Scott Westerfeld

All posts tagged Scott Westerfeld

Extras – Scott Westerfeld

Published September 24, 2013 by bibliobeth

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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):

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WWW Wednesday #18

Published September 18, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, thank you MizB!

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?

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This is an “add-on” novel from the Uglies series, which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. Not sure about this one to be honest when compared with the other three books in the series, but I shall persevere!

What did you recently finish reading?

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Karin Slaughter is one of my favourite authors, and this is one of her shortest stories, in keeping with my Short Stories Challenge this year. My review will be up soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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I’m ever so excited about getting round to this one. For anyone who has been living under a rock, it is a very famous author pseudonym!

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come visiting! Happy Reading Everyone.

Specials – Scott Westerfeld

Published April 17, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

“Special Circumstances”: The words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now she’s been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out — until Tally’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.

What did I think?:

This novel is the third, and some may say final, installment of Scott Westerfelds fabulous young-adult dystopian series. The first book was “Uglies,” which I loved, the second “Pretties,” slightly disappointing, and now I’ve finished the third offering “Specials,” which was a run back up the ladder of expectations, in my opinion. And you kind of have to read them in order, as the author offers lightning sharp plot and character personality changes – and believe me, a lot changes.

Now Tally has been made “Special,” she has non-breakable bones (they are made of ceramic which I thought was quite “breakable” but I’ll choose to gloss over that), sharp reflexes, and some very handy little nanos that repair her body super quickly which makes her quite resilient to most injuries. In other words, she is a dangerous weapon to be used with caution, and appears to have undergone a bit of a personality transplant as well – but this is due to the mad futuristic scientists fiddling with her brain endowing her with a bit of cruelty and a huge superiority complex.

The action is fast paced and I found it difficult to put the book down, at times I was wondering in which direction the story was heading, but the author always managed to come up with something interesting to keep me entertained. Couple of minor annoyances… the terms they referred to themselves as i.e. “Tally-wa” or “Shay-la,” started to grate on me after a while. Also, if word of the book for “Pretties,” was “bubbly,” the word for this book would definitely be “icy!” These are just minor things however, the story is just far too intriguing and enjoyable to grumble about. I’m looking forward to reading the fourth book – “Extras,” which is apparently not part of the Tally story but takes part in the same world with perhaps a cameo appearance from the lady in question. I’ll let you know once I’ve read it but I have to say Scott Westerfeld is definitely a YA talent to watch out for.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Pretties (Uglies #2) – Scott Westerfeld

Published January 13, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Whats it all about?:

Tally has finally become Pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are cool, her boyfriend is totally gorgeous, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted. But beneath all the fun – the non-stop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom – is the nagging sense that something is very 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…

What did I think?:

This is the second book in Scott Westerfeld’s trilogy book which began with Uglies. I gave Uglies a massive five star review, so my expectations were kind of high for the follow up – Pretties. Let me just say, for a YA book its absolutely fantastic and the age range it’s aimed for will love it however I was a tiny bit let down by this second offering. I think I know what it was though…. the “pretty speak” was kind of dizzy-making and bogus you know?!

However, if you can get past the pretty speak, (which I did) the second half of the book is thrilling and by the end of it I felt excited about reading the next in the series, Specials. Can’t wait to see how Westerfeld is going to conclude the trilogy.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars