UnWholly by Neal Shusterman is the second book in the Unwind series, a trilogy set in a world where parents cannot abort their babies, but are legally allowed to send them to organ donation facilities (harvest camps) as early as their thirteenth birthday. I read and reviewed the first book in the series in January of this year and just loved it! I loved the characters, the plot twists, the dystopic elements, and the realism. Oh, the realism! That is what makes the book so terrifying; this could happen. With how divided (no pun intended…then again, only people who’ve read the series will get that, so is it a pun if no one but the reviewer gets it?) we are as a country on the topic of abortion, it isn’t too far-fetched an idea.
Unwind was originally a solo book, but Shusterman received so much feedback that he decided to turn it into a trilogy. I am not one to read series simply because I have too many other books to read, and I figure that if I read the first book in a series then I have enough info to perform quality Readers Advisory. BUT…Unwind had me hooked, so I just had to see what happened to Connor and Lev. UnWholly is exactly what a second book in a trilogy should be; it fully reviews the first book without just an obvious first chapter re-cap; introduces only a few, but very critical, new characters; and has plenty of action and plot twists; and ends with a true cliffhanger. I love this book and just cannot wait for the third. I just hope Shusterman doesn’t take 5 years to write it like he did with UnWholly.
As with Unwind, I will recommend UnWholly to teens (and adults who like YA lit) who like dystopia and stories where the teens are in charge. (A read-alike to this is the recently published Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne and Variant by Robison Wells.)