August 2012. 402p. 978-1-44242-236-4.
Gr 9 Up –This sequel to Unwind (S & S, 2007) is well worth the wait. Connor is now the leader of the Graveyard, a place in Arizona that serves as a refuge for “troubled” teens who escaped unwinding, a process where individuals are “divided” for their body parts. Risa is confined to a wheelchair and works as the group’s medical authority. She can only watch helplessly as Connor drifts further and further away from her. Lev lives under house arrest and ministers to jailed youths, trying to make his life mean something. Unwinding is still widely practiced, and the threat of government action hangs over all of the characters. Shusterman throws plenty of new conflicts and characters into the mix. Nelson, a “parts pirate,” will stop at nothing to hunt down Connor, while new guy Starkey wants to usurp him and become the Graveyard leader. Cam is made completely from parts taken from dozens of unwinds and is being groomed by a shadowy organization as the future of humanity. Like the first book, this one requires a large suspension of disbelief, but the characters, action, and drama make it easy for readers to be drawn into the story and the weighty issues, such as what it means to be human and what it means to sacrifice for others. Several plot twists at the end not only make for a satisfying conclusion, but also expertly set the stage for the final installment of the trilogy.–Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA

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