UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

The basics

Title: UnWholly


Series: Unwind Dystology #2

- Unwind (November 2007)
- UnWholly (August 2012)
- UnSouled (October 2013)
- Undivided (2014)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Read a full summary of UnWholly by Neal Shusterman below. If you can’t remember what happened in UnWholly and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

In short

Connor is struggling to run the Graveyard. Starkey arrives and causes hassle. Risa is taken to a mansion where a teenager called Cam lives. Cam is made out of unwind parts. Lev meets Miracolina, a tithe, and they are captured by Nelson. They escape, and they reach the Graveyard at the same time as the Juvie cops. Trace and Starkey and other storks escape via plane, which Trace has to land in a lake. Trace drowns. Lev saves Connor from Nelson, and they escape. They set off to find Sonia again, so they can ask her about her husband who started the whole unwinding operation (although not the actual act of unwinding, just the method of how to donate parts). Risa escapes after telling everyone during a press conference that she had been blackmailed.

what happened in UnWholly?

  • Starkey’s parents have signed him up to be unwound. He escapes the Juvie cops and ends up in a safehouse – like the one in Unwind. From there he is taken to the plane graveyard, which Connor is now running. Starkey tries to rile up the crown but Connor is having none of it.
  • Miracolina’s parents “made a pact with God”. They’re putting her through for tithing. They start to change their minds but Miracolina leaves anyway. A group of people stop the van that she is in, and they tranq. Miracolina. It turns out that these people are rescuing her. They take her to a mansion. She sees Lev.
  • Cam, someone created entirely from unwound kids, wakes up. He has to learn to talk and stuff. His nurse/carer, Roberta, helps him. Risa sees an image of Risa from book one. Cam is attracted to her.
  • Connor and his crew are going around pretending to be Juvie cops in order to save teenagers. Connor reads out a couple’s reasons for giving their son up. “Lack of personal hygiene” is one of them.
  • Connor is stressed from the managing of the Graveyard. He also dislikes having Roland’s arm. Connor puts Starkey in charge of food distribution.
  • Risa and Connor get into an argument. He doesn’t want to lose control and hurt her, which is fear brought on by having a new arm.
  • Starkey is trying to build followers against Connor.
  • Nelson, the officer that Connor tranq’d in Unwind, is capturing teenagers and taking their eyes.
  • The amount of Unwinds arriving at the Graveyard on each plane is dwindling.
  • Connor plans to take out Trace, but Trace finds out what they’re about to do. Trace reveals that he’s working for the government, and he was placed at the Graveyard so he could make sure Connor and his crew weren’t too much of a threat. Trace says he hasn’t told them anything.
  • People at the Graveyard find out that Cam has been… built. They’re disgusted by the idea. Cam does a press interview and it doesn’t go too well.
  • An injured guy called Dylan is brought to the Graveyard. He is too wounded to treat, so Risa takes him to hospital. A nurse tells Risa that Dylan was too badly injured to survive. It turns out that Kiana has been taking people to the same hospital each time. The nurse suspects them. Dylan’s not dead.
  • Nelson makes a deal with a guy called Divan. He wants Connor’s eyes.
  • Lev is living with his brother, Marcus. One day he receives a postcard from Connor telling him that things are troubled at the Graveyard. A Girl Scout knocks on the door and it turns out that she’s a Clapper. Pastor Dan is killed in the explosion. Marcus says he’s willing to receive unwind parts.
  • Lev receives an invite to join the Cavenaugh Trust. He agrees, and goes to the mansion where a bunch of tithes live. Mariacolina is there. She’s very angry about being kept from unwinding. She doesn’t like Lev.
  • Cavenaugh is trying to put Lev on a pedestal and Lev hates it.
  • Risa has been captured and is questioned about the Graveyard. She meets Cam, and is offered a new spine. She refuses.
  • Miracolina tries to run away during a storm and Lev goes with her. They are captured by Nelson.
  • The Admiral arrives at the Graveyard to check on Connor. He tells Connor about the Proactive Citizenry, and Connor asks Trace about it. Connor starts looking into the Heartland War and realises that unwinding was a way to stop the terror generation rather than the war itself.
  • Risa does a press conference and Connor watches it on TV. He sees her cross her legs. She got the new spine.
  • Starkey takes a group of idiots to save an Unwind called Jesus. His approach is awful, and Jesus ends up dying anyway.
  • Risa and Cam start to bond.
  • Nelson tortures Lev and threatens Miracolina. Lev tells Nelson that the Akron AWOL is in Pennsylvania. Nelson takes off, and Lev and Miracolina drive to the Graveyard. Nelson has been following them without their knowledge. They fall asleep.
  • Connor arrests Starkey for being a prat. Connor then decides that he needs Trace to fly a plane to get everybody out of the Graveyard. The government are coming after them. Trace is driving back to the Graveyard as fast as he can.
  • Starkey breaks his hand to escape the cuffs. He gathers people to storm the escape jet.
  • A guard from the Graveyard’s gates shoots at Lev and Miracolina, but Nelson tranq’s him. He tries to tranq Lev too, but he misses. Lev pretends to be knocked out.
  • Chaos erupts when the Juvie cops reach the Graveyard. Trace is busy getting the plane ready. Starkey and his storks make Trace take off without Connor and the rest. Trace does so, but there’s a car on the runway. It takes off the plane’s landing gear, but the plane takes off okay.
  • Lev finds Connor. He vows to save Connor like Connor saved him. Lev shoots Nelson with a tranq gun and knocks him out. Miracolina has disappeared.
  • Trace plans to land the plane in a lake. Starkey is still being a moron, and Trace tells him so because Trace is awesome.
  • Risa does another press conference and tells the country that she’s not, has never been, and will never be in favour of unwinding. She admits to being blackmailed by Proactive Citizenry. Risa hides in Cam’s dressing room while Robert is distracted. Cam helped her.

how did it end?

  • The landing of the plane doesn’t go well. Starkey leaves Trace trapped in the pilot’s chair. Trace drowns. Forty one people died in the crash, leaving 128 alive.
  • Miracolina chats with the cops who have her. They tell her that her parents didn’t sign the order and so she’s going to be sent home.
  • Hayden and fourteen others are hiding in a jet at the Graveyard. Hayden asks them if they’d rather die or be unwound. The answer is unanimous. They all prepare to die. Hayden can’t be responsible for killing them all, and blasts the door out with a machine gun.
  • Lev has taken Connor to a model home. They watch the news, and see Hayden shout about how the kids are more than just parts. “To the new Teen Uprising!” Connor finds out who Janson Rheinschild is. He’s the guy who pioneered the regeneration stuff – he made it so unwinding could happen. Although that wasn’t his dream. He wanted it to be like donating organs, not having teenagers be unwound. He started Proactive Citizenry to make sure no one abused this power. Rheinschild’s wife’s name is Sonia. She’s the woman from Unwind. They need to find her.
  • Lev and Connor are at a diner when a cop comes in. A waitress called Karla covers for them. She gives them her car. She tells them that people are changing, and more people are willing to help than they think. “There’s just ordinary people out there doing ordinary things.”

anything else

Unwound – To have 99.4% of your body dismantled and given to people who are in need of it, so you’re technically still alive, according to the authorities. You can only be unwound from the ages of 13 to 18.
Unwind – Someone who is going to be unwound.
Tithe – Someone who is willingly going to be unwound, usually due to religious beliefs.
Bill of Life – The bill that passed many years ago that made abortion illegal, and legalised unwinding.
Storking – The act of leaving a baby on someone’s doorstep. If you find a baby on your doorstep, then it is legally now yours. Unless you catch the parent in the act, in which case they must keep their baby.
Harvest camp – Where teenagers are unwound.
Clappers – People who have explosives in their blood. They clap to set off the detonators.
Ward – A ward of the state.
Akron AWOL – What people are calling the legend that is Connor.
The Graveyard – The place where some unwinds are sent, where they can live in secret up to the age of 18. Run by the Admiral until his retirement.

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