Friday, 18 January 2013

Series Review: Uglies, Pretties, Specials & Extras

Uglies (Uglies, #1)Pretties (Uglies, #2)Specials (Uglies, #3)Extras (Uglies, #4)

Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
Published: 2005 - 2007
Publisher: Simon Pulse
I wanted to hold of reviewing these until I had completed the series and publish my thoughts and feelings all together much like I did with The Hunger Games trilogy, this way I don't have to keep referring to previous posts or feelings and it should make things a little easier to follow for both you as a reader and myself as a keyboard masher - you know when you have too many feels and just can't stop the ramblings.
I can not promise any of this will be spoiler-free.

Page Count: 425
Read Date: February 19th - 23rd 2012
Synopsis: Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
Review, thoughts and feelings: I'd seen it in the shops a lot but always turned it down based on the cover and title, it looked too girly for me, of course when it popped up for Book of the Month in one of my Goodread groups I read the synopsis for once and decided it was worth trying out. When I read this I hadn't read much, if any, of this genre or style before which really helped with my positive attitude towards it, with it being completely different to anything I'd read in the past I was sucked into Westerfeld's world and loved almost every moment he provided. At the start I really enjoyed the relationship between Tally and Shay, seeing how they developed and grew as a pair was fantastic but I must say I felt like I related more to Tally because becoming a Pretty didn't seem like too much of an issue to myself. Upon the introduction of the Special Circumstances you start to become aware that there is a lot of secrets and hidden facts of the Pretties world and they don't half sound scary. Whilst I'm not an outdoors-y type, I really enjoyed reading about Tally travelling to The Smoke, I loved the descriptions of the world we got to see through Tally's eyes and her experiencing all these new things that we take for advantage and do day to day if we so wished and it just opened your eyes to the beauty of the world surrounding them yet they're taught how much evil potential it holds. Tally's time at The Smoke also held very similar feelings for me cause whilst I understood everything she was going through I had a small issue with seeing it as a good thing because I don't think I could handle living without a comfy bed and nice clean clothes daily, not to mention all the hard work too - in short I'd rather be a braindead Pretty because I'm that lazy ;_; that's bad huh? Any how I loved the freshness of this book and how it made me question a few things about myself and couldn't wait to dive into Pretties.
4 / 5 stars

Page Count: 370
Read Date: March 21st - 22nd 2012
Synopsis: Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong. 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.
Review, thoughts and feelings: After such good impressions of Uglies I couldn't wait to continue the series, I had to see how Tally and Shay's friendship turned out of all the drama Tally managed to cause, unfortunately what I couldn't handle was Pretty-talk, I hated it so much and I just wanted to tear my hair out. However the story line was good, I'll give you that. I loved watching Tally and Zane tackle curing themselves of being Pretty-minded with some bad side-effects on Zane part and their plan and break out to get to The New Smoke, and Tally stumbling across an interesting and not so guarded secret conservation of "Primitive Humans", an aspect of this story I didn't like was Shay, I felt so unconnected from her and all she needed to do was listen, I mean I know girls have their bitchy personalities and all but if Tally and Shay could have just spoken and listened to each other I'm sure things wouldn't have turned as nasty as they had and I know she was't really a big part of the story but it did really irritate me, along with Tally's conflict between Zane and David, it just got super frustrating and because it followed a similar plot outline to Uglies it lacked the freshness that I felt and I just didn't feel as attached throughout the book hence the lower rating.
3 / 5 stars

Page Count: 372
Read Date: May 4th - 5th 2012
Synopsis: Special Circumstances. Tally though they were a rumor, but now she's one of the 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. But it's easy for her 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.
Review, thoughts and feelings: In this book we get through into the world of the Special Circumstances, specifically The Cutters. Tally and Shay are back, tougher than ever with their new surges and honestly this just made them more annoying. I guess I kind of just lost my shit when reading this book cause I could no longer stand the "friendship" of Tally and Shay, it irritated me beyond belief. I tried to ignore it, the best I could by getting engulfed in the world surrounding them and the rebellion they cause and such but it just put a whole damper on the story. I'm not going to lie I'm writing this in January 2013 because I just couldn't bring myself to review it after finishing as I had such a bad run with it and thinking back on it now I'm failing to remember anything good about it, other than I remember vaguely enjoying it at times. If this had been any other book I'd have probably given it a lower rating but as its part of a series it ties up any loose ends and ends in a way that makes sense so because of this I was happy awarding it three stars, not to mention it was interesting seeing this messed up world from the view of a Special and very fast paced.
3 / 5 stars

Page Count: 417
Read Date: January 4th - 8th 2013
Synopsis: Fame. It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. As if being fifteen doesn't suck enough, Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn't care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself. Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity... and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for.
Review, thoughts and feelings: Needless to say the foul taste I had with Tally and Shay's friendship from the last book put me off picking up this one for almost a year even though I knew the story focused around a new character - Aya. This book is set three years after Tally ends the reign of terror but without the government keeping everyone as prettyheads, the world is left trying to make up for centuries of lost time which cause tech-heads and surge monkeys to go pretty crazy with their new looks, there are also kickers who spread gossip and stories. Each individual has a face rank now and this can be made higher by a multitude of things, in short Aya wants to boost her face rank much like her brother does - by kicking very intersting stories, her new story is of the Sly Girls who well don't want any kind of fame but Aya is willing to betray them to get hers. This really irritated me because she started to really enjoy being a part of the Sly Girls and if it wasn't for them she wouldn't have stumbled across the "Aliens" luckily though the Sly Girls end up giving her permission to kick the story because of everything they stumble across whilst pulling crazy tricks, its a matter of life and death for the whole planet ...or is it? I honestly think this is the best book of the series, but it wouldn't have worked as a stand-a-lone, the previous books do great at setting the world and giving us the correct knowledge regarding each "type" of person as well as letting us know a lot about Tally and Shay (I say this because they make an appearance in this book and with the knowledge of the previous books their characters make sense but they still really irritated me). I really want to say more about it but I really don't like giving away any big spoilers and for me to talk about my favourite parts in it would just completely ruin the story, I've already mentioned Tally returns and it was actually a pleasant surprise or Aya would have been in some deep shit so I feel like I've given enough away as it is. If it wasn't for this nice ending to the series I probably wouldn't recommend the series at all, luckily I now do.
4 / 5 stars
Amazon UK: Uglies | Pretties (Uglies) | Specials (Uglies) | Extras
Scott Westerfeld: GR | Twitter | Facebook | Website


  1. Agree, agree, agree and agree! :) Great reviews.

  2. Great speed review Lauren! I will definitely get Uglies on my next library visit.


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