Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Extras by Scott Westerfeld


Author: Scott Westerfeld

Publication Date: October 2nd, 2007

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: YA/Dystopia/Romance



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.

My Thoughts: So here I am with the fourth book in the Uglies series and I unfortunately have to say that I didn't like this one nearly as much as the others and found it to be a little disappointing. It wasn't a bad read, I did like it but it didn't have that same drive and fight that the other ones had. It was missing the umph I have come to expect from this series.

First of all it wasn't told from Tally's point of view this time. And while that's an understandably OK thing to do in a series, change the POV,  was upset about it. I have my reasons, one of them being that Tally was getting so kick ass and awesome and I was not ready to let her go yet. Not only did we have to leave Tally behind just as she was finally discovering her real self but we got a very mediocre replacement. Aya fuse was a lying, manipulative, petty girl. She would admit to herself that she would say what needed to be said so she could get what she wanted. Not the kind of hero I had grown accustomed to and definitely not making me feel better about losing out on Tally.

We didn't completely lose out on Tally, we do get to see her. But when we do everything about her and the old characters we had grown so attached to everything is so cryptic and a lot is left unknown about their present situations and what they've been up to. And that might be OK as well if I knew there was going to be a sequel for us to catch up with them later. But considering this book was released in 2007 I don't think that is going to  happen.

Which brings me to the next thing that bothered me. If this book is supposed to be the last in the series as it would seem to be, I'm really not positive, it didn't really have a nice final ending. We didn't get any closer or finality that we need to move on to a new series. It's like all those characters are just sitting there waiting behind the curtain for the next show to start and we're all waiting out here in our seats but nothing is happening.

I didn't overly enjoy the new city this story takes place in. A place where the main goal is to be as popular as you can no matter what you gotta do to get there. Not my cup of tea. Although it does give a kind of taste of what our own social media is coming to, I get enough of that in my real world, I don't need to re-experience it in a book.

All I seem to have done here is talk about why I didn't like this book. But it wasn't all bad, I did have an alright time reading it, I just felt it to be a poor addition to the series and not the best book for the ending of a series either. But it wasn't slow or boring, it had good surprising plot twists, and some decent suspense. But I guess this one just wasn't for me. I wish the series could have stopped off on a better note.

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