“Extras (Uglies #4)” by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This book was a bit weird for me. One of the main reasons I enjoy reading series book is the familiarity. I like stepping into a familiar world and knowing what’s going on. I realize that Extras is more of a stand alone book rather than an addition to the Uglies trilogy because it certainly felt like it. The reader is thrown into a completely different world than we left Tally in 3 years ago. I just felt so confused and unsure of everything that was going on.
I’ll admit I had a really hard time getting into the story. I didn’t know these people! [I realize that’s completely stupid because I read other stand alone books and don’t feel this way.] Things got smoother once the story picked up and I found familiar faces.
Once I got past the initial shock/confusion, the story was pretty interesting. The author took a step away from the beating you over the head with his message that was abundant in the first three books. This book explores more of the interpersonal relations people have rather than the relationship they have with the Earth. As a result, they have a reputation economy so your literal worth is built into how ofter people are talking about you. Scary thought, huh?
Characters were okay. I wasn’t too wild about any of them. Even when Tally and gang showed up I didn’t like them. Then again I didn’t enjoy Tally too much in the other stories either.
The bottom line? Eh. It was okay. I don’t see a real need to read this if you’re happy with the way Specials ended.