Jun 23, 2011

Review | Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Series: Uglies #3
Genre: YA - Dystopian
Publication: May 9, 2006 by Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Thoughts: I was pretty excited to finally get to the third installment of the Uglies trilogy, after reading the Uglies and Pretties a while back. Uglies was actually the first book I talked about on the blog and although it was a very short post, I still consider it my very first review. Anyways, it had been a while since I last read of Tally and her dystopian world, so I wasn’t too sure if I would be able to remember a lot of what happened. I was a little hesitant about reading the book altogether, but decided to give it a try.

Tally Youngblood has been through a lot, both in her ugly and pretty days. But now, she is something totally different, something special. Alongside Shay, her old friend from the ugly days, Tally and several other old characters are now known as Cutters, a branch of Specials. Faster, stronger and with an amazing clarity of the world around her, Tally is a fighting machine…but she can still remember her past. Although she only feels shame when she thinks of it, she is determined to get rid of the Smokies and the New Smoke that has been formed. The mission she embarks on though goes wrong and with the help of Zane and a few other familiar Crims, she must complete her new mission in which Tally must decide once and for all what side she is really on.

From the start you are thrown into quite an adventure, with Tally and the other Cutters keeping order at a party and trying to catch a Smokey. Instantly I was captured by the intense way Tally had changed from the bubblehead pretty she was in the last book. She is very different now, and although dangerous and quite mean, she is still Tally on the inside. She is still that unsure and simple girl but now she follows orders from Shay and focuses on getting rid of the Smokies. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked her. Actually, I’m still not sure if I liked her. I have always found her an odd character, and I’m not sure if I have ever connected with her too much, which always sort of bothered me. The other characters like Shay, Zane and Dr. Cable are still part of this last book, and their roles affect the decisions Tally is faced with along the way, so I was able to appreciate them, but still like with Tally, I wasn’t able to connect with them too much.

The book was full of exciting scenes, lots of action and danger, but the good stuff doesn’t really come in until halfway through the book. After that I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoy Westerfeld’s world and I find the Uglies trilogy to be unique and thought provoking. It is definitely one of my favorite premises and I am glad I finally got to the last book. The ending was satisfying, but still left the readers thinking what might’ve happened next.

I definitely recommend Specials to those of you who have read the first two books. It is quite different from the first two and I liked it, but if you have not read Uglies and Pretties, it will be hard to understand what’s really going on. There isn’t an introduction, which I liked, but there are a few scenes in which Tally remembers her past and we are able to remember certain things from the previous books. It was definitely an enjoyable read and I recommend this series to those who enjoy YA and dystopian.

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