Archive

BOOK REVIEW: UnDivided (Unwind #4) by Neal Shusterman

BOOK REVIEW: UnDivided (Unwind #4) by Neal ShustermanUnDivided (Unwind #4)
by Neal Shusterman
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman.

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

“I love you, Risa,” he says. “Every last part of me.”

Much like all the kids that were unwound in this series, I feel as if I’ve sold a piece of my soul. Not often do I feel both dragged down and uplifted from the same series, and not often does a book break my nerve to continue on with a genre after finishing. This book and series, while fulfilling all my darkest desires for a climactic series of events, wasn’t without it’s deep-rooted flaws, in my opinion. I absolutely adored our three main characters, but, for once, they weren’t enough for me to give this final book 5 stars.

To fall asleep, and to wake up with your arm around the only girl you’ve ever truly loved…

To feel invincible, if only for a fleeting moment…

As anyone that follows my reviews religiously knows, I adored a certain boy who was doomed from chapter one, book one. He really wedged himself deep in my heart-it’s alarming how much I love him. And I guess that’s where my personal struggles lie-While his story was absolutely breathtaking, stunning, steal-your-breath awesome, I can’t say I cared much past his or Risa’s stories. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing.

There’s never been a moment in Connor’s life that he could call perfect, but this moment, with his arm numb from being around Risa all night, and his sense of smell overwhelmed by the fragrance of her hair-this moment is the closest to perfection he’s ever known.

I’ve been known to skim to get to my fav moments, appearances, etc, shut up, but never so much as to ruin a story or cut it up into pieces. But when the story went to a POV not revolving around Connor and Risa, I found I lost interest completely. I loved Lev, as well, but frikkin’ being stuck on that boring ass Rez bored me to tears. Like


 photo 76190-oh-my-god-who-the-hell-cares-m-W4nV_zpshc77jlcx.png

I don’t care-Judge away, Judgies. And Starkey. I hate this kid, so why would I want to read about his stupid resistance-what a moron.

There’s no telling what her life will be like a day from now, much less a year from now. That’s the best argument for living in the moment, but how can you live in the moment when all you want is for the moment to end?

Ugh. So, anyway. I don’t like over analyzing and hearing about religious fronts for a whole story or being in someone’s head I could care less about-and there was a lot of that in the last two books. I still adore this series, just know that there are lots of parts I wish I could have skipped.

Betrayal, redemption, loyalty, and a willingness to give up everything to save someone you love more than yourself. This is what touched me the most-My soul was ripped into shreds and I bawled uncontrollably more than once. So many feels that I can’t even begin to explain, my emotions are all over the place. Even as I tried to fall asleep I found myself tossing and turning as I mulled over the conclusion to this deeply disturbing series.

As he dives down toward tranq sleep, he takes comfort in the absolute knowledge that Connor Lassiter will soon be going down too-but unlike Argent, Connor will never be getting up.

I like to think I am beyond being disturbed when it comes to dystopian, but it turns out I couldn’t be more wrong. I may have immensely enjoyed this series to the point of obsession, but I still was so beyond heartbroken and disturbed that it should be considered art. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you-and this was exactly the case. And, oh yeah, in case you were wondering….

My cry count:
73%-
Crocodile tears
75%-Bawling/sobbing/ripping hair out
78%-Subtle, accepting tears

Yeah. So. There ya go. I guess I could say try this series out, but I think my past reviews tout how much I’ve loved it-it’s up to you at this point.

Book one: Absolute favorite/Unforgettable/Everything I want in dystopian
Book Two: Second favorite
Book Three: Has it’s reasons, but definitely my least favorite
Book Four: Third Favorite, because reasons

 

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

BOOK REVIEW: UnWholly (Unwind #2) by Neal ShustermanUnWholly (Unwind #2)
by Neal Shusterman
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

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-


 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 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.

BOOK REVIEW: Unwind (Unwind #1) by Neal Shusterman

BOOK REVIEW: Unwind (Unwind #1) by Neal ShustermanUnwind (Unwind #1)
by Neal Shusterman
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

"Characters live and breathe; they are fully realized and complex, sometimes making wrenching difficult decisions. This is a thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely." School Library Journal, starred review

"[A] gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller...could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[A] nail-biting, character-driven thriller." Horn Book magazine

In a perfect world everything would either be black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn’t a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is.

Wow. I don’t know what I expected….but it certainly wasn’t that. I wasn’t expecting a broken, tortured soul of a boy who would win my heart on page one. I didn’t expect a fast-paced plot. I didn’t expect disturbing and grotesque images that would haunt me forever. I didn’t expect a heartbreaking romance that would be exactly what I needed. I didn’t anticipate falling for all these flawed characters no matter their faults….and I certainly didn’t expect that I would immediately want to start book two. But guess what? I got all of these things. And there wasn’t a moment I didn’t want to be reading this book.

People aren’t all good, and people aren’t all bad. We move in and out of darkness and light all of our lives.

Is there a word for….HJhfjhfhdfhhfasdfjh? What would that be? Flabbergasted? Shocked? Bewildered? Extraordinary? Sure, this book wasn’t without it’s flaws. There were parts of it I didn’t even like. But I think that marks the work of a great book-that feeling when, even though there are little parts you wish you could skim, in the end, you are so enthralled by it you just. Don’t. Care. That’s right where I am. These characters really meant something to me. And yes, I know I know, I am always talking about how much I love characters in a book I’ve just read-but this is different. This was a case where, even if I hated certain characters, I ended up rooting for them in the end or feeling remorse for what happens to them. That doesn’t happen with me…EVER. If I hate a character, I hate them. End of story.

The better to run. The better to hide. The better to lose himself now that darkness is his friend.

But what happens when the boy who annoyed the shit out of me becomes someone who I couldn’t stand losing? What about the guy who, despite causing PROBLEM AFTER PROBLEM, broke my heart because he deserved so much better? And then there’s Connor and Risa-their story, while not a main plot point, had me so enraptured that I couldn’t see straight while I had to reside in ‘the real world’. These characters meant something to me-and not just on the surface-they touched me deeply and I cared about what happened to them to the bottom of my soul. This book was deep-it only fits that my feelings reflect that amount of depth.

Unwinds didn’t go out with a bang-they didn’t even go out with a whimper. They went out with the silence of a candle flame pinched between two fingers.

And how does someone explain this book? It’s dark. It’s gritty. It’s disturbing as fuck. There’s a chilly detachment that isn’t often seen in YA stories. Parents sign their kids’ lives away just to get rid of a ‘problem child’ or just because they didn’t want another member in their family. And that, to me, is the creepiest part. Once you sign?? No negotiations-Your child is now due to be cut up into pieces for the betterment of the world. Someone’s lungs are no good? Awesome!!! We just removed a perfectly healthy left lung today! SOLD to the highest and most eligible bidder! It literally is that cold. Your son is misbehaving? Time for the juvey cops to come pick him up and transport him to the harvest camp of your choice! Let’s name the camps something uplifting (or retarded) like ‘Happy Jack’. Perfection! Now kids won’t be scared as their numbered days wind down (hardy har har) and they lose themselves piece by piece by piece.


 photo 841275_zpss9cchg7v.gif

Now, while I could go on and on and on about how creepy this whole process is, I think I need to move on to my favorite part of this story: Connor! You surely KNEW I wasn’t going to skip gushing on my main man, right? If so, you are sadly mistaken. He was loyal. He was sad. He was determined. He would do anything to keep Risa (and even Lev) safe. From the moment I opened this book, I knew I was going to have a deep-rooted connection to this guy, this poor boy who just can’t believe, despite his numerous fights and misbehaving, that his parents would sign him up to be unwound-and not even tell him about it!!!! As the story progressed, we got to see Connor become responsible for his actions and those around him. Some of the things he did were mistakes that might have changed the course of their journey for the worst, but one thing is consistent with his character: Every decision he made was with his heart. And that’s why I truly loved him. His fierce loyalty to Risa and those that couldn’t defend themselves was what broke my heart and kept me addicted to this book. Risa was a stubborn, determined little shit, but her hardheadedness was no match for that of Connor’s.

She takes her time, and seems more surefooted on the steps than she does on level ground. Connor tries to hold her arm to give her support, but she shakes him off, and throws him a nasty gaze. “If I want your help, I’ll ask. Do I look feeble to you?”
“Actually, yes.”
“Looks are deceiving,” she says. “After all, when I saw you, I thought you looked reasonably intelligent.”
“Very funny.”

And one thing I cannot stand is when a story is so amazing, but has horrible writing. Well, this wasn’t the case. I feel like excellent dystopian is so hard to find these days. It’s my favorite genre, yet I rarely read them-why is that? I’ll tell you why-so many authors think a fast pace and awesome plot are enough to excuse shaky or manipulative writing-but that’s not the case at all, and we see that here with this novel. I am super picky before I pick up dystopian anymore, and this is exactly why: I found this excellent, disturbingly realistic portrayal of a futuristic society I would NEVER want to be part of. And not one moment was dull, wasted, or drawn out. It was what it was-stark, harsh, and bleak. No questions, no bending the rules, just cold, hard statistics and surgeries. It was fast-paced and without long scenes that were unnecessary, and every character played a part-sometimes they played too well into the hand they were dealt, and it cost some of them their lives. What would that be like, to be punished for being who you are? You’re manipulative-so is the government. Beat that.

So, yeah. This book wasn’t without it’s flaws-I’d be lying if I said there were parts I didn’t like….but none of that compared to the overwhelming moments where I would cover my eyes and my mouth in horror, or when my heart would beat so fast it felt like I was losing breath-this book wasn’t without it’s butterflies…duh. I do so love a fantastic and bleak dystopian romance. This book will not be for everyone-of that I am certain. But, for those of you wanting to try something different? This is the book for you. And I assure everyone: Just when you think you know what’s going to happen and things couldn’t get any worse? You’re wrong. You bet your ass on that.

 

 

**********************


 photo giphy 27_zpsblbkcegi.gif

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: