Thursday, March 12, 2009

Specials by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies Series, Book 3)

Books Completed: 57
Completion Date: February, 2009
Pages: 372
Publication Date: September, 2007

Reason for Reading: Next Book in Series, Sci-Fi Experience.
"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.
I enjoyed this book way more than I did Pretties. While I am happy that there was another book after this one, it would've ended in such a way that I could handle this book being the last book. The series went out with a bang, so to speak. I am so happy that I decided to read Westerfeld this year. So far I have really enjoyed everything that I have read by him and strongly recommend him to those that have not experienced him yet. I wish he was around when I was a young adult because I would've read way more young adult books if there were authors like him available. I think I have read more young adult books in the last three months than I have in my entire life, so this year has really been a learning experience.

Anyway, on to the book. Tally once again returns as the narrator. I really like Tally. I am also happy that she is not a 'Pretty' anymore, because I don't think I could handle the chatter in another book. Special talk is only a minor improvement, but it could be worse. In the first book Tally was Ugly. She could not wait until the day that she was made Pretty, but there were other plans in the works for her. As a result, she was a bit delayed in becoming Pretty. At the end of Uglies she decides to become Pretty to test a pill that can reverse it. So, in the second book she has become a Pretty. She finally manages to escape again when another obstacle presents itself. When she returns to where she started from, though, there are other plans in store for her. She finds her life changed once again to become a member of the elite group of Specials. That is what the third book deals with.

One of the things that I really liked about this book was how even though she has been changed countless times, Tally still manages to stay herself. She might look different and use different vocabulary, but she is still her. I think if she changed entirely, the books would lose their meaning. In this book, Tally comes to a lot of conclusions. The most important one is that she is tired of being changed without her consent. She has been three 'different' people, and she is ready to just be herself. So, even though she manages to escape once again, it does not lead to the conclusion that people would be expecting. The circumstances in which she leaves in the first place are not exactly what readers would expect, either. That's how the books work, though. They take pre-conceived notions and shows you how silly it is to have them in the first place.

A lot happens in this book. There is a lot more action than the second book, and you will find yourself caught up in the story from the very beginning. Characters from the previous books play essential roles in this book, so it was nice to continue to watch them grow. They might not be like Tally, she is written as being in a class of her own, but they have just as interesting storylines. You get very engaged in these characters, and I am sad when the time spent visiting with them is over. So, while this book has an ending, I was still glad to know that the 'trilogy' has four books and not just three.


  1. I loved this series but the fourth book, Extras, isn't really a part of the trilogy. It pretty much follows a new set of characters and you only really see Tally and Shay for a small part of the book. I still enjoyed it though.

  2. Debbie: Yeah, I have read Extras... I will review it sometime in this century! I loved the series, though. I have the book about the series here to read one of these days.

  3. *averts eyes to avoid spoilers*

    I skimmed, but still, it sounds like a book I'll love. When I cave and buy the whole series I'm blaming it on you :P

  4. That's okay, Nymeth. I think you will like this series. :)

  5. I enjoyed your review! I want to read more Westerfeld this year. I've been impressed so far. And I agree, I'm glad this book wasn't full of 'pretty' talk.

  6. I just took this book out of the school library to read over the March break next week! It looks like the perfect bit of cotton candy to read on my 'vacation.'

    Much like Nymeth, I only skimmed your review but I got the gist that you liked it.

  7. Holly: I am glad you enjoyed the review. Westerfeld is a good author. :)

    Raidergirl: I hope you enjoy it!

  8. I have always wanted to read these just because the covers were so intriguing. I became more determined to get to them at some point after I read a Westerfield short story recently and realized that I really liked his writing style.

  9. Carl: I really like this series. I hope you get a chance to read it!

  10. This one is sitting in one of my TBR piles right now. Your review has made me more determined to read it SOON.

  11. I just finished reading Uglies (and enjoyed it!) and then I read the excerpt for Pretties and couldn't stand Tally's voice. Is the whole second book like that? Should I just skip to book 3? :)

  12. Court: I really liked it. I hope you enjoy it, too!

    Em: It is so hard to say on Pretties... There's plot building in the second half, but I had a hard time getting through the first half. And, yeah, the way they talk just about drove me to the nut house...

  13. Uglies is by far the best book. At first, i thought it was retarded. Then i read more and i was hooked. I loved the character David. He was awesome. But than there wasnt a lot of him in Pretties. I havent read Specials, but i doubt hes really in it. Is he in it? Comment back and tell me.

  14. Uglies is by far the best book. At first, i thought it was retarded. Then i read more and i was hooked. I loved the character David. He was awesome. But than there wasnt a lot of him in Pretties. I havent read Specials, but i doubt hes really in it. Is he in it? Comment back and tell me.

  15. Anonymous5:31 AM

    ok so loved the 1 book with tally falling in love with david but then in the 2 he wasnt in it really that much and tally fell in love with a prettie named zane and then i started the last book and i was so mad at tally i didnt want to read it anymore lol but maybe i will read it in the futur


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