Author: Scott Westerfeld
ISBN: 9781416947950/Simon & Schuster
Protagonist: teenager Tally Youngblood
Setting: a Southern California distopia, three hundred years in the future
First Line: The six hoverboards slipped among the trees with the lightning grace of playing cards thrown flat and spinning.
The world as we know it has disappeared. In its place are city states, each with its own rules. Tally Youngblood's city has decided that, at the age of sixteen, everyone becomes a surgically altered "pretty" and spends the next decade or so of their lives wondering what clothes to wear and which nightly parties to attend. At first, Tally bought into the entire pretty culture, but adventures in the previous books of this series have made her look at life differently. In this third installment, she has been surgically altered yet again to become a "special"--people with extra capabilities who work in a branch of the city government that seems quite a bit like military police. People recruited as specials have shown that they think "outside the box"--usually by escaping the city and trying to find those who live out in the "wild". Tally's greatest desire is to have Zane become a special, and to do that, he has to make an escape...with Tally shadowing his every move.
I have really been enjoying this series. In so many ways, Tally is a typical teenager, but there's something inside her that refuses to toe the party line, and her development and growth as a human being is what makes this series so special. Westerfeld has created a world that is very different from ours, but with just enough similarities to make the hairs on the back of my neck prickle. I have the next book in the series, Extras, on my TBR stack, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
If you're interested in reading Specials, be warned: it really should not be read as a standalone. Westerfeld has created an entire world, and for many of the things to make sense, you should start at the beginning with Uglies and then Pretties.
I really like this series because it is geared toward teenagers (although adults can also enjoy it) but it deals with the struggles of humanity and utopia. very much like the giver on a more adventurous level. I recommend this book series for adults and children alike.
I'm not sure I'm entirely satisfied by the ending of the book, but it does make sense with the overall story. But it made me think a lot about our world and also about figuring out who you are, which is hard enough for teenagers - can you imagine being a teenager and being changed so much like Tally by forces outside your control?
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed book one and two. It was okay. I got burned on the series after this book and decided not to read the next one.
Bring out the tissues for this one! I cried during a spot in the book. The ending of the trilogy really makes you think, especially about how one person can change the world for better or worse. Plus this book makes you wonder about our lives in the future, could we become so obsessive over being pretty that we create everyone into what the government determines to be pretty? A good read, especially if you want a book that makes you think.