Specials, by Scott Westerfeld (29 May — 30 May)

So you know I liked Uglies and Pretties, the two previous books in this series. And I did like this one, too, but really only because it finished off the storyline and was as engaging as the others.

Because seriously, there was just soooo much in this book! I was okay in the first book, believing in operations and people running away and other people wanting to maintain the status quo at all costs. Sure. Fine. And in the second, believing in “nanos” that can fix brain lesions and tattoos that move and that cutting yourself can make you “bubbly”… well, that last one was a bit much, but okay. Sure again. But in this book, I had to still be okay with cutting and then also with nanos that simply eat things and sneak suits that camouflage and unbreakable ceramic bones and people turning their pinky fingers into snakes and more cures for brain lesions and Tally switching alliances for the umpty-seventh time…. It was just. Too. Much.

Right. Anyway. Basically, Tally is now a part of Special Circumstances as a “Cutter” — the youth brigade. And she wants Zane to be with her, and Shay wants to destroy the New Smoke, so they set out together to lead Zane to the Smoke and kill two birds and whatever. And they get there and find out that part of what they did to get Zane to the Smoke caused a war between two cities, which is bad because war hasn’t happened in forever and also that one city didn’t do anything to deserve getting itself blown up. So Tally, perpetually ruining things and then fixing them, goes off to fix it. Yay.

If you’ve read the other books, you will read this and really should read this, but I wouldn’t go starting the series just to get to this one. 🙂

Rating: 6/10
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Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld (12 May — 13 May)

Pretties is the second of Westerfeld’s crazy dystopian series, following Uglies, which I read last month. So, you know, there are spoilers if you haven’t read that other one.

In this go, Tally has turned herself pretty and is, in fact, a total pretty-head. She’s about to be voted into a clique called the Crims, short for Criminals, which Shay (now her bff again) is already a member of. But on the night of the vote, Tally runs into a Smoky called Croy that she vaguely remembers knowing once and who promises to leave her a note before he and the other Smokies run away from Special Circumstances.

The note, which Tally finds with the help of the lead Crim, Zane, is the one that Tally wrote to herself in the last book. It also includes two pills for curing the operation. Tally is too nervous to take them herself but won’t let Zane risk his life, either, so they each take one just seconds before the Specials break into their hiding place.

Now cured, Tally and Zane set to work on getting as many Pretties as possible to realize the ridiculousness of their situation and to breaking out of New Pretty Town. It sort of works, sort of doesn’t, and Tally finds herself in all sorts of trouble all over again. Whoo!

I love how fast these books go and how incredibly engaging they are, and you know I’ll be rescuing Specials from the library just as soon as it comes back.

Rating: 7.5/10
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Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld (15 April — 17 April)

Oh, YA brain candy. Fun!

Uglies is a dystopian novel about a world where everyone surgically becomes pretty (or at least, conforms to specific ideals of beauty) at the age of 16 so as to eliminate silly things like not liking people ’cause they look funny. Of course, up until that age the kids are known as Uglies and have the aforementioned ideals beaten into their heads. Lovely. Who wouldn’t want to become Pretty after all that?

Well, some people. Like Tally’s new friend Shay, who, even after Tally espouses to her the wonders of Pretty-ness, runs off to find an enclave of people who have avoided the surgery. Shay leaves behind a note in case Tally wants to follow, but that note ends up in the wrong hands and Tally is forced to go after Shay if looking Pretty is to be in Tally’s future.

And then, of course, there’s adventure and commentary on society and it’s all really fun! I read most of this book in one sitting because I just had to know what happened next, and even predictability and the giant cliffhanger ending didn’t peeve me like such things usually do; I’ll just go grab the next book and devour it, too! Excellent.

Rating: 8/10
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