Saturday, November 22, 2014

Undivided | Neal Shusterman

Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman.

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

One of the many things I learned from this book are there are more than two sides to every war. We typically see war as a team vs. team thing, but it's so much more than that. Every individual, every group views the war differently and in order to come to an agreement, there's so much compromise. As the fourth and final book of the Unwind Dystology, Neal Shusterman does a fantastic job of wrapping up the fate of each character, while still presenting a fast-paced storyline. 

I'll admit,a year ago, when I read Unsouled, I didn't know there would be a fourth book, and I was a bit upset that the series wasn't coming to a close. But after reading this fantastic conclusion, I'm so glad this got its own book. If you haven't read the Unwind Dystology I highly recommend it. In addition to entertaining the typical dystopian audience, I feel like it hits some crucial points that our society still has yet to figure out. 

Spoiler-Filled Discussion

With so many characters and story-lines introduced in the first three book, I thought it would have been near impossible to wrap up everyone's plot within such a seemingly short book (though I will admit that this book took me a week to read simply because I never had the opportunity to sit down and read). But honestly there was so much that happened in this book, I'm just going to discuss certain aspects of the story that may have been under-appreciated. 

1. Argent 

Strangely Argent became a big part of this book for me. As I continued to read through his story, I couldn't help but think more about his character and just more about him. While I wouldn't go so far as to call him a hero in this book, I do think he has redeemed himself in this book. To me Argent is just a normal person, the typical everyday, extraordinary average person. No one like Connor or Nelson, with so much passion for either extreme. Rather what he tries to do is mimic others in order to find himself. He's fickle, easily influenced, easily manipulated. Tricked into giving up his sister, his face, and six months of his life, a simple wink turned him from bad to good. He represents the nineteen percent undecided of the country, the ones who are always changing their minds, the ones who want to do something, want to make a change, but can't make a decision on which side is more worthy. 

2. Nelson 

Nelson was just an absolute pain in the butt in this book. Just when you anticipate the heartwarming reunion of Conner and his family, a wild Nelson appears. Just when Grace is about to mail out the thousands of AWOL letters in Sonia's truck, wild Nelson appears. He just constantly kept getting in the way of everything and my reaction every time he came back was 

3. The Printer 

The Printer ordeal was so fascinating, and I honestly thought that most of this book would focus around the Printer and getting it into the public, but it wasn't the main focus, which I think was executed very well. The Printer ended up where it needed to be. Though when Grace dropped the Printer...

4. Una and Wil 

This was honestly adorable and so so sad. I thought their ending was beautiful, the different parts of Wil coming together in order to get married to Una. A really wonderful way to end a part of the book.

5. Connor's Unwinding

Did anyone else expect this? Because I sure didn't. Throughout the entire series, he's come so close to unwinding and there's always something that prevents it from happening. But as he was in the UNIS, I kept expecting Argent or Risa to shut down the machinery, but nope. UNIS kept talking and I kept crying. I thought 'maybe he's not gone, there's no way he actually got divided. Nope, not possible'. I never would have thought they would have him rewound. He got divided and then put back together. Something that once separated him and Cam now brings them closer together. By sharing this one unique experience, neither can hate the other and have come to a truce. 

6. Connor's Reunion with his Family 

This is something I have been waiting for since the second or third book. I really wanted the entire series to come full circle with him and his family being reunited, and it did. His parents asking Connor for forgiveness was just another big thing since it was another sign that things were changing, parents felt bad about condemning their kids to this divided fate, leading to a change. I think an interesting side story (not at all relevant to the plot) would be having Connor run into Ariana again, juxtaposing Connor's old self and current self, because the difference there is huge. 

7. Miscellaneous Public 

One thing I love about Neal Shusterman's writing style is how he explores so many different perspectives, from the Dah Zey to random strangers to Starkey, etc. He doesn't limit himself to a few characters, but rather explores everything, which is really advantageous in a story like this. One of the biggest hard hitting things for me in this book was one of the chapters near the end of the book labelled as "Strangers" depicting how random individuals from the public are affected by the whole Unwind movement, especially those parents of AWOLs who had written them a letter. The sheer amount of which were ready to accept their children back was astonishing. 

Generally I really loved the cohesiveness of this book and loved how this book wrapped up. As the book neared its end, I felt that the characters understood that their story was coming to a close because things began slowing down and the characters began saying a final goodbye to one another, which was again so heartfelt and sad. While I'm upset that this series is over, I'm not suffering from severe book depression and I think part of that reason is because it ended so well. 

If there's anything I forgot to discuss let me know in the comments and we can discuss it there, because I know for a fact I didn't cover everything. What did you guys think of this book? Loved it? Hated it? Let me know in the comments below!