completely wish for them to just go away and be found out. Basically, this book still had me at the edge of my seat, reading it non-stop, and reacting to every strong scene just because it's that good.

In my opinion, Unwind ended really well. It may not solve the issue of unwinding completely, it still close the novel well. Changing it from a standalone to a series requires it to open up a new problem and that's the 'real' story behind the Heartland War, the civil which ended up making unwinding a law, legal, and completely well known to the public. So far, I'm not liking how the war or the passing of the Bill of Life happen. It broke a really well made story. But either way, I'm really being positive that Shusterman will further develop this lead into something really believable in the next two books.

OVERALL, UnWholly is a strong sequel to Unwind. It further developed the well established characters and introduced new ones smoothly. It's a multiple POV that isn't complicated nor confusing. It's a riveting novel with full of twists and exciting events. It still remains to be a thought provoking novel with great characters and well written story. 

**I'm sorry for the lengthy thoughts. I know I don't usually write like this but UnWholly just brought all these things out of me.

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What I Like: (1) the recurring characters - especially Connor!!, (2) the new characters and how they were introduced and established, (3) the great development on ALL the characters, (4) the thrilling pace - it still is even though it's a reread for me, (5) how it was well connected to the first novel - Nelson, some guy from the bus with Risa, etc, (6) I was still greatly moved by scenes and strongly felt for characters

What I Didn’t Like: (1) the reconstruction of the reason behind the Heartland War  - but I'm really being positive about this because I trust Shusterman to further make a good sense on this


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