Book Review: “UnWholly”

“UnWholly (Unwind #2)” by Neal Shusterman

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Other Unwind books

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


This was definitely an interesting story. I loved that we got to see more of the outside world as well as learn a bit about the war. The advertisements and PSAs were odd. I still can’t get over the fact that these people are okay with killing kids in order to get their parts. That’s so bizarre. There needs to be more! I’ve said it before but I love learning the history/politics of dystopias. How in the world did we end up here? It doesn’t happen over night so the author really needs to think it out for the story to work.

Cam. Wow. I don’t even know where to begin with him. When I first started his section and started figuring out what he was, I was freaked out. Like throw-the-book-across-the-room freaked out. Who wouldn’t be? You should not be able to take scraps of people and make a ‘new’ person. Over time, I got more used to him and may have even started to like him.  He didn’t ask for this. He didn’t have a choice in the matter. The fact that he’s willing to help Risa take down the organization definitely redeems him for me. Sure he’s only doing it to make her love him but that’s just a minor detail.

It was interesting to see Connor and Lev rise to power. Connor was a huge screw up (so much that his parents wanted him unwound) but now he’s in charge of a whole operation devoted to saving unwinds. Not too shabby. Lev went from wanting to be unwound to now being some kind of cult icon for tithes. I love that he’s a very troubled character. The clapper that didn’t clap. Not to mention it makes the country think about what they’re doing. They’re the ones who made him so screwed up (to an extent).

The bottom line? A good sequel!

8 thoughts on “Book Review: “UnWholly”

  1. I also read UnWholly recently. Unwind is one of my favorite YA dystopian books, so my expectation levels were probably too high going into UnWholly. It was good, but not as good its predecessor. I had the same feeling as you about Cam. I liked Miracolina and the journey she went through, but I kept waiting for Starkey to get his just desserts. When does book 3 come out??

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