UNWHOLLY is a book I’ve been waiting for since 2008 when I finished UNWIND. Neal Shusterman really set the bar high with UNWIND and I was hoping he could keep up the momentum with the next book in the trilogy. Well, he didn’t let me down.
I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of the book at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference last week. Both UNWHOLLY and INSURGENT were being autographed at the same time so I had to rely on a colleague to stand in line for me since both series are so popular there was no way I could be in both lines at ones. One or the other would have run out. So, thanks Holly.
UNWHOLLY picks up where UNWIND left off. Shusterman does a great job catching up the reader so you don’t feel lost. However, I still recommend reading UNWIND before diving into this book. Since it doesn’t come out until August you have time to read it now. This review is intentional vague. I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read either book.
After a terrible war between the Pro-Life people and the Pro-Choice people, an agreement was made to add The Bill of Life to the Constitution. Basically, life is protected from conception until the age of 13. Once a child reaches 13 a parent then has the right to Unwind their child. Unwinding is a process where the child officially remains alive – but in a “divided state.” Every part of the body is harvested at a Harvest Camp and preserved and later used for people that need replacement parts. For instance, if someone is suffering from heart failure – instead of have bypass surgery you just get a new heart that once belonged to a child that was Unwound. A parent or legal guardian can sign the unwinding order until the child reaches 18 (now 17 after an amendment because of developments in UNWIND). Chilling, huh? Well, just wait!!
UNWHOLLY follows the characters we connected with in the first book, Lev, Connor, and Risa. They face horrible and dangerous situations at every turn. Shusterman provides us with several new characters – some you grow to like and others you grow to hate. Together, they are forced to make ethical decisions that will determine whether they live or die (a.k.a. live in a divided state).
This book brings up questions about what it means to be alive. How far would you go to survive? Would you take a new arm, new spine, new eye knowing they came from a kid between the ages of 13 and 17? A kid that became too much trouble for the parents? A kid that didn’t want to “die” anymore than you do? It really makes you think.
Absolutely fantastic! That is all I can say. If you liked UNWIND then you’ll love UNWHOLLY. If you haven’t read UNWIND yet, get on it NOW!