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Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Specials (edition 2007)

by Scott Westerfeld, Rodrigo Corral (Designer)

Series: Uglies (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,303172831 (3.8)183
Authors:Scott Westerfeld
Other authors:Rodrigo Corral (Designer)
Info:Simon Pulse (2007), Edition: 1, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:own, library sale, young adult, read2012, uglies series, adventure, environment, futuristic

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Specials by Scott Westerfeld


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English (171)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (173)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)

At times I wasn't sure what side I was on, and it turns out, neither did Tally. I loved the ending--no book-throwing here. This has to be the only trilogy that just kept getting better and better. Highly recommended.

Great for discussing ethics & responsibility in this age of scientific progress. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
I have such mixed emotions about this book. It was originally supposed to be the final book in a trilogy, although there is now a fourth book in which Tally appears as a non-central character. So, even though this ended up not being the final book, it is really the final book in which Tally is forefront. Because of that, the ending felt a little unfinished for what was in essence the end of her story. But then again, those imperfect endings are a reality of life.

Tally was also a lot less likeable in this book. This is not because of a lack of character development, but rather the fact that her character has undergone some extreme changes within her story arc. Her character has changed so much across the course of the three books to date. In the first, she was an Ugly, full of humanity as we know it. In Pretties, she was changed into a Pretty and her personality changed with it. Even when things changed for her, her personality was never really as it had once been. And now, as a Special, she is nothing as she once was. Her humanity is almost entirely gone, more cyborg than human.

The plot was extremely action-packed and there were some fantastic twists and turns throughout the story. Like the other books, there was romance, but it wasn't the central focus of the plot. That is something that I generally appreciate, although even I hoped for a little more. But I suppose romance is difficult when one has virtually no humanity.

The one thing that drove me insane for most of the novels was some of the vernacular. Emotion words are changed a bit and the style was fairly annoying at first, until I realized the reasons for that linguistic twist. Emotions are expressed as "bubbly" or "happy-making" or "fear-making." Even among the Pretties, emotions are less inherent and more manufactured. There is a distance between the Pretties and truly feeling emotion and the language really supports that.

Despite my misgivings about the ending, it is still an engaging read. One of the things I love most about these novels is that the author doesn 't neatly tie everything up into happily ever afters. There might be happiness or resolutions, but they aren't complete. There is still failure, destruction, death, disappointment, and loss. Life never has a perfectly happy ending and the author isn't afraid of showing that. Bittersweet emotions are a fact of life.

My Recommendation: I love this series! I love that these books make you think about your own values and beliefs, about the world we live in. Such a great thing! I gave it 4.5 mugs! ( )
  Kiki870 | Aug 6, 2015 |
Tally is no longer a bubbly headed pretty, no, she is a special. quicker faster, meaner, sharper, better , that's what tally is. She loves her job and her group of the cutters. feeling icy is the best thing in the world. others feel that pretties need to be icy too, the others known as the smokies. the smokies are the outcasts , the rebels, they are a special circumstance. The smokies have gone too far this time trying to overthrow the government, making the pretties bubbly. They failed the first attempt at trying to catch them, losing one of there members in the process. they revert to other methods, using the pretties. Zane also known as Tallys ex-boyfriend. While trying to free Zane from his cell they end up blowing up one of the top government security buildings in the process. While the specials have the pretties leading them right to the new smoke tallys life is a breeze. until tallys city declares war on diego aka the new smoke. Tallys city is bombing Diego and she has to stop it. Guess what? she ends up stopping it (yay) and they live pretty happily ever after , except for the fact that Zane dies.

I have to be honest , I hated this book. The books only went downhill. The first amazing , second ehh, third terrible, I don't think I am even going to try with the 4th. Tallys character was pretty normal, she was an interesting character. I feel this would have been better if a little bit more unique -ity to it. But it was worthwhile reading but also not. make sense? ( )
  sierraF.B1 | May 29, 2015 |
"Special Circumstances." Those words send shivers down the spine. Often thought of as a boogy man or merely rumors to scare young children into behaving. That is until Tally finds herself as one of them. Now as a Special she is fiercely beautiful, a superb fighting machine, ready to protect the city and all it stands for. The strength, the speed, the clarity of focus... yet why is she plagued by questions? Why this nagging doubt that not all is quite right? The doubts are easy to ignore until she's given the opportunity to stamp out the New Smoke once and for all. Now the question is does she listen to that tiny voice or carry out her mission as programed?

Specials is the third in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. The story takes off and doesn't let go! It is action packed throughout and quite a wild ride. We rejoin Tally about a month after where book two leaves off. After becoming Special everything is more intense for Tally and that definitely comes through in the new descriptions. I have enjoyed how Westerfeld keeps giving us new insight into the world he has created simply by changing the tone of the writing through Tally's different stages.

Tally is really put through the wringer in this book. Physically, mentally, emotionally, she experiences it all. Her entire personality shift from Uglies to now is amazing, both at how she starts off acting as she is "supposed" to and then how her underlying personality fights to break through those barriers.

Some of the themes this time around take a disturbing turn. The idea behind the Cutters in particular is concerning and sometimes painful. Yet it remains fairly realistic in the depiction of the psychology behind the act.

While the ending is not exactly happy, there is hope. I found this to book to be a great read and good ending to the trilogy. ( )
  Narilka | May 28, 2015 |
OMG! I was shocked with the outcome of this book. I never saw it coming. ( )
  bookjunkie57 | Apr 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
Specials is part parable of life as an adolescent struggling to define your identity in a conformist world; part dark and unflinching look at the very real mental disorders that this impossible circumstance visits upon many young people.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (May 8, 2006)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Westerfeldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montbertrand, CarineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Part I: Being Special

By plucking her petals you do

not gather the beauty of the flower.

- Rabindranath Tagore, "Stray Birds"
To all the fans who've written me about this series. Thanks for telling me what was right, what was wrong, and which bits made you throw the book across the room. (You know who you are.)
First words
The six hoverboards slipped among the trees with the lightning grace of playing cards thrown flat and spinning.
Part II: Tracking Zane

When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty,

There arises the recognition of ugliness.

When they all know the good as good,

There arises the recognition of evil.

- Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching
Part III: Unmaking War

One faces the future with one's past.

- Pearl S. Buck
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689865406, Hardcover)

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. When she is turned into a super-modelesque super-fighting machine, Tally, a former ugly, is ordered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid in a carefully engineered world of perfection where she refuses to play by the rules.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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, the clarity and focus of her thinking feels 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 to 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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