Unwholly by Neal Shusterman.


Hardcover, 402 pages

Published August 28, by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

IBSN: 9781442423664

goodreads blurb: 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 simultaneously 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.

It has been a few weeks since I finished reading this novel, and my first thought now, is that it doesn’t have nearly as many resounding, memorably powerful moments as its predecessor. But that’s not to say that it isn’t a great book – because it is. It’s just that in comparison to Unwind, it falls a little short.

I do believe that it is a good sequel/companion – you can see how things have changed because of the events in Unwind, and the author delves further into the history of unwinding: how it all began, etc. I’m looking forward to the third book, where everything should come together nicely (it is my fervent wish that this series doesn’t go the same way as The Maze Runner: first book, amazing. Second book, good, but definitely a ‘bridge’ novel. Third book, total disappointment (as a way of drumming up business for the prequel, which I have thus far boycotted, but will most likely succumb to in the end?) – I have faith that Neal Shusterman will not do this to us, his loyal readers).

There’s plenty of new characters, as well as your original main characters (and a heap of the second tier ones) from Unwind. I thought this was a good mix. Mostly I liked the new guys. Cam especially is a very interesting newbie – the concept of creating a new person from body parts causes you to think about those hard questions about life and consciousness. What makes a person a person? Can a personality be manufactured? etc. Neal Shusterman is good at making you think in this deep, philosophical way. He asks these questions and offers up some possible answers, but ultimately let’s you draw your own conclusions.

All Unwind fans, definitely check this out. Everyone else, read Unwind first.


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