Book Review: “Specials”

“Specials (Uglies #3)” by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction

Source: Bought

Other Uglies books

GoodreadsSummary from Goodreads:

“Special Circumstances”:

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.


I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. It irks me a bit that the second and third books in the series are “starting from scratch” so to speak. The previous books have all this action and suspense building up to the last pages. Then there’s a chunk time missing between the end of a book and the next one and Tally is a completely different person. I get that it’s really not her choice but I’d like to see what happened in that missing time period.

With each book in the series, Westerfeld seems to be opening the world up just a bit more. I am the type of person who wants to know everything right now but I appreciate him spreading it out into easier to digest nuggets of knowledge. This time around we learn that the world is bigger than Uglyville/Pretty Town. The fact that he kept this from the reader adds to the fear and horror when we realize that Dr. Cable and her people really are insane. It’s also a scary thought that other cities couldn’t step in thus letting crazy people do whatever they wanted to their citizens.

Perhaps it was intentional but Tally and Shay were wearing on my last nerves. Maybe it was just a combination of all the surgeries, generally teen girl cattiness, and spending too much  time around each other but all of their fighting and anger was just annoying. The “special” version of the two of them is by far my least favorite version of them.

The story was enjoyable enough. I appreciated that Westerfeld didn’t ‘wimp’ out on the story. Bad things happened, people had to die, basically the book wasn’t a fairy tale. Things never happen the way you want them to. The book was fairly action packed. It was reminiscent of the first two books but  unique enough to not be boring.

The ending was a bit…odd. I can’t believe that a tiny prick to Dr. Cable was all it took to make her “normal” again. I was just under the assumption she was just insane and did all these things to other people to make them like her. I didn’t like the last chapter too much. It just seems like Tally wants to be a pain the butt to someone all the time. She can’t just be normal.

Rating 3.5/5

It was an okay end to the trilogy. It wasn’t everything I hoped it would be.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: “Specials”

  1. I really didn’t like that Tally stayed special. It bothered me a lot. After everything she did to bring all the bad guys and specials down and then she stays special? That’s just me though.

  2. This volume left me with very mixed feelings. I really don’t know how I feel about the whole thing.
    Westerfeld has really got on my nerves with his “save the world” propagation. I had enough of it in the previous two books and don’t need to be reminded every 5th page that people have destroyed world/nature once and are about to repeat all old mistakes.
    Now, when I know how big Westerfeld’s world is, that it is not about 1,2,3 or 10 cities, Tally’s manifest sounds only stupid. She and David with his antenna against millions of people all over the Earth? Wake up, darling!

    I also missed the period between end of 2nd and beginning of 3rd books, not that it plays a huge role, but I would prefer to read what Tally and Shay has done in that time, instead of to read all the time what idiots people are.

    I liked Shay this time way more, doesn’t meter what shit this psycho did. She was giving her best all the time and that saved the whole book.
    Tally… oh well.. I can hardly make a picture of her: melancholic special? hello??? Yeah, I know she is something special, she can treat herself and blabla.. but still, are you fucking kidding me? Such technologies and they can’t shut this Bella Swan even for one month???

    Somehow so…

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