Unwholly: Overview and Awards

Unwholly is a compelling work of literature that falls under the dystopian genre. Written by Neal Shusterman, this book is the second installment in the “Unwind Dystology” series. It was published in 2012 and has since garnered a significant following among readers interested in thought-provoking narratives that explore complex themes.

The Plot of Unwholly

In Unwholly, the story continues in a future society where unwanted teenagers can be “unwound” – a process in which they are systematically disassembled and their body parts used for transplants. The novel follows the lives of three main characters: Connor, Risa, and Lev.

Connor, a former “Akron AWOL,” has become a symbol of resistance against the Unwind Accord, the law that condemns teenagers to unwinding. Risa, a former ward of the state, becomes a leader at the Graveyard, a safe haven for AWOLs. Lev, a former tithe who once embraced unwinding, now struggles to come to terms with his past actions.

As the story unfolds, these three characters’ paths intertwine, and they find themselves facing ethical dilemmas, dangerous situations, and moral choices. The narrative delves into questions of personal identity, the value of life, and the consequences of societal decisions.

Awards, Critiques, and Praise

Neal Shusterman’s Unwholly has received acclaim from both critics and readers alike. The thought-provoking exploration of ethical issues, coupled with compelling storytelling, has earned the book several prestigious awards.

Some of the notable accolades include the California Young Reader Medal, the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers, and being listed as one of YALSA’s “Best Fiction for Young Adults.” The book’s success can be attributed to Shusterman’s skillful writing, his ability to create multi-dimensional characters, and the thought-provoking themes explored within the narrative.

Key Characters in Unwholly

Connor Lassiter

Connor Lassiter is a central figure in the Unwind Dystology series. He has emerged as a symbol of resistance against the Unwind Accord, fighting for the rights and survival of “unwinds” like himself. Throughout Unwholly, Connor continues to be a formidable leader, inspiring others to take a stand against the oppressive system.

Risa Ward

Risa Ward is a strong and resilient character who plays a crucial role in the fight against unwinding. After being spared unwinding herself, she finds purpose and leadership at the Graveyard, a sanctuary for AWOLs. Risa’s intelligence, resourcefulness, and moral compass make her a compelling character within the narrative.

Lev Calder

Lev Calder is another significant player in the Unwind Dystology series. Previously a tithe – a willingly sacrificed child meant to be unwound – Lev undergoes a transformation of beliefs and actions in Unwholly. Confronted with the consequences of his past and faced with difficult decisions, Lev experiences significant character development throughout the story.

The intricately woven relationships and character development make Unwholly a captivating read for those who enjoy thought-provoking dystopian literature. Neal Shusterman’s ability to explore complex themes while maintaining an engaging narrative has solidified the novel’s place in the realm of compelling contemporary literature.

Scroll to Top