Extras – Scott Westerfeld

Published September 24, 2013 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

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.

What did I think?:

This novel is not really part of the Westerfeld saga (comprising of Uglies. Pretties and Specials) but rather as a sort of add-on, like a small afterthought if fans could not get enough of his dystopian world. In fact, our heroine in the trilogy, Tally, appears as a minor character, and it is a young fifteen year old girl called Aya who we follow, in her hungry attempt to seek fame. The destructive government in this world has been defeated (thanks to Tally & Co), and teenagers are living in a strange, fame-obsessed society, where your face rating determines your entire social status – which for a teenager, is pretty terrifying, especially as it makes you a “nobody/extra.” Then Aya comes across a group of girls that attempt dangerous feats of daring – jumping off high objects, riding on the top of high speed trains, etc. As nobody has managed to get evidence that these girls actually exist, Aya sees a great opportunity for sharing their story with the world, and obviously increasing her own face rating, to the point where she might actually be a SOMEBODY. But her plan has far-reaching effects that propel her into precarious situations that could involve er…. the end of the world?

Just to say, I did really enjoy the Uglies trilogy and it is a fantastic piece of dystopian fiction, but probably without the addition of this book. Not that I found it terrible, I actually love reading about this particular world that the author has created, it makes for some great imagery and is full of unique, imaginative moments. However, it probably says something when my favourite character out of the book is Moggle, a non-speaking hovercam that tends to blind people when over-flashing its headlights. Furthermore, I wasn’t sure about any of the characters, and even the return of our heroine Tally felt slightly strange, as she did not seem to be quite the same person that the author wrote into the trilogy. Maybe its due to the fact that she became a hardened Special and is in all probability, incapable of any real emotion or empathy? Hey, who knows, I just didn’t find it as exciting personally as the trilogy, and would probably only recommend this book to a die-hard fan.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably not.

Star rating (out of 5):



3 comments on “Extras – Scott Westerfeld

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