BOOK REVIEW: UnWholly (Unwind #2) by Neal ShustermanUnWholly (Unwind #2)
by Neal Shusterman
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Synopsis:

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.

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-


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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 View Spoiler » 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.

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