Extras by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
A few years after rebel Tally Youngblood takes down the Specials regime, a cultural renaissance sweeps the world. “Tech-heads” flaunt their latest gadgets, “kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. Popularity rules, and everyone craves fame.
Fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse is no exception. But Aya’s face rank is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. Her only chance at stardom is to kick a wild and unexpected story.
Then she stumbles upon a big secret. Aya knows she is on the cusp of celebrity. But the information she is about to disclose will change both her fate…and that of the brave new world.
Extras (Uglies, #4)Review:
Part of me remembers not liking this book the first time I read it. I think that’s because I really loved the first three books so much that getting a fourth book that takes place in a different city with totally different characters (for the first half) was annoying to me. But rereading it years later, I actually really enjoyed it.
Extras takes place about three years after the ending of Specials. So the world is working on figuring out how to continue, but it’s been enough time to see what Aya’s city has become. There’s nothing but freedom. So, everyone looks different based on what interests them. I thought that this book taking place in a different city was wonderful. We got to see a different part of the world we knew and how it’s changed since the “mind rain.” I thought this book was really interesting in the sense that it says a lot about social media (in a form different from what we know today) and people’s desire to chase fame.
We follow Aya who is fifteen and just wants a story big enough to boost her ranking. I liked Aya, though she could be a little annoying at times with her fierce desire to be well known. Despite that, she really learned a lot about herself and grew as the book went on, which I appreciated. I liked that her brother was a big part of the story because I’m always here for good sibling relationships.
Like the other books in this series, the story was fast-paced and full of action. I also really like the suspense and mystery of what the characters were trying to uncover. It was a compelling plot.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m very excited to continue in this world with the Imposters series, which I believe is set in the same world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.
But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known. Tally still has memories of something else.
Still, it’s easy to tune that out—until she’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.
Specials (Uglies, #3)Review:
My issues with this book are pretty much the same as they were with the previous book. I didn’t like the group of “new” specials that Shay created. They centered around self-harm, specifically cutting, and I really didn’t like that. I did like how Tally stood up and stopped cutting because she knew it wasn’t right, despite that sometimes it made her feel good.
Tally kind of annoyed me in this book, but it wasn’t really her fault. It was more than at the beginning of each book Tally was having to go through everything she’d just succeeded in the previous book. It was a little repetitive and just annoying. All her progress was lost at the end of each book and she had to go through it all over again. Despite this, I still liked Tally. She’s been through some shit at this point. I loved her and Zane together and was sad that we didn’t really get that in this book (I’m also just mad in general about Zane’s storyline).
I did really like how Shay and Tally we’re together again in Specials. They didn’t really have a very healthy relationship because of their past betrayals. I liked how their relationship was left. I think their forgiving one another and reconciliation was satisfying.
Overall, like the first two books, Specials was action-packed, fast-paced, and exciting. I know the fourth book doesn’t really follow the same characters but I’m still excited to see what’s going on in this world next. I really liked getting to see more of the world and the other cities in it. I thought it was interesting how things were all brought together from Tally’s various adventures. I also remember being really mad about the ending of this book when I read it the first time years ago, but I actually kind of liked it. I think it was a fitting end to who Tally has shown herself to be. I also appreciated that the romance between her and David wasn’t just immediately resumed. I’m going to stop now so I can read Extras.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.
Pretties (Uglies, #2)Review:
Sadly, I liked Pretties less than the first book. My feelings were much the same as the first. The story was action-packed with high stakes and interesting characters. But those characters that I loved so much from the first book just weren’t the same.
Tally, the main character, made similar mistakes. She kept secrets which led to damaging her relationship with Shay. Her friendship with Shay was one of my favorite things about the first book and Shay became a sort of villain in this book. I guess it’s more of collateral damage than a villain, but I really didn’t like her. Tally was the same, fearless and fighting for what she believed to be right.
The parts with Shay toward the end were hard for me. Shay and a group of friends start cutting themselves and I really didn’t like that. I think there were definitely other ways the plot could have gone.
Then there’s Zane. I wasn’t really sold on Tally and David’s romance so I was happy to see Zane. I thought his history was interesting and brought complex plot lines to the story. I totally loved his romance with Tally. They made each other better and were mostly honest with one another. There were no big secrets aside from things they’d done in the past.
Overall, I definitely preferred the first book but I still had fun reading this. We see more of this bizarre futuristic world. I’m wondering what, if any, part that will play in future books. The storyline gets more complex with higher stakes. I was engaged the whole time I was reading and definitely left with a fierce desire to immediately pick up the next book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

GoodReads Summary:
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.
But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever.
Uglies (Uglies, #1)Review:
I have been wanting to reread this series forever. I read it so many times when it first came out and in my later years of high school. I’ve always been a lover of dystopian books. So, after meeting Scott Westerfeld last year and hearing all about how the fan art for this series inspired and changed his writing, I really wanted to reread it. Also, he’s continuing the series and I want to read those too.
I genuinely enjoyed Uglies. I was worried it wouldn’t hold up, but it did. There were a few tropes that I don’t particularly care for, but overall it was action-packed and I flew through the story. There was secret-keeping (the part I don’t care for) but the characters were so well developed and I grew to love them so much that I understood the motivations for the secrets. I really loved Tally. She was a girl beyond excited to turn pretty. But her world gets turned upside down. Everything she’s grown up knowing has been shown to be a lie. She handled the challenges really well and did her best to make better choices. I also totally adored her friendship with Shay. I loved that they were fast friends. Their adventures leading up to their birthday were the best.
Shay was an interesting supporting character. She and Tally fight (over a boy, eye roll) but there’s so much more to their relationship. I’m interested to see how things will continue in book two. I liked that Shay was so sure of what she wanted and so sure about Tally that she wanted her to join.
I’m not sold on David in the romantic sense. Their romance seemed a bit fast, but I liked him as a character. He’s unique in this world of ‘uglies’ raised to believe certain things. I liked his history and his strong morals.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m really hoping that continues for the rest of the series. I’m currently typing this review on my phone so I can go get and start Pretties as soon as I’m done.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.