19 March 2011

The Uglies Series

The last book in the series is dedicated "To everyone who wrote to me to reveal the secret definition of the word 'trilogy'."  I love that the author continued a story that was suppose to be a trilogy simply because he was asked.  I mean, let's face it, no series actually ends, the author simply stops telling the story.  Who among us hasn't been seriously tweaked when a series you really loved, ended?

UGLIES
By: Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 425

Tally Youngblood lives in a world were everyone is ugly in their natural state, but that magic number 16 is right around the corner for Tally.  Youngest of all her friends, she feels very alone.  All she wants is to be pretty and party across the river in New Pretty Town with all her friends.  Then Tally meets Shay, who is the exact same age as her and her whole world goes topsy turvy.  Shay doesn't want to be pretty; she wants to be herself.  When Shay runs away, she begs Tally to go with her, but Tally just wants to be beautiful.  However, Tally's city won't let the outside in so easily.  Special Circumstances whisks her away from the operation, and forces her to betray Shay and The Smoke, a town in the wild that doesn't force anyone to have the operation.  Getting to the Smoke is an adventure in and of itself, and something has already begun to change inside Tally.  While in the Smoke, Tally learns the truth about being Pretty.  She falls in love with David.  In an attempt to stay in her new home, she unwittingly betrays them all. In order to redeem herself, she must risk her life, her love, and her mind.


PRETTIES


By: Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 370

Tally is finally pretty, but she is haunted by memories that seem just out of her reach.  She has her friends and Shay all around her, but something is missing.  Then her ugly past comes back.  She finds her note and the cure is offered to her, but getting it will require more brain power than Tally may have left.  Zane is the leader of the Crims, a clique of pretties who like to stretch the limits.  Tally is everything Zane has been waiting for.  With Zane by her side, Tally finds the cure, but fear makes her split the pills in half.  Now Zane and Tally are "cured" but Zane is sick.  His migraines are getting worse, but seeing a doctor is out of the question--afterall Pretties don't get sick.  Can they escape New Pretty Town in time to save Zane? Can Tally save herself when Shay remembers and her hate turns towards her?

SPECIALS

By: Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 372

Tricked by Shay, Tally is now Special-a "Cutter", a special Special, ones that cut themselves in order to stay "icy." But Zane is not Special, not yet, and Tally's mind won't let that be.  In helping Zane escape to the new Smoke, in the hopes that the Cutters can follow and destroy the revolution, Shay and Tally destroy the city's armory.  During the ensuing trip through the wild, Tally and Shay separate and Tally's mind begins to become her own once more.  But the Special brain surge is strong.  Finding the New Smoke, Tally is flung into a nightmare.  Can Tally remain Special and still be herself?  Can she save her world?  Who will she loose this time? Can anything or anyone survive Dr. Cable's insanity?

EXTRAS

By: Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 417

It has been three years since the "mind-rain" descended and everyone around the world was free from forced brain surge.  Aya Fuse is an Extra, someone who doesn't matter in a reputation based society.  All Aya wants is to kick the greatest story and be cloaked in reputation so that she can be someone.  When Aya meets the Sly Girls and descends into their world, she gets more than she bargained for, the story of a lifetime.  A story that brings out Tally Youngblood.  Tricked by Tally, they are captured by the "aliens" that are creating what everyone believes are weapons of mass destruction.  As Aya is forced into an adventure, she learns the true meaning of Extra, and that she can be someone without a cam pointed at her twenty four-seven.


Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Grade Level: 6-12

I began reading this series, because I had no idea what it was about and all of my Junior High kids at the school were begging for it constantly.  I like understanding why something is popular.  And oh freaking my, did I get it.  Talk about a future, I fear we are not far from!!  Not to mention the subject of body image that is heavily interwoven throughout the tale, something we all fight with--not just teenagers.  The story is artfully woven.  I enjoyed the fast past and the conflicts were perfect.  You were always on the edge of your seat, at least I was.  I couldn't put the books down and yet, I didn't want to turn the page. 


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