Sunday, February 5, 2012

Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras

I have something terrible to admit.
I judge books by their covers.
I apologize.

So when these books came out and everyone was just reading them up, I was like, "Whatever. I don't want to read some stupid clique book." Even when they were recommend to me.

I finally learned otherwise. These books are exactly up my alley. Or, at least, they started that way. I really enjoyed Uglies, and even Pretties. Specials and Extras, though, I found to be overkill. And I thought Extras was pretty lame. Plus, I'm not all that into series/sequel books where it's the same society but not the same characters. [I appreciate Lois Lowry calling Gathering Blue and The Messenger companion books.] 

Here's what happens: They live in a society where you get surgery at 16 to become pretty. But it turns out, there are people outside of the city, people who don't get the surgery. And sometimes, people from the city actually leave, they choose to not have the surgery. Tally Youngblood's friend, Shay, is one of them. And if Tally doesn't find Shay and bring her back, she'll never become pretty. Anything she chooses from this point out will drastically change her life, maybe even her world. 

So, yeah. I liked it a lot. I love this futuristic, post-apocalyptic (insofar as the Rusties, aka us, had our apocalypse and their society grew out of it), utopia/dystopia theme. I'm not sure I would recommend Extras, at least without qualifying it as my least favorite. 

But I had a few questions about their society, mostly brought about by Specials, which felt a little bit like plot holes to me, but maybe I'm the only one. 
  • It surprises me that they still have their own birthdays. . . Okay, that wasn't a question. It just seems odd to me, in a society where the stress is on sameness without actually ever saying so. So why  do they let them have their own? Also, I guess this one isn't really a plot hole. But it's still my question! 
  • Do they, the government, still let people give birth? Doesn't that seem contrary to being pretty? Do they have to have another surgery after giving birth? After every birth?
  • Do littlies live with their parents? And why/how does the government trust middle pretties/crumblies to raise their children to twelve? 
  • What are crumblies? But wikipedia answered this for me: crumblies are generally parents, any middle or late pretties can be referred to as crumblies.
  • What's up with the Tally-wa and Shay-la thing? I get that they're nicknames, but I just kept wondering if they had significance, and it seems like they gave the -la to everyone, so what's the point if everyone has one? And why is on Tally a -wa? 
  • I guess the only really plot-holey one is society as a whole, how it runs. Is their still a family unit? Why does the government even allow there to be all the people they need to take care of? Like, what is the point? And if the government is in control . . .    I just don't get it. And where does the money come from? How does everything run and maintain? I just feel like I wasn't given enough information about how the society works as a whole, outside of what it's like to be a teenager ugly or new pretty. Wikipedia explains this, sort of, but it's not the same as if it's in the book. It's not as prove-able.
  • I also wanted to know the deal with David and Tally, in the end, you know?  
So, read the books. Answer my questions. And keep reading! 


  1. LOVED Uglies. Pretties was still pretty good. But I totally agree that the last two books were overkill. When I finished Extras I felt like Scott Westerfeld had done so well with the others, he tried to push his luck and pushed too hard. I can't answer most of your questions though, sorry!

  2. if you have an 'L' in your name, you add the suffix 'wa'. Anything else, add 'la'. I loved Uglies, liked Pretties, was neutral on Specials and bored during Extras. I think Scott Westerfield milked the whole 'Tally's appearance gets changed' like every book she was affected by surgery (except the last one. Tally isn't as bad as the narrator thinks she is, Tally shouldn't turn out to be an evilish character.