Publishing Date: 9.5. 2006 & 2.10.2007
Pages: 384 & 417
Genre(s): YA; Dystopian; Fiction
Favourite Quote: “Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual.”
Why I think it’s feminist: I don’t. After reading book one and two of the series I had the impression, that the books inspire to be more body positive and have a strong female lead. Well that all changed, it seems.
Rating: (for both of them)
The first three novels focus on Tally Youngblood, a young girl living in a post-apocalyptic future society where teenagers, upon reaching their sixteenth birthday, undergo a surgery to mold them into a so-called “Pretty.” When Tally’s new friend Shay runs away to the Smoke, a secret refuge for those who oppose the city’s government, the future of Tally’s way to prettiness becomes uncertain. Dr. Cable, head of a mysterious organisation called Special Circumstances, offers Tally a deal: betray her friends and help the city locate the runaways or remain an “Ugly” forever.
Tally finally joins the Smokies and learns that the surgeries that the city performs put lesions into the brains of the “Pretties,” making them shallow, and easy to control.
Over the course of the novels, Tally struggles to maintain her sense of self going from ugly to pretty finishing as special.
The fourth novel centers around Aya Fuse, a girl struggling to find her place in the chaotic world after Tally frees people to think for themselves.
Those disappointed me so much. I really liked Uglies – the first book of the series – because of its strong characters and its stance against body modification and unrealistic beauty standards. Pretties continued in this spirit bringing in a good dose of romance and drama. Content and tone of Specials – which should have been climax and conclusion of the series – turned up to be carelessly thrown together. Nothing seemed to make sense especially not the ending. In addition to being illogical the plot has been boring ASF and somewhere in the middle (or was it in the beginning?) I stopped caring for any of the characters as well as for the world they live in.
I started reading Extras nevertheless because I got it for Christmas but I didn’t expect much. Luckily, because this “Add-on” was even worse. It was worse than the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean. (People just don’t know when to stop to prevent something good from becoming bad…) If I had to describe it in two words it would be the following: SLOPPY WRITING. Westerfelds world building sucked to start with but mentioning that people are from Japan in the middle of the story because of language barriers and then forgetting about that just three pages later … I’ve got no words for that. But the author seemed to be at war with language while writing Extras anyway. Most of the dialogue seemed artificial and exaggerated. Tally whp has been the heart of this series has become a total asshole and the introduction of Aya as a new main character failed miserably.
I’m not quite sure if I should give Westerfeld another chance and read more of his books but for now I’m glad I made it through this series.