Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pizza and Pages: UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

Type of Book: Science Fiction/Dystopian

Plot Summary:

This is the third book in the "Unwind" dystology. (Note: We had read/discussed both Unwind and UnWholly in previous book club meetings. The teens begged me to read and discuss UnSouled so I agreed to make it my end of the year discussion back in January, giving them plenty of time to read (or re-read) the first two books if they wanted. The teens who decided not to read the other two books commented that they had very little trouble following the plot, save for a couple of minor details.)

Because there is so much going on in this third installement, it's better if I just quote the plot summary from Goodreads instead of attempting to be concise myself:

"Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.
With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed

Average Teen Rating: 8.36
My book club teens LOVE science fiction, so this one got high marks.

Discussion Questions:

A curriculum guide to the book with some discussion questions can also be found here.

1. Let's talk about Janson Reinschild. Do you consider him to be a hero, a victim, or a villain. Why?
2. If Unwinding technology were available today and you had been in an accident that vitally affected one of your limbs or organs. Would you take an unwound body part? What if it was a matter of life or death?
3. Would you ever get a NeuroWeave or eye pigmentation or any other technological enhancement? Why or why not?
4. What do you think the purpose of the real-life articles at the beginning of each section are?
5. At the beginning of Part 3, there are stories of heart transplant patients who seem to be able to recall the memories of their donor. Do you think this is really possible?
6. What did you think about the "commercial" interruptions throughout? Do you think they added or distracted from the story?
7. What do you think about "shelling"? Does it make a difference that the ones being shelled are violent criminals?
8. Cam worries that he might be "nothing more than a medical sleight of hand. A trick of the scalpel. A hollow shell mimicking life." Do you agree? Is Cam his own person or a combination of all of this unwound parts?
9. Is Starkey a good guy or a bad guy? Why?
10. Do you see any similarities between Starkey and Connor?
11. What do you think Grace's purpose in the story is?
12. Do you think unwinding could ever become a reality?
13.  What do you think about the cover of the book? What does it mean that only one pair of eyes is open?
14. Why do you think the book is titled UnSouled?
15. What do you think will happen in the fourth book?

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